With the ‘Wonder is All-Around’ motto, viral “paddleboarder-whale-encounter” videos and a dedicated global SUP community sharing their paddleboarding adventures on social media, theShanghai-based watersport brandAqua Marina, taps flawlessly into experience culture, catering to riders of all skill levels.
Dedicated to “creating authentic paddling experiences” and attuned to the growing needs of the SUP community, the brand is rapidly expanding its already extensive range of inflatable stand-up paddleboards, adding high-performance race, whitewater, windsurfing and surfing designs to Aqua Marina quiver.
TotalSUP caught up with Chap Zhang and Tony Lu of Aqua Marina’s product development and marketing teams, to chat about the latest product releases and to check if SUP ‘Wonder is indeed All-Around’.
Hi, welcome to TotalSUP! Could you tell us more about the Aqua Marina brand?
Chap Zhang: Aqua Marina is one of the most popular iSUP, Kayak and Speed Boat brands that has delivered over one million boards worldwide in the recent years. We are proud to offer an affordable, high-quality line of watersport products designed to meet the widest range of use in today’s most popular watersport disciplines.
We are devoted to creating authentic paddling experiences. We encourage our users to discover their wonderland and explore the world like never before. We’ve designed our products to be portable and easy to take. We hope to give our users the ability to navigate spaces and discover mystical places. We value safety as much as performance. Our team continues to develop technology aimed to enhance performance and safety.
Wonder is All-Around…Could you tell us more about your brand philosophy?
Inspired by the spirit of community paddler’s adventures all around the world the mission of Aqua Marina is to share memorable time from all the adventures by those who love to explore their wonderlands with our boards.
Aqua Marina brand has a global presence… What’s the key to your success?
We work closely with our local distributors in each of our international markets. By engaging with each of them daily, we are getting a lot of insights on how we can potentially support each of the markets better and how to improve our product and service year on year. We are fortunate to have a lot of engaging buyers who are willing to push the brand forward together.
You have built an impressive global SUP community around the Aqua Marina brand. Do you introduce Brand Ambassador initiatives? How do you grow it?
Yes. We are always open to collaborating with individuals who share the same passion for the sport and align with our mission. We reach out to people directly about becoming Brand Ambassadors and we also get people coming to us through various channels. We speak with every one of them to find out what kind of collaboration makes the most sense and we start from there. Our years of commitment to improve product and back and forth conversation with community members have definitely supported the growth.
Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the SUP industry experienced both new challenges and opportunities. Could you share your take on it?
Tony Lu: We did have a big supply chain challenge due to the pandemic but thanks to the fact that Aqua Marina is a globally operating company, we were not defeated and we are still one of the top selling SUP brands in the world. We are happy to see that COVID situation is getting better in most parts of the world. People are getting back out to start new explorations and are even more willing to play outdoors than they were before the pandemic.
Could you tell us more about the Aqua Marina Academy?
The AQUA MARINA Academyaims to create a resource base for our end-users, especially those who are first-timers looking for some instructions and tutorials. At present, the Academy is focused on three main categories, namely “HOW-TO” instructions, set-up videos and after-sales videos.
So far we have visualized many instructional materials and these info-graphics help our end-users easily get started with their SUP boards or kayaks offering more fun as oppose to reading manuals. We have also been devoted to enriching this library by providing a wider variety of info-graphics and tutorial videos in the long run.
What type of SUP models are there in the Aqua Marina quiver?
Aqua Marina has created an extensive product line-up for the mass market by providing diversified SUP boards from entry-level to experienced use. With the most popular all-around series and increasingly introducing touring boards, AQUA MARINA has been gaining popularity all over the world.
In the meantime, we have also expanded our product line by developing a wide range of high-performance specialty boards to the niche market, such as race, whitewater, surfing, windsurfing, fitness and the fishing series.
What’s in the pipeline for Aqua Marina?
In the 2022 season, AQUA MARINA has contributed to refreshing the entire inflatable kayak lineup, and for iSUP boards, we mainly focus on optimizing some specialty boards, such as the race, whitewater, windsurfing and surfing series by applying our advanced manufacturing techniques and board technologies.
Thank you for your time and good luck with the new SUP season!
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