The 2018 Supconnect Awards are out and SIC Maui walked away with not one, but two of the titles: Brand of the Year and Race Board of the Year. SIC team athletes Seychelle and Jade Howson received runner-up titles for the SUP Woman of the Year and SUP Grom of the Year, respectively.
Merited on a combination of consumer and retailer feedback, the Supconnect awards acknowledge brands, athletes, and gear that offer significant contributions to the SUP community. The 9th annual Supconnect Awards were announced online on August 16.
“In several years running the Supconnect Awards, I’ve never heard retailers raving so enthusiastically about a brand like they did for SIC Maui,” said Supconnect Publisher, Andre Niemeyer. “Some of the most reputable names in SUP retail expressed their deep appreciation for SIC’s efforts to control oversupply, develop youth products, and bolster community outreach through demo fleets and other programs. Feedback was quite in-depth, touching also on back office support, brand management, dealer relations, board design and more. And to be honest, the level of concern for oversupply and youth were far greater than Supconnect had even anticipated. Congratulations to SIC Maui for setting the bar for excellence on so many fronts!”
The Brand of the Year Award targets a company in the industry that has “helped raise the bar in their field, serving as blueprints of excellence for others to follow.” The 2018 round was not the first time the SIC was awarded Brand of the Year; in 2015 the company was honored the same recognition.
“We say that ‘it takes a village’ to make this all work,” said Anthony Scaturro, SIC Global Brand Manager. “We have a great company behind the brand and great staff but we also rely on so many others to help pass along the brand message and aloha. From our sales agents, retailers, Ambassadors, and to our customers who advocate for the brand, our amazing marketing team and creative teams that help to share content of the team, product and spirit of SIC, these are the people and the drivers behind SIC’s notoriety and success and without this ecosystem this would not be possible.”
SIC’s ability to communicate and listen to their supporters’ concerns is what makes the brand so reactive and innovative as a SUP company. It is to this characteristic that they attribute their success.
“This market token of appreciation should really go out to the driving forces behind our SIC brand,” said SIC Master Shaper, Mark Raaphorst. “I might be the one holding the planer and angle grinder, but it is not without the feedback from our tireless paddle crew that we can remain on top of our game. They are doing the daily paddle grind. Mike Eisert and his kid’s youth program, our global team riders, Anthony Scaturro our brand manager, our marketing and distribution team. Mahalo to all.”
The SIC Maui RS out performed Starboard All Star and Infinity Blackfish to earn the 2018 Race Board of the Year.
“The buzz around the SIC Maui RS is clearly on display around industry circles, but after processing feedback from the public, dealers, and industry members, the RS was the undisputed winner for Supconnect Race Board of the Year 2018,” said Niemeyer.
“This is an amazing honor and one that should be shared with many,” said Scaturro. “The process of making a great board like the RS of course is a product of Master Shaper Mark Raaphorst and these designs are influenced heavily by the SIC Team who all provide their input, test in the off season and put these designs to task on the race course.”