Hi I’m Dylan Henry & this is my story on how I made my dream become a reality. It all started in 2007/08 summer. I was out surfing on my dads 11’ red mal called “the pasha” when I saw Glenn Turner on a homemade paddle board. I then asked for a lend of his paddle where I stood up on the mal and paddled into my first ever sup wave. What a hoot! I was hooked.
Spoke to dad, who was also keen on the idea. We teamed up with Glenno to make our first board. It all started with an old sail board, we chopped down the stringer line, made wider with bits of broken surfboard foam, glasses up and new fins made. This was our first SUP, at that time they were extremely expensive. Then there’s the paddle! Dad and I went through countless broom sticks, we made adjustable ones, wooden ones but the best was when I took mums vacuum cleaner pipe & used that! (Could you imagine the reaction!) We also used old “forever boards” from the house and cut into the shape of a blade.
As I got more into SUP surfing, I would get dad to leave the board on the beach of a Friday for st. Pius school sport. Each Friday I couldn’t wait to be that “weird” guy who surfed with a stick.
In 2010 I met Simon Dodd & Richard FJ who at the time owned C4 Waterman Australia. I got to know the board dimensions and products off by heart. At this time the Newcastle SUP club was created and I competed in my first comp, once again hooked!
In 2011 I had to do work placement for year 12 construction. At the time the foreman asked me, “what do you want to do when you finish school?” I said I want to have a paddle board company. Well that didn’t go down to well...
Also at school, my sport and lifestyle recreation teacher told me -you’ll never make anything of stand up paddle boarding ...
That did hurt but I set out, to not only prove them wrong but to follow my dream.
Not long later Richard asked me the same question. My answer was the same. He then offered me the job of “go to guy” for C4 waterman & a sponsorship. Safe to say I was wrapped. I then got offered a sponsorship with Burton Toyota just before my first real paddle board contest of the NSW State Titles.
Life was looking pretty good!
At the end of 2011 as we were graduating I did my instructor course, received a sporting excellence award from the principal of SFX and was a director of a company before the age of 18 (ofc in my dads name).
2012 kicked off with teaching under the name of CoreFour SUP School in conjunction with C4 waterman, doing sales runs to Sydney to visit dealers etc. in mid 2012 there was a hole in the market of port Stephens. A surf school, a kayak hire but no SUP? this is where we created BAYSUP! Running a shop in d’Albora Marina Nelson Bay along with the school in Newcastle.
In 2013 a few changes took place and I took on BAYSUP as a whole, I was running two locations, lots of driving and filled in for some instructors on the central coast.
I was introduced to the range of ECS Boards. This led to a sponsorship with them.
In 2013 I attended International Surf Expo in Florida USA as a team rider for ECS, learning the ins and outs of the surfing trade world.
I also got the opportunity to attend in 2014 & 2015 along with yearly surf trips to places like the Mentawai's in Indonesia, Philippines and our beautiful east coast.
2016 was a bit of a struggle for me battling mental health and had to let the business go on hold for a bit. I got offered a job in construction to try something a little bit different. I travelled in my 4x4 to Cape York with mates & just had a bit of a rest year.
In 2017 ECS Boards Australia offered me the role of Global brand/team manager with the opportunity to live in America for our winter to grow and promote the brand. It was a pretty awesome experience to go over there driving up and down the east coast setting up new dealers in different states, competing and paddling a bunch of new locations. I was almost at a new demo day each weekend.
Coming home to Australia super excited to share what I learnt there & at surf expo to my clients of Newcastle.
In 2018 the biggest year yet. I helped create and run Australia’s richest SUP event in conjunction with SURFEST bringing competitors from home and abroad. Giving away $23K in prize money through ECS. In April I flew to USA where I competed in my first international staged event. I did the short course (5km) surprised myself with a podium first place finish. Also competed in the Key West Challenge, Florida cup & the Gorge downwind race in Oregon.
In the season of 2018 in the USA alone I drove the entire east coast putting on 6 dealers in 5 new states selling over 50 boards in 5 days. I then departed on a round the USA trip. Driving from Orlando Florida to Portland Oregon in 5-6? days solo. Down the west coast and back again in 3.5 weeks before doing Surf Expo again for my 6th time.
2019 - I made a huge decision to resign from my full time position with ECS & follow my heart. I travelled through Europe in a motorhome with my beautiful partner Sophie, who at that time was back home in Sweden with her family. After travelling and having time away from the “SUP World” I decided to kick off SUP Newcastle again. By doing this, I get to give my customers first class service & advice. Flexible delivery times & get out and enjoy life whilst helping share my passion with others. Oh and I’m still that weird guy who surfs with a stick, but this time there’s a couple of thousand more people who also surf with a stick.