If you haven’t been able to tell already, we really like our surfing here at Loqules so when we had the opportunity to have Hayden Cox of Haydenshapes offer an experience on Loqules we were pretty stoked. We’ve been friends with Hayden and his wife Danielle for years now, but for those not in the know Hayden’s story is incredibly inspiring, not just from a surfing perspective but an entrepreneurial one too. To put it simply Haydenshapes are currently crushing it, their ‘Hypto Krypto’ was the highest selling board model of 2014 and won ‘Surfboard of the Year’ at the Australian Surf and Board Sports Industry Association for the second year running.
So we sat down with Hayden to pick his brain about how he approaches the business side of Haydenshapes and to also introduce HS team rider and local Bondi shredder, Pama Davies(@pamadavies) to Loqules.
Tell us the origin story for Haydenshapes?
I started the business when I was 15 and still at school. Actually, the other day I stumbled across my old school diary and it has the first HS logos (which hasn’t changed) scribbled all over it which was pretty funny. At the time, I snapped my board and didn’t have the money to buy a new one, so I thought I’d figure out how to make one instead. I was also really interested in surfboards in all aspects – especially construction. I started to get the hang of it and sold boards to teachers and friends and eventually it started to build from there. I coded my first website myself at 16, leased a factory at 20 and at around 26 I created and patented my FutureFlex carbon rail technology. The brand has grown a lot in the last 3 years, since taking the distribution globally and setting up another in-house operation in the US. A lot of people don’t realise I have been at it for 18 years though. Ha! Nothing has happened quickly, that’s for sure. I have only ever worked for myself aside from a short stint at Pizza Hut in high school. Oh.. and a call centre for Telstra, but that only lasted 2 months.
What’s been your proudest achievement to date?
I still get a real kick out of seeing people on my boards out in the surf. Seeing someone get enjoyment out of something you have created feels pretty cool and it’s great getting firsthand feedback from customers – even if they don’t realise my connection at the time. I always ask a heap of questions. Another highlight was collaborating on a project with Alexander Wang last year for his stores in New York and Tokyo as well as seeing the Hypto Krypto win ‘Surfboard of the Year’ in both 2014 and 2015 at the Australian Surf Industry Awards. It’s pretty great seeing that model become so popular all around the world.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
Time is the greatest luxury and the way you spend it when you run a business is crucial. I thought owning a surfboard brand would mean I would surf a lot more – how wrong I was. Hiring staff can also be really hard as you need to best team to make big things happen.
What’s the best advice you can share with people looking to create their own business or projects?
Run. Just kidding. I always say at the end of the day, it’s really up to you to get your idea and business off the ground – this requires being super passionate about what it is you are trying to do. Especially with a start up, expect to be at it 24/7. Back yourself, find your point of difference and surround yourself with people who drive and motivate you. Always think big picture and focus on your goals otherwise you will really sweat the small stuff and psych yourself out.
How do you stay focussed or regain clarity when things get challenging?
Surf. Sometimes it is important to disconnect from the day to day even for a short period of time, so that you can regroup and re-evaulate mentally. Technically surfing does constitute work from me, but on the flip side, its still a hobby for me that I really love doing. I do a lot of valuable thinking and planning in the surf.
Finally, top 3 waves in the world?
The Mistress – It’s a wave in Mexico that only myself and 5 other people know about. We have a pact not to take anyone else there.. When the swell hits, its mind blowing.
Super Suck – Indonesia.
Winke – My favourite local wave in Sydney, right near Manly.
Now watch Haydenshapes team rider, Pama Davies absolutely destroy on Hayden’s creation the ‘Love Buzz’.
Do you want to learn how to shape your own surfboard with Hayden Cox, go for a surf with him and then share a meal?
Alternatively do you want to get into the line up with Pama Davies and film your own mini video part with him?
You can now do these rad things on Loqules.