Jerry Mihimana is a Tahitian native. Originally a Va’a enthusiast, Jerry would later take up Stand-up Paddle too, and shortly after his initiation to the sport, he would create his very own SUP brand. 425 Pro is today available in several countries worldwide and it plans to continue to expand its global expansion.
Hi Jerry. Can you tell us a little bit about your link with SUP?
First of all, I wanted to thank the team at TotalSUP for the excellent work that you do and to thank you for granting us this interview. I was introduced to SUP by Robert Teriitehau just over 3 years ago. Before that, I had already been practising Va’a for around thirty years or so. Since my first taste of SUP, I just can’t get enough. I am Addicted 2 Sup, as it were!
Can you give us a brief introduction to 425 Pro?
We set up 425 Pro just over three years. “Addicted 2 Sup” is our slogan and it is where the brands origins lie. A2S was the original name for the brand itself, but we changed it to 425 Pro in order to give it a more digital feel.
It is also more legible and easy to grasp for potential customers. That being said, when we were setting up our domain name, @425 by itself wasn’t available. We had a series of proposals to add a little something extra, and I immediately liked the sound of @425pro.
Way back when, while I was still working on Va’a gear, I began to create paddles that could also be used for long-distance SUP racing. Then I became interested in inflatable SUP boards. And now here we are today, with our very own range of SUP boards servicing the pro SUP racing circuit.
Our first appearance at an international competition didn’t go unnoticed. This was at the ISA World Championships in Fiji in 2016. At that very moment, Georges Cronsteadt realized that he had finally found the righ brand for him. He placed third in the long-distance race aboard an Ocean Pro 12’6 that we custom-made for him.
Since then, things have continued to move along very quickly. Very much focused on R&D work, it is also crucial that we listen to our riders’ needs. This allows us to add useful new offerings to our existing equipment range.
You are based in Bali. Can you tell us a little bit about SUP in Bali? Is being based over there an advantage or a disadvantage when it comes to developing a brand like yours?
Indeed, I am based in Bali for a number of different reasons. For one, my production sites are located here. In addition, due to the location of Bali itself, it makes it easier for me to travel to certain SUP events.
We have beautiful waves over here too, so I see it as a chance to really refine my SUP surf skills.
What values and defining features set apart 425Pro as a brand?
The brand’s primary values are centred around the notion of it being a big family. We are all friends here and we all share the same passion. We hit the waves above all just to have a good time, and that is a central theme.
We put a lot of energy into research and development in order to offer the best possible products.
Which riders are on the 425Pro team? Why did you opt for these ones in particular?
We are truly lucky to have Georges Cronsteadt among our riders as he invests 100% of his energy into gaining an in-depth knowledge of both the sport and our brand.
We also have up-and-comer Enzo Bennett who has recently given us yet another glimpse of his talent at the Lost Mills event. And of course there is Romuauld Mamadou, who is from Guadeloupe and who is also very much involved in getting the brand’s name out there.
Where can you buy 425Pro’s products?
For the time being, the brand’s distribution network remains a work in progress, but we are working very hard on getting it to as many locations as possible. Soon our products will be available in France, and also in other parts of Europe thanks to a distribution centre in Germany.
For the time being, we are already available in a number of countries worldwide. We have a presence in Brazil, New Caledonia, Tahiti, the USA and so forth. We also have a dedicated Facebook page for each country in which 425Pro is present.
What are the next steps for the brand?
In terms of participating in international races, we will be attending the Gorge River Challenge. Afterwards, we will also be at the PPG and then at the ISA World Championships.
We are also in talks with all of our future distributors and resellers. And we are of course very much open to talks with any interested parties.