Meet the Co-founder of Paddleboarding and Spa Business Wave
The popularity of paddleboarding and outdoor wellness has risen significantly over the last few years. We chat with Tom Jeffery to find out why he started his business
Since founding the business in 2019, Wave have focused on developing their range of hot tub spas and now have a new product hitting the market. ‘We have introduced a product which we feel is going to be a game changer and it sits between the entry-level inflatable hot tub and the rigid spas,’ Tom says. Constructed with a rigid foam core, the spas target eco-conscious hot tub-lovers – retaining heat and reducing overall energy use. ‘They turn up in a box and you can put them away in the winter when you don’t want them in your garden, but they also have all the benefits of the rigid spas. The price point is also more attractive and from an efficiency point of view they are about 50 percent more thermally efficient than inflatable hot tubs. We can do them in square shapes which many people struggle to find for an inflatable, and with everyone’s gardens getting smaller nowadays, it’s a game changing product,’ says Tom. ‘We’ve spent the last two years designing them and they are currently selling in America and they will be live in the UK in the next couple of months.’
During the pandemic, Wave saw a significant increase in demand for their products as people spent more time at home. Tom and his team also saw an opportunity to expand their range, and as an active watersport enthusiast himself, paddleboards were the way forward. ‘I love paddleboarding, so it made sense,’ he says. ‘We were very fortunate in that the industry was very young at the time and paddleboarding was very much on the up. I think everyone post-Covid seemed to have a need to get outside and boost their mental health and wellbeing – and paddleboarding is the dream watersport for someone who wants to get themselves out there but not push themselves too much.’
Alongside their paddleboard range Wave have partnered with ReSea Project, joining their mission to remove the plastic waste that damages our rivers and oceans. The project aims to remove 10 million kilograms of plastic waste from the ocean and rivers by 2025, and Wave are proud to be supporting them. ‘It’s not just a box tick thing, I’m an avid watersports person and being in the watersports world I want the beaches to be as clean as possible,’ Tom says.
‘We build the paddleboards around not only price but around functionality. We have entry-level products so those looking to start can get out on the water without it costing a fortune. However, if you want a product to go smashing through the sea and it to be super wide and super stable, there are more high-end pro versions.
‘We also look at what the market needs and where our competitors are making it complicated, and create a clear and concise collection of products which look pretty as well. We are really excited about a whole new generation of products which are coming through where we have taken everything we’ve learned from the last couple of years, in terms of colours and customer feedback, and our new head of product development wants to bring in a new softer, more female and trend-setting side to the business which I find really cool. This will mean we should be able to cater for an even greater audience for 2024.’
When the paddleboarding craze first started many people had the misconception that they could only be enjoyed on sunny days when the water is flat and calm, however Wave understand that those conditions are rare in the North East. Their products therefore need to withstand the Whitley Bay winds and North Sea waves, and they ensure all their boards are put through their paces right here in the region. ‘They are definitely tried and tested and I like to be the first person on any sample, because that’s one of the joys of the job,’ Tom jokes. ‘We do put them in the real world and we work with very good suppliers who manufacture them. Testing them in the North East is what we’re all about,’ he adds.
Since the pandemic it seems we are more focused on our wellbeing, and a lot of the time this means getting out in the great outdoors. Thanks to Wave, people are able to enjoy adventures here in the North East, as well as relaxing in their garden. ‘Both the spas and the paddleboards make people happy and really enhance people’s wellbeing,’ says Tom.
Tom explains that Wave have a vision of where they hope their journey will take them. ‘We’re very clear in the direction we want to go and we think we have something very special with the spas with the new sustainability and eco products – it’s really exciting. Looking ahead we want to become industry leaders, and there are enough people out there who want paddleboards and spas to enable this North East business to become a real international success.’