Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Inboard: Behind the Flow – Part 2 (video series)

(Source: Inboard Blog)

September 11, 2018 — Santa Cruz, CA

Meet Patrick: a superstar industrial engineer, professional kiteboarder, and general action sports maniac. Pat “Reb-Stoke” Rebstock perfectly embodies the flow that is Inboard’s heart and soul. We stole Patrick’s lunch break and made him tell us these stories, giving you a peek into one of the most important minds behind the design.

Q: How early did your mechanical interests come to exist? We know you got into action sports at a young age, so did that impact your interest in learning how things worked?

A: Well, I think the first sentence that I spoke when I was little was directed to my Mom: “My break it!”, after thoroughly taking apart a TV remote to see what was inside. My favorite book as a kid was the “The Way Things Work”, a book filled with technical cross sections of machines,  so I think I was always interested in making things, especially working with wood at the workbench, since it was very accessible.

Skateboarding really gave me a way to finance bigger and better woodworking projects, starting with my own halfpipe in my front yard, that later became a business building private skate ramps for friends and through word of mouth. The design of the ramp and the actual construction involved a lot of grunt work, but was so rewarding, especially with the added bonus of having a new ramp to skate.

I was lucky enough at a young age to have my Dad introduce me to kitesurfing, back when it was still a nascent sport. This meant that the gear was still relatively simple and rudimentary, and as I came to live and breathe the sport, I had a very good understanding of what I would want from more advanced gear. I remember tinkering with control bar designs in my closet for hours, making prototypes that I would go out and test the next day. Some of them actually worked alright for being made in a kids closet, but luckily the industry caught up quickly and made some improvements. For my senior project in college, I was able to partner with one of my sponsors to help them develop their new control system. That design is still on the market today, and I think I knew then that designing products that got people stoked would be something I would always want to do.

Q: Where did you go to school and what did you study?

A: I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which is in a laid-back town on California’s central coast. I studied Industrial Technology (with a minor in Packaging), and the ethos of the college was “Learn By Doing”, which fit me perfectly. My favorite class was one where you were assigned a group in the first session, and that group would become your “company”. We would do the market research to find out what to make, do the financing, design the prototypes, and document how to mass manufacture the product. Then actually manufacture, market, and sell the product throughout the semester. That was pretty hands on learning!

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