Ride Engine Joins Forces with 7 Nation
With the mantra of innovation through intimate rider-designer collaboration, Santa Cruz-based Ride Engine recently joined forces with 7 Nation and has begun expanding research and development of a variety of watersports accessories and softgoods, much of which will start hitting global markets this summer.
Ride Engine was founded three years ago as a humble pet-project by Santa Cruz waterman Coleman Buckley, who wanted to solve a problem he saw with poorly-performing kiteboard harnesses. After experimenting with several designs and collaborating with friends and pro riders, Buckley refined a completely unique harness that incorporated custom-made carbon fiber shells molded to the exact shape of his customers’ backs.
Demand for the revolutionary new harness – called the Armor – grew quickly, and before long Buckley was overwhelmed by filling orders in his makeshift garage factory.
“After a few years I felt trapped by the harness business,” Buckley said. “I was spending so much time making them that I couldn’t do anything else that interested me. I wanted to branch-out; to collaborate with more athletes and explore other areas of the watersports industry to see where some of my ideas might lead.” Buckley was introduced to Tony Logosz, 7 Nation chief designer, and Jeff Logosz, 7 Nation CEO, last year, and the three quickly recognized the great potential Ride Engine had as a 7 Nation partner.
“We were drawn to what Coleman was doing and the passion he was putting into his product,” Jeff Logosz said. “With the backing of 7 Nation and the resources we bring to the table, Ride Engine will now be able to take its mission of creating products that connect people with the natural world to the global stage.”
Utilizing 7 Nation’s assets, Ride Engine’s first line of business was to refine the Armor’s design and production techniques to make the harness available around the world in time for the 2015 summer season. Three versions of the harness – Hex Core, Pro Team Series and Elite Carbon Collection – will be available this season starting in June. The brand will also be launching a complete line of high-end wetsuits in the coming months.
Ride Engine is also focusing heavily on the wake industry, collaborating with top riders and though leaders to design and develop a line of products that fits the needs of the sports hardest-charging riders. Pro wakeboarder and longtime Slingshot wake team and brand manager, Jeff McKee, will head up the wake side of Ride Engine, with close collaboration from a team of the sport’s hottest young riders, namely the renowned work-hard-play-hard Shredtown crew.
“I’m assembling a crew of riders who I trust are the most innovative athletes the sport has seen,” McKee said. “These riders are shaping the future of the sport in front of our eyes, and now they’ll have the opportunity to leave an even bigger fingerprint on the sport through innovative products and creations for all wakeboarders to enjoy.”
Ride Engine will launch a line of wake accessories, as well as a complete line of high-end wetsuits at Surf Expo this September.
“The possibilities are endless,” Logosz said. “One of Ride Engine’s core principles is close collaboration with athletes and top thinkers from their respective sports. Their ideas and the passion they have for what they do will play a big role in the products we develop.”
Logosz says Ride Engine will remain true to its environmentally-conscious roots and the nature-centric sentiments that help define the brand image.
7 Nation is a company run by outdoor enthusiasts whose passions synergize with the products they create. 7 Nation currently supports/encompasses the brands Slingshot Sports, Moonshine MFG, The Distillery and Ride Engine. Slingshot is a watersports company that develops kiteboarding, wakeboarding and stand up paddling gear and softgoods. Moonshine MFG is a skate brand that develops high-end longboards and The Distillery is the unique manufacturing facility that produces all the wood-core skate, kite and wakeboards for those two brands.