April 30 Brand Journalism In the Press PR Northern Ireland

Surfing brothers have Richard Branson in sight in campaign for Pitch To Rich

By Eleanor McGillie

TWO brothers from the North Coast are campaigning to put Northern Ireland on the map by winning the chance to pitch to Richard Branson to secure £50,000 in the ‘Pitch To Rich’ initiative.

Ricky Martin, 35, and his brother Chris, 31, set up The Skunkworks Surf Company in October 2013 – a company which strives to make the most robust, high performance surfboards and stand up paddle boards in the world.

The Martins have come up with a groundbreaking solution which will eliminate the wear and tear of foamies by designing and manufacturing the ‘next generation’ surfboards from their workshop in Coleraine.

The concept was developed because Ricky, who owns Alive Surf School in Portrush, believed surfboards could be made in a way which doesn’t require the time, money and maintenance after every season as foam boards notoriously get damaged.

After an Invest NI supported fact finding trip to California the brothers decided to enter Richard Branson’s Pitch To Rich which offers businesses, with a new idea, the chance to pitch to the billionaire to compete to be a part of a £1,00,000 prize fund which the 10 best pitches will win.

Ricky said: “We use about 30 foam surfboards every day to teach people how to surf. It is commonplace among surf schools around the world to have to spend time repairing boards which prove they don’t stand the test of time.

“We found that the glue used to produce these boards deteriorate and the core polystyrene gets damaged which is not particularly environmentally friendly either. This is expensive and very time consuming so we knew we could come up with something which would eliminate this.

“I contacted my brother Chris and we have spent months researching best practice and we have built a prototype which will impact on the how surf schools across the world operate. We have come up with a product which is 100 per cent recyclable for an industry which is expected to be worth $13.2million by 2017.”

The brothers, who have so far secured £100,000 worth of grants, have set up their own factory, created jobs and has an order book of 200 boards despite the boards not yet being sold in the marketplace.

Ricky added: “We believe we can become the world’s largest surfboard manufacturers and winning ‘Pitch To Rich’ will allow us to develop our business so we are a major employer, a centre for innovation and create a platform which will reinvigorate the economy.

“We are encouraging everyone to help us achieve this by voting for us online on the Pitch To Rich website. We have entered the ‘New Things’ category. We can win a £50,000 cash injection to the business as well as support for one year from the Virgin team of advisors. But we need votes to achieve this.”

To vote for Ricky and Chris click http://www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/pitch-to-rich/new-things/the-skunkworks-surfboard-company/



Notes To Editor:

  • The Skunkworks Surf Company was established in October 2013 by two brothers – Ricky and Chris Martin to design and manufacture the ‘next generation’ surfboards. The Skunkworks Surf Board company is based in Coleraine. The company strives to make the most robust, high performance surfboards and stand up paddle boards in the world.
  • For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | Brand Journalism UK | Sport PR | Brand Journalism Experts | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | PR Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK

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