The Very Beginning
Richard Myerscough and Ross Harrington always hated the idea of anything “traditional” when it came to water sports and, in Ross’s case, flying.
Ross flew his first homemade hang glider at age 10. On a glider made from tarp and bamboo he successfully descended the 8th hole of the local golf course. Richard produced his first wetsuit at the same age by laying flat on a table with his mother tracing his outline out of 2 sheets of rubber.
Even at this early age a myriad of homemade surf and windsurf boards, sails and suits were developed thanks to their spirit of innovation and passion for the ocean.
In the 1970s came the explosive popularity of windsurfing. Ross pioneered windsurfing on Vancouver Island, which he then taught to Richard in 1977. Ross went on to win numerous Canadian and US titles and designed and developed windsurf sails during the sport’s hey-days of the 1980s.
Richard represented Canada at the 1988 Olympics in Windsurfing and won numerous national, European and world titles along the way. After competition, Richard went immediately into business, manufacturing and designing drysuits and wetsuits for all types of water sports.
This business, which is still going strong today, is a partner with Ocean Rodeo in the development and manufacturing of the drysuits.
Ross and Richard were caught by the kite bug in the late 1990s. Ross made his first kite in 1998 and Richard produced the first Pyro Drysuit soon thereafter.
With the mix of skill and experience to launch a brand, and the intensity and passion that comes from lives spent in the wind and water, Ocean Rodeo was officially born in 2001.
“For us, the ocean was much more than a mystery — it was an opportunity. And riding that opportunity is how we got to where we are today.”
Based on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, Ocean Rodeo is a technical marine equipment company with an unrelenting commitment to innovation, performance, quality and safety.
While far from a tropical paradise, Vancouver Island is its own intense utopia. Strong winds lash the often rocky, log strewn coastline that is perfectly aligned to accept some of the north Pacific’s harshest winter wind and swell. In the summer, the mountain sided fjords and deep valley lakes come to life with daily thermal winds.
It’s in this playground environment that Ocean Rodeo finds its inspiration and develops its technical marine apparel and kiteboarding equipment.
Founded in 2001 by Richard Myerscough as an offshoot from Whites Drysuits the former Olympic windsurfer’s first product for the new company was a kiteboard specific drysuit, the Pyro.
The kites followed shortly thereafter with legendary windsurf sail and kite designer Ross Harrington coming on board. A lifelong friend of Richard’s, Ross was (and remains) light years ahead in kite design.
Ross and Richard continued their experimentation with new kiteboarding designs and drysuits into the harsh fall and winter months on Vancouver Island. Within one year, the Pyro had become the world’s de facto kiteboarding drysuit and their push activated kite bar safety system had won them worldwide acclaim, setting Ocean Rodeo upon a path it continues to follow today.
Never happy with the status quo, Richard and Ross continued to work to develop highly refined, performance oriented equipment. Simultaneously designing equipment for those pushing the sport’s boundaries and helping those coming into the sport with an ever evolving line up of intuitive, easy to use designs. Early innovative products include the now universally adopted manual push away and bar activated trim-loop release (2002); the world’s first flexible kiteboards (2002); the first ever Dacron reinforced kites (2002); Constant curve leading edge kites (2002); the Mako line of deep concave kiteboards (2003); the Go-Joe leashless board recovery tool (2004); and, countless improvements to the drysuits which continue to evolve year-over-year, including improvements to the suit’s entry, comfort, breathability and the revolutionary new Standby Mode (2012). New for 2016, Ocean Rodeo again heralds the dawn of a new era in kiteboarding with the introduction of back line trim control, an innovation as likely to change the sport as the introduction of push away safety releases did in 2002.
In 2010 a big change was in the wind for Ocean Rodeo as the parent company Whites Drysuits was sold to the Aqualung Group, a division of Air Liquide.
Ocean Rodeo was reborn as a standalone entity in 2010, with new investors and a new board now consisting of Richard Myerscough, Pete Berrang, Harry Weiler and John Zimmerman.
“The key to success in kiteboarding is to know what the risks are, and to manage them wisely. It is the same with business.”
Ocean Rodeo Today
While the company has grown significantly from the early days of 2001, it’s commitment to performance, safety and innovation has never wavered. 15 years later, Richard and Ross are still fully immersed in the design and development of all Ocean Rodeo products but are surrounded by an incredible team of engineers, graphic designers, customer support and logistical staff.
Heavy storms continue to lash the coastline and when the sun shines it reminds us again that the proving grounds for Ocean Rodeo are some of the most incredible in the world. It’s an environment not to be taken lightly but which begs to be explored and Ocean Rodeo take pride in seeing an ever expanding worldwide community of users join our closest friends and family in trusting us to keep them safe while performing at the highest possible level when they take on the elements.
Ocean Rodeo design, build, test, redesign, retest, rethink every product to ensure you have the safest, most enjoyable and performance oriented wind and water experience.
Thank-you for putting your trust in Ocean Rodeo and enabling us to continue to pursue our passions.