It’s the crazy dream of two french guys.
Today suppliers and manufacturers of the Crystal SUP ®, their adventure has not been an easy one. A look back at an atypical entrepreneurial path. The story of a deep friendship and a common passion for the ocean
Origins of the Transparent Stand Up Paddle board
The Transparent Paddle board the story of two passionates
It’s a long story between Julien and Bertrand. A shared passion for the ocean, water sports and their native island, Reunion Island. But also the story of a deep friendship.
And when two passionate young Reunionese throw a crazy bet, it sparks off…
Their childhood dream? Fly over “their” lagoon without damaging it. To make human beings cohabit with the underwater fauna and flora.
The years go by and one “beautiful” day in 2011, the shark crisis makes its appearance.
As a result, they are convinced. They must be actors in this transformation they want to see in this world.
They brainstorm for long hours. They want to find an activity on the lagoon, which will be at the same time sportive, playful and touristic despite the fear caused by shark attacks.
After much research, they discovered the existence of a 100% transparent kayak. The trigger… They’re convinced it’s THE good idea they’ve been looking for for so long.
But between the idea and the practice, there’s a hell of a delta! They are ambitious, they want to become references in the small world of water sports and create their own company. The numerous approvals from the sports authorities and those of the Reunion Island nature reserve could have stopped them.
Yet they are not giving up and clinging to their project because they know they have found their way.
And their determination eventually paid off.
Their transparent kayak tourism business, Lagon Réunion, is born. The icing on the cake: their approach is hailed and rewarded with the innovation prize in 2013.
« We wanted a big giant mask! And we got it. »
8 years of experience later, their international structure Lagon Réunion specialises in the use and operation of Transparent Kayaks. Today it equips many hotels in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius, Rodrigues, Seychelles, Madagascar) and many other tourist structures in France and Europe.
But before they got there, they encountered many technical obstacles
A company specialized in water transparent products
In use, the first kayaks are a little fragile, with a tendency to become opaque easily. An unsuitable transparent material… It’s rather “embarrassing”, because that’s what makes them different.
As for accessories, some are poorly designed or poorly fitted. The intensive practice of this water sport is a real technical problem.
There they go again in a lot of research. An overconfident supplier. A specification too light. Nothing’s wrong. Despite everything, they are still struggling and tensions are beginning to be palpable. Any pair would have lost faith in his plan.
What to do? They can’t wait for THE solution to fall on them. It’s a project that is close to their hearts. They want their customers to be truly satisfied. So they keep going, relentlessly. Again…
They set up a concrete specification for the manufacture of a new kayak. They require equipment maintenance and refurbishment solutions to provide the best possible customer service.
And it’s a polycarbonate specialist with a passion for this transparent aquatic product who ends up ticking all the boxes. After many tests, the design flaws of the early days are a distant memory.
Today, Lagon Reunion offers much more :
Creation of the Transparent Paddle Board
First tests of the Translucent Paddle Board
From the creation of Lagon Réunion to the present day, Stand Up Paddling has enjoyed unprecedented popularity throughout the world. It looks like a surfboard, but it’s not. That’s quite an invention.
Julien and Bertrand test this new sliding sport and instantly fall in love with it.
“This paddle board has real potential. »
And they’re not the only ones who think so. The same question from their clients keeps coming up over and over again: “when do you make Transparent Paddle Boards? “Impossible to leave this request unanswered. Even though it’s a real technological challenge, they’re going for it.
Here they are again in their research, their tests. They must develop The Transparent SUP to meet their requirements. Over the last 6 years, no paddle has been able to withstand their crash tests: rigid boards, classic paddle, inflatable SUP, inflatable paddles with a transparent Starboard window… Everything passes!
The creation of the Transparent Stand Up Paddle Board, by Lagon Réunion
The main issue in the development of a translucent SUP is its extreme use. Customers need a robust and reliable product. But that’s not enough to make it a GOOD product. »
The balance of the board must be impeccable. Its buoyancy and manoeuvrability too. As for the pad, it must be positioned to the millimetre. And even if these aspects are combined, one fundamental point remains: design.
With the collaboration of the engineers of their specialist polycarbonate manufacturer and their Surf monitors, they deploy great means to create an aesthetic, easy to handle, durable and fully transparent Stand Up Paddle board.
3D modelling, buoyancy and resistance tests, setting up of processes in the factory… Everything is tested, re-tested, re-tested in the smallest detail.
The very first model finally sees the light at the beginning of March 2020. For Bertrand and Julien, it’s a second feat. And they are proud of it because they trust their product.
A worldwide career now awaits the Crystal SUP ® with hoteliers, nautical bases and school groups.
The Transparent Paddle board : the Crystal SUP ®
Today, if the 2 friends are able to market their translucent Paddle it is at the price of many hours of work, tests, ingenuity and inventiveness (and a taste for challenge).
With their 8 years of experience in the sale of transparent kayaks, they have set up a well-functioning distribution logistics system..
- ✈️ Delivery all over the world
- 📦 Secure packages
- ✅ Guaranteed products
Each Crystal Paddle board comes with its guarantee, and maintenance advices, essential to the longevity of this exceptional product.
The Crystal SUP Team
Passionate about water sports, and in love with the Ocean.
Specialized in International Trade.
Julien will take care of all your orders.
1st operator in the world of Transparent Kayaks, in Reunion Island, and has a great passion for the sea.
Bertrand will be in charge of accompanying professionals and franchisees.
Competitor in Kayak and passionate about board sports, Seb is at the origin of the design of the Crystal Paddle.
Seb will answer all your technical questions.