The good folks at FOAM E-Z have been servicing the Southern California marketplace with board building equipment for 15 years. Brad Nadell is the man behind the machine that is FOAM E-Z and what better time to catch up with the hard-goods retailer than during his month long 15-year Anniversary celebration.
Q: So, 15 years in the surfboard products biz; how did you get started?
Brad Nadell: I started working at Harbour Surfboards doing everything, and eventually ended up spraying boards mostly. Then a friend came to me, he had owned the big glass shop in Westminster; he came to me with the idea of providing professional shapers with foam blanks. In ’93 there was a large amount of shapers in the region and we figured instead of driving to San Clemente for blanks we could provide the HB area with product.
Q: And the store evolved from there.
Brad Nadell: Yeah, I bought out my friend and ran with it from there. I slowly added more and more tools and resources for shapers. As time went on I realized there was a market for the home hobbyist builder, and that led me to bring in more stuff like fin systems, books, and resin and all the necessary requirements for the home builder.
Q: How many blanks have you pushed out the door in the last 15 years?
Brad Nadell: Gosh, I don’t know upwards of over 100K blanks. It fluctuates each year or cycle.
Q: What other stuff is available at FOAM E-Z?
Brad Nadell: Logo paper; safety equipment, respiratory systems, how-to videos. If you want to build a board we have it all, and we’ll help you understand the process. It’s all pretty simple but it can also be intimidating. It doesn’t need to be. We try to put the fun into the equation.
Q: Do you get a newbie customers?
Brad Nadell: We get hobbyists all the time. I try to pound into our sales staff all the time that it’s crucial to welcome the new hobbyist. It can intimidating to walk in and be new to the concepts of board building. Some times our industry doesn’t understand customer service. I make sure our people are helpful and service oriented. It sounds simple but customer service is what makes or breaks businesses.
Q: What types of customers do you get?
Brad Nadell: We get all different levels from your professional shapers to your garage builders, to the hobbyist guy who just loves to build stuff. You know, the father and son types stop by or guys doing senior projects for school. It’s really sort of cool. Everyone loves the idea of surfboards and building your own magic board. The neat thing is, it is totally do-able.
Q: You’ve got a big celebration all month long?
Brad Nadell: We are having a month long sale through the end of May, each week we are spotlighting a different section of the store. On May 31st we’re having a big party and event at the store with tents and product and demos. So everyone should come by.
For more info on FOAM E-Z check out their website – www.foamez.com.