The POP crew is very excited to welcome a new waterman to the team! We’re happy to introduce Mike Ross as the newest brand ambassador for POP Paddleboards. Mike is a surf and SUP enthusiast who can also save your life! His daytime job as a firefighter/paramedic gives him just enough free time to get out on the water with his family and bring the brand of POP all over Florida.
“From the very first conversation I had with Mike, I knew he would be a weapon in the SUP industry,” Nick Lanfranco, POP Paddleboards founder, told us. “He’s a true waterman throwing it down on the Florida coastline. I speak for the entire camp when I say that we are excited to have him carry the POP flag.”
Mike’s journey into paddleboarding didn’t start by choice. Originally, the Ross family had a boat which they sold to move to their beachfront home in Palm Harbor, Florida. “We knew we wanted something right on the water, and we knew we could just get another boat later,” Ross told us. From there, Ross’ wife suggested they pick up a pair of paddleboards so they could still get out on the water without their boat. “I was totally against the idea,” he said. “But eventually, we did get a pair, and I was averaging 3 mile paddles every time I got out there.” He soon looked into races in the area and entered only to win 2nd place in 2 divisions. “I loved it after that, and even though we have another boat now, the paddleboards still go with us.”
Mike currently SUPs with the POP inflatables and enjoys them with his wife, two kids, and Saber, their dog. “We love and stand behind the product. Nick and the team are so easy to get ahold of, personable, and open minded when it comes to ideas and feedback,” Ross told us.
“Mike has given us a lot of great ideas even prior to our alliance. I can only imagine what’s to come now that he’s repping POP across the east coast,” Nick said.
After a surf session, you can likely find Mike at Fireside Pizza, drinking a Wavemaker. His favorite wave was surfed at Lance’s Left, Nicaragua and he once pet a manatee while on his board. When he’s not on the water, he can usually be found reading dystopian novels or watching Stranger Things. We look forward to Mike’s contribution to the POP family and can’t wait to see what the future holds!
“It was a long night,” said POP Paddleboards’ newest addition Jaeger Johnson as he stepped into the POP HQ on a sunny afternoon. POP VP of sales, Joe Sabina, took the Calgary born Canadian out for a night on the town. What did Jaeger have to say about the experience? “I’m still dizzy – need water,” he quipped.
Jaeger is part of the dream team of a selected group to help expand the POP brand across Canada.
Jaeger grew up on a healthy diet of sports. “Yes, I played hockey – but we all don’t play,” he jokes. “I actually was part of a swim team, the speedos were very comfortable.”
Aside from that, Jaeger fell in love with surfing, snowboarding and the action sports culture surrounding it. “The water is definitely my favorite place to be,” he said. “My all time favorite SUP spot is right in my backyard. A five minute walk and I’m there – Calgary is a pretty magical place.”
The introduction came from Nick Lanfranco, POP founder, when Jaeger’s family came to visit California. “I stepped on a board in Laguna Beach and started taking swells to the face the whole time,” Jaeger remembers. “After about an hour of getting my ass kicked, I started to get the hang of it and have been hooked ever since.” Jaeger continues to go back to that day when it comes to explaining what POP is all about.
“Talk about a Made for Making moment,” Jaeger says. “I got out of the water loving the sport and having a new respect for Mother Nature.” Those memories are what Jaeger brings back with him when it comes to the POP brand in Canada. “Why I’m addicted to this industry is the culture,” Jaeger said. “We paddle these spots together, we ride these boards together. It’s that common ground that brings us together.”
Jaeger, who got his start in fitness sales, will be hyper focused in Alberta and Ontario. Nick is more than excited to have the spirit of Jaeger in our brand. “He’s professional, people enjoy his company, and he believes in our brand philosophy,” Nick said.
Jaeger says it’s that idea that makes him proud to be part of the team. “The people behind this brand have a vision for the industry,” he says. “The idea is think big, act local. Let’s do this Canada.”
It’s summertime! That means friends, bonfires, and WATER. The heat isn’t always this exciting. All that black tar, warming up in the sun just doesn’t seem like a good time. But you know what is? Conquering that summer swelter and taking off to the nearest body of water!
POP up and paddle, Beat the Street Heat.
Whether you’re practicing downward dog on the water in Redondo Beach California, fishing on Minnesota’s Lake Nisswa, or cruising through quietly on Sauble Lake in Ontario, cool off and get out on the water.
Beat the Street Heat.
Are we the right brand for you?
Trailblazing your local water front. Each time we paddle out, we know that a new adventure is waiting for us.
POP understands the wants and needs of this culture because we live it. We check the conditions every morning. We’ve felt the sun on our shoulders. We know the excitement of discovering a new spot. We’ve looked out at the horizon, and had our breath taken away time, and time again.
Our founder said it best, “My focus wasn’t to build another SUP company; it was to build a community and to become a brand for purpose not just profit.” – Nick Lanfranco.
This approach is why we are the fastest growing SUP brand.
Yes.. we’re known for our vibrant and retro designs, but it doesn’t stop there. Our best innovators are our loyal customers and we take all of your ideas to heart.
Whether you’re taking the day to relax in the open water, setting foot on your first board, or prepping for the next SUP competition, we want to know how you feel. Our customer feedback is what gives our brand life. We invite you to POPUp and Paddle and reach back out to us!
Check out POP Paddleboards CEO and Founder Nick Lanfranco guest appearance on Business Rockstars.