For Ocean Rodeo, it all began in the mid ‘70s in Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada. Two boys were brought together by a common obsession: wind and water.
Richard Myerscough and Ross Harrington always hated the idea of anything "traditional" when it came to water sports and, in Ross's case, flying.
Ross flew his first homemade hang glider at age 10. On a glider made from tarp and bamboo he successfully descended the 8th hole of the local golf course. Richard produced his first wetsuit at the same age by laying flat on a table with his mother tracing his outline out of 2 sheets of rubber.
Even at this early age a myriad of homemade surf and windsurf boards, sails and suits were developed thanks to their spirit of innovation and passion for the ocean.
For us, the ocean was much more than a mystery — it was an opportunity. And riding that opportunity is how we got to where we are today.
In the 1970s came the explosive popularity of windsurfing. Ross pioneered windsurfing on Vancouver Island, which he then taught to Richard in 1977. Ross went on to win numerous Canadian and US titles and designed and developed windsurf sails during the sport's hey-days of the 1980s.
Richard represented Canada at the 1988 Olympics in Windsurfing and won numerous national, European and world titles along the way. After competition, Richard went immediately into business, manufacturing and designing drysuits and wetsuits for all types of water sports.
The key to success in kiteboarding is to know what the risks are, and to manage them wisely. It is the same with business.
This business, which is still going strong today, is a partner with Ocean Rodeo in the development and manufacturing of the drysuits.
Ross and Richard were caught by the kite bug in the late 1990s. Ross made his first kite in 1998 and Richard produced the first Pyro Drysuit soon thereafter.
With the mix of skill and experience to launch a brand, and the intensity and passion that comes from lives spent in the wind and water, Ocean Rodeo was officially born in 2001.
When navigating exports to international markets, you need to have a plan if the winds shifts and a client goes under.
Today, Ocean Rodeo boldly continues to brave new waters. With the help of EDC, the company has grown into new markets and now exports its product to over 50 countries around the world. And it is still just the beginning.
Reaching waters non-exporters can't
Like Ocean Rodeo, many other Canadian companies have grown their business by selling their products or services outside our borders.
Wondering if exporting is right for you? Here is how it can make a difference.
- 25% more innovative and more likely to adopt innovative technologies.
- 30% more productive than manufacturers that don’t export
- 121% more revenue generated on average.*
Source: Deloitte: The future of productivity
*Industry Canada, SME Profile: Canadian Exporters 2015
6 steps to exporting success
- Find your target market
- Get your foot in the door
- Find customers, intermediaries and partner
- Make sure your contracts protect you
- Coping with logistics and customs
- Manage your customers and your risks