It all started with a conversation in our dorm room one night. We were discussing the wonderful world surrounding us in Utah, and how we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to live here for school. This led to us to a discussion about how difficult it seemed to truly enjoy the world around us with the limited resources we had in college, particularly with the space in our dorm rooms.
This brought us to the mission of Innovation Outdoors: making the great outdoors more accessible to everyone. We began brainstorming ideas, and with our surfing and paddleboarding backgrounds, that seemed like the logical place to start. The largest issue we found with those activities was the size of the boards. They didn't fit in our dorms, and certainly didn't fit in our cars. And thus, the PortaBoard was born.
We began with very rough drawings on an iPad, and entered into a pitch competition at Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah. We were awarded $500, which we took to begin our prototyping process. After purchasing a used paddleboard online, we hand sawed it into 3 pieces, and connected them with fence hinges we bought. It didn't float, it looked ugly, and it was still too big. But the PortaBoard had been created, and we believed the proper design would be the solution to a paddleboarder's problems.
We have since started working with PushDesignInc out of Chicago to make our design what we truly want it to be, and we are now on the path of the patenting process. We are excited to continue our journey with the PortaBoard and beyond, and look forward to making the great outdoors more accessible to all!
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