Paddle-boarding is changing lives around the world. We find ourselves at the heart of a pioneering sport that brings people together in new places every day. Being involved at the cutting edge of equipment development for the world's fastest growing sport is a fantastic challenge and an opportunity.
Standing on top of boards for up to ten hours-a-day since I was a teenager, followed by participation in the 1984 Olympics and ten years on the windsurfing pro tour served as the platform that helped put Starboard on top of the Professional Windsurfers Association manufacturers' ranking five years running. Then came paddle-boarding. My first accidental glimpse of the sport came seeing my father, Arne, standing up paddling on a windsurfer while exploring Bung Taco in the late 90's.
What we learned over years of development and testing in windsurfing is gradually being applied in paddle-boarding: Wider, shorter boards for better wave riding; longer, narrow displacement hulls for racing; wood sandwich technology; carbon sandwich technology; flex patterns in paddle shafts (similar to flex patterns in masts); Startouch non-skid technology. All these innovations are being realized with our legendary dedication to precision.
In windsurfing, tolerances on our race boards are down to 0.5mm in critical areas and naturally we apply the same tight specs to our Brushed Carbon boards. Our warranty rate over the last three years totals just 0.7%, thanks to working with the best manufacturers and monitoring quality on a daily basis. Our development crew is doing an outstanding job. I would like especially to mention Scott McKercher, Andrew Miller and Nimit Promjan for their dedication in ensuring Starboard remains at the cutting edge of development.
Starboard's team riders, some of the finest athletes in our young sport, have just chalked up a few memorable milestones. Dave Muir and Tama Audibert took top spots in the Tahitian leg of the Waterman League Stand Up World Tour on production gear. At just 16, Connor Baxter snatched wins in many island crossing events in Hawaii. Bart de Zwart walked off with a victory in the longest race of the year, the 11 City Tour in Holland.
Thanks too, to our team manager and marketing chief, Margareta Engstroem, for all her gracious endeavors over the year making our sport come alive in new and adventurous ways.