First thing’s first: Damien Girardin has left the building…
Pretty much out of the blue (to us at least), about two weeks ago Naish kite designer, Damien Girardin, announced that after 15 years he was leaving the company to follow his own ventures (as yet, we’re not exactly clear on what those are – but the Frenchman is an absolute brain box of energy, skills and ideas – so we wait with interest to see what comes).
In his own newsletter to the industry, Damien said:
“It has been a great journey and I’m grateful to Andy Church (Naish’s General Manager) and Robby Naish for the opportunities presented to me over the years. My gratitude further extends to all of the Naish distributors, dealers and customers that I ultimately view as those I truly worked for. My overall mission has always been to create an exceptional experience for all individuals, from the moment they purchase my products all the way through their riding time. Additionally, I was offered incredible opportunities to interact with brilliant professional athletes whom I have seen rise from young aspiring pros into world champions, kings of the air, and true legends of kiteboarding.
“Although I’ll always cherish the past experiences, I am ready to embark on new personalized projects. I will be pursuing my passions and am excited to work as a designer and marketer through my new company DGD and on other projects. Mahalo to you all, the journey is just beginning!”
And it seems Naish have been busy filling Damien’s boots, but as often happens, a change can inspire the overhaul of an entire working unit. At the dealer meetings we’ve attended for several 2020 product launches, we are seeing a real cross pollination of influences from different disciplines coming together within the teams of brands that produce gear for more than one sport. The waterman/women ethos is starting to prevail, and as you’ll see below, it seems the kite / SUP / wind and foil teams will all now be working much more closely together alongside Robby.
Here’s the Naish press-release – hot into the inbox this morning:
NAISH PRESS RELEASE
August 15, 2019, Maui, Hawaii: Naish International is excited to announce an expanded and talent rich Product Development Team.
Robby Naish leads the power packed, technically advanced design team of Brian Dennis (Lead Engineer/Kite Designer), Alex King (Engineer/Product Designer), Scott Trudon (Naish Brand Manager), Nils Rosenblad (Engineer/Sail & Foil Designer), Michi Schweiger (SUP, Foil and Windsurf Product Manager), and Des Walsh (Kiteboarding Development and Head Tester).
“This energized team brings a wealth of experience and technical knowledge to the Naish brand. Our design philosophy is to establish a much stronger collaborative group effort. This is a big improvement over the past, when product development was compartmentalized by sport.” stated Robby Naish.
WHO ARE THEY?
Robby began, “With Brian Dennis as our Head Engineer and Kite Designer, each member of our development team brings their own set of unique skills to the table. Now as a more collaborative group, it is exciting to feel the new ideas, creativity and high energy flowing within the company.”
Ivy League graduate Brian Dennis holds degrees from both Brown University and the University of Washington, including a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. With 20 years of experience in Mechanical Design, Engineering, and Product Development, and 15 years of dedication to the sport of kiteboarding, Brian has designed complex sports products for esteemed companies such as K2 and Shimano. Furthermore, he has vast experience in the aerospace, drone and carbon composite industries through his work at Insitu, Flighthouse Engineering, I.C.E., and TerraSpace, which resulted in several U.S. and international patents.
“Naish is the most core brand in the industry, so this is my dream job,” stated Brian Dennis. “We have a tight team of product developers who are all expert designers and expert riders. The motivation really gets insane here as we discuss and merge our ideas on product performance and achieving quality. It is such a passionate environment here at Naish…I love it!”
Working alongside Brian is the dynamic new designer, Alex King, who holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the world renowned Cal Poly College of Engineering. Alex’s in-depth knowledge of SolidWorks CAD design, fabrication, and rapid prototyping, through his time at distinguished aerospace and composite engineering companies such as Wilson Composites Technology, Flighthouse Engineering, and Roost Works, along with his stoke for kiteboarding, make him the perfect fit for the Naish development team.
“I really love what I do and I really love kiteboarding, foiling, windsurfing and SUP products, so when I got the call to join the Naish team, it was a radical feeling,” stated Alex King. “Designing, prototyping and testing gear on Maui, with a group of designers who are so committed and creative as they are here at Naish, what more could I ask for? I am beyond stoked to be a part of this team!”
Naish’s newest addition is Brand Manager Scott Trudon, who brings valuable industry experience to the Naish team. Scott will be managing team rider interests for all sports, which will bring all of Naish’s athletes under one direct set of eyes. This move will aggressively grow team momentum and strengthen the bridge between team, R&D, marketing and public relations.
In addition to his background as a professional windsurfer and skateboarder, Scott currently participates at the highest level in SUP racing, outrigger paddling, surfing and foiling. For almost two decades he has worked for highly acclaimed brands such as Dakine, Reef Brazil, Maui Jim and Lost Surfboards, in a wide range of roles such as brand management, sales, special events, marketing and product development and brings to Naish his 18 years of experience in the action sports industry.
“My professional life has taken me on a path as fun and as rewarding as my life on the water,” stated Scott Trudon. “Throughout the years, Robby Naish has been a friend and someone I have had the world of respect for with all that he has accomplished on the water and in business. To be part of a cutting edge brand like Naish and part of the process of bringing so many great applications to the consumer is an absolutely amazing opportunity!”
CURRENT NAISH FROTH
While you’re here, why not get amped on the current range with this action video:
Visit the Naish International website here.