This week I sat down with Jarryd Watson, the owner of Flux Bodyboarding at Burleigh and had a chat about what it takes to run a small business as well as getting his views on a few touchy subjects. Here’s what I learned about Jarryd, Flux and being your own boss:
Boogers get deeper! Nah seriously, I think bodyboarding is slowly becoming more common. I mean there is still that wall between stand ups and bodyboarders that needs to be broken down. As far as more grommies getting into bodyboarding, I put it down to the sport being a cheaper easier way to be able to get in the water with your mates and enjoy the ocean for what it is. I also put it down to the surf industry been so crowded and so big that it’s harder for an individual to stand out in such a large crowd.
What age group are a majority of clients?
To be honest we have our young regulars but of late I have noticed a lot of the older generation either picking up Bodyboarding for the first time or just getting back into the water for the first time in years. Generally speaking our clientele age group spans from 12 to about 60! Yew!
How has changing from Inverted to Flux impacted on the team? Has it had an impact on store sales?
One word, positively! I think change is good, it brings about this stoke and urge to do more exciting things and reignite the flame. Towards the end of trading under “Inverted” my flame was far from burning. As far as the team go, I believe they feel the same. It’s something new and exciting for them to represent, to surf for, to travel for and talk about in the water. As far as sales, it’s that time of year really! Having said that, we feel now we appeal to a broader range of bodyboarders, so we are starting to see new faces and also older guys return which we love. We still offer that same genuine service and advice.
What lead you to change the name?
Let’s just say a few people in the know advised us to go out on and start a fresh. Although it was one of the toughest decisions of my life, I don’t regret it one bit. I always wanted my own brand identity, it was just a matter of time. I’m thankful for the opportunity Inverted gave me as it gave me the starting point in my business career, but from there with the help of the creative genius Craig Gillam, I sat down and nutted out some solid options and Flux really stuck in my mind. Just remember guys we are the same family run business and we offer the same quality products and service.
So many reasons really! I guess I needed to get involved in the comp scene and I needed to give back to the sport. Even though I feel as though it’s all give give give. Having said that you only get out what you put in! I think the Gold Coast just had a void that needed filling. There was always the GCBC that catered for the south Gold Coast region but we had a lot of people coming to us especially from South Brisbane wanting to get involved either for the first time or get back into it. I was also getting these vibes the fun had just been sucked out of comp surfing and I wanted to create the sense of community and good vibes around mates again.
Has NBC had a big following? Are there many people offering to help out or showing support?
Definitely! Not only from sponsors getting onboard to help out with the smallest of things, but man, our members are great. We are family run and owned, everything we do involves my parents and my beautiful girlfriend who opens my eyes to so many things and she has just as much experience as I do at running a club. But as far as support we have so many families offering help and opinions etc. Even though we don’t have a committee (yet!) I think we do pretty well, when Mother Nature ever cooperates. None of this would have been possible if I didn’t have my family and friends especially Craig for his creativity once again. But for our first year to gain 80 odd members was phenomenal. I was so happy that something I had never ever done before in my life actually came together and worked, the smile on my face on our first ever comp was massive, I just couldn’t believe that everyone was getting in and having a good, old fashioned dig.
How do you select people for sponsorship?
WELL! Listen up kids!
Sponsorship for me is not taken lightly, what so ever! For me I look for so much more than just the ability to ride well. You have to have the “whole” package. So often I get hit up by kid’s who have never supported the shop, never purchased anything from me or even put a flux sticker on their board. For me I look towards the future, if I see potential I will give you a chance. You have to have the right attitude both in and out of the water, and have to want that future in the sport. I will give you an example: Liam Anderson one of my youngest riders, and now my trainee in the shop. He bought numerous products off me, hung around the store and continuously surfed with me and just put himself out there before I even considered a sponsorship. His growth has been outstanding and his surfing has improved. That’s what it’s about for me, regardless of you level of surfing. You have to be worth my while, so if you can flip or think you surf well you shouldn’t just expect a sponsorship.
Hahahahaha, I’m terrible! Nah for me it’s just about getting in the water and being with mates. I’m not the worst but I’m definitely not the best! I don’t go around advertising how good I am or anything of the sort, it’s just fun to be involved and get out there and actually take in the vibes. You know?!
Sometimes I ask myself the same question, as this industry can be awfully testing at times as can any business, I guess. I went from a solid income for many years to zero income for the past 3 years and I have just been giving, but it’s still early days for my patient girlfriend and my incredible parents and myself. I guess for me the ocean is a part of who I am, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I struggle if I’m away from it for too long. I just saw the opportunity to be my own boss and to do it in a sport I love. What more could you ask for really? Basically it had always been a dream and now I’m living it!
It’s been a tough year for you. You’ve been broken into a few times. What kind of impact did that have on you and on the shop?
Heavily! I had just returned from a nice holiday in Thailand which turned to shit when air Australia went arse up the day we meant to fly home. A few run ins with locals, police, a night at the air port and some expensive flights home I return to some ruthless acts of scum. It was 3 break-ins, spread over 5 nights, where we had stock broken, and repeatedly had our shop front destroyed. Our premiums went up and we lost a lot, and all these youths, aged 14 to 17 get is 3 years probation and a slap on the wrist. That’s probably what hurt the most, you know? We were doing so well and then we just got set back. It was testing on our family and my relationship. But hey, we are still here and we are still supporting the sport.
Touchy subject! I don’t want to get too far into it. Look, I’m all for a ship terminal, Just NOT THERE! Nick off. Theres so many dividing factors and one is they are going to ruin one of the best surf spots in Australia. If they disturb that they are going disturb our business. Not only that but we utilize the spit to hold our comps which we started for the youth, families and especially disadvantage kids who deserve a break. It just doesn’t seem logical!! I mean you only have to look at the amount of sand movement in south-east Queensland to know they will have to do extensive amounts of dredging and then you have take into consideration more infrastructure just to account for such large ships and numbers coming here. Not to mention people like myself paddling that seaway just to get to waves (just crazy) so I’m going to say don’t go ahead with it, oh and stay the hell away from Duranbah and Fingal!! I just think we have bigger problems, like these little shits ruining people’s lively-hoods and businesses and not attending school, job security, and our roads to say the least.
So there it is. A little insight into the big world of small business.
I want to give a HUGE shout out to Jarryd and if you are down in Burleigh you should head over to Flux on the lower Gold Coast highway and check it out!
Peace and Love