From SUPs to Cold Brews: C4 Waterman Founder Todd Bradley Switches Gears to Inflatable Coolers


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You have spent all of your life fully immersed in watersports, and pioneered the SUP craze. How did that lead you to coolers?

Bradley: All of the ideas and innovations I’ve developed throughout my career have occurred from discovering the need through my own experiences in the outdoors, and especially in the ocean. In the case of a rigid inflatable cooler, I was out solo deep-sea fishing one day and had just caught a big one. Because I was by myself, I was having a heck of a time trying to get it in my kill bag, and the sides kept collapsing and folding in. Later that day, when cleaning up and getting all my gear organized, I was struggling moving my large plastic cooler from point A to point B. I thought, there must be a better way. I became fixated on it. Rewind a bit, and I had spent the last 12 years coming up with SUP and water rescue equipment using drop stitch fabric technology. So when I found myself drinking from my air chambered insulated Kleen Canteen a couple days later, it all came together in my head, and I realized the same drop stitch construction could work for coolers. That was when the real fun began, and I went head first into designing, prototyping, patenting, testing, and ultimately presenting the idea to my friend and business mentor. He, also an avid outdoorsman, was instantly hooked on the concept and STASH was officially born.

Why do you think rigid inflatable is such a compelling technology for coolers?

Bradley:It’s pretty simple – I think the greatest benefit of this technology is just the convenience of how this product gives you all of the advantages of a rigid hard cooler, but without the weight and storage challenges they create when you’re not using them.

Which is your favorite model and why?

Bradley:I have two favorite sizes which is why we created two models. I like the C100 for parties and picnics, but I think my favorite is the A225. I store it deflated in my truck, then simply inflate when I pick up ice from the store and transport it to my boat. It’s just so damn easy! Plus it can hold multiple, 100 lb+ fish in it, so I know I’m covered.

In addition to developing STASH, you also train the Special Forces in ocean practices, are a competitive paddler, a dedicated family man, and make it a point to get after it daily on the water. In short, you are a machine. Secret?

Bradley:Honestly, I don’t know what keeps me going at such a clip! I just enjoy life. I love my family and friends immensely, and feel like the minute you stop learning, innovating, sharing, and enjoying athletic endeavors in the outdoors and the ocean, you get old. I have a saying,“Motion is Medicine.” I also know that in many cultures, the ocean has always been seen for its cleansing and health benefits. I experience that firsthand every day.

We hear your new favorite sport is foil boarding. Why does this have you so pumped?
Bradley:It’s funny you bring this up, because I think for everyone I know who has encountered and mastered the sport of hydrofoil boarding, you will see their eyes spin around in their head and it’s all they’ll talk about! The sensation is very free and Zen-like. As humans, we always have been intrigued about flight, even as children watching the birds. In my case, growing up I was fascinated by the seabirds utilizing the ocean waves to create energy and lift. Hydrofoil surfing is as close as you’ll come to flying like a bird. For you skiers and snowboarders, its almost has a sensation of being in bottomless powder snow.

Staff Post
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.


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