Stephan Aarstol, founder of Tower Paddle Boards, sits down with Green.org to share his journey from paddleboard CEO to building a sustainable e-bike business.
Let’s get to know Stephan.
Aarstol founded Tower Paddle Boards in 2010. Aarstol pitched his business on Shark Tank in 2011. Mark Cuban made an offer and invested $150,000 for a 30% stake in Aarstol’s company. In 2013 and 2018, Aarstol was featured as one of Shark Tank’s biggest winners by People Magazine. In addition to selling beach products, such as sunglasses, snorkels and surfboards, Aarstol is also the Editor-in-Chief of Tower Life Magazine, a biweekly publication that discusses beach lifestyle.
His company, was ranked San Diego’s number one fastest growing private company in 2014. Jeff Bezos’ 2015 annual letter to stockholders singles out Aarstol and his company. Aarstol was featured on ABC’s Beyond the Tank in January 2016.
In November 2016, Harvard Business School professor Thales S. Teixeira published a case, study on Aarstol and Tower Paddle Boards titled “Selling on Amazon at Tower Paddle Boards”. Aarstol has given several talks, at Harvard Business School on the topics of e-commerce and Amazon’s role since its publication.
Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I am an American internet entrepreneur and author of the book The Five Hour Workday.
What is a fun fact about you?
I’m infamously known for giving the worst pitch in the history of Shark Tank that still managed to land a deal.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Because the clock is clearly ticking.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
We’re in paddle boards and electric bikes. Both are low footprint activities, but I see the proliferation of electric bikes as a transformative industry replacing cars for many transportation needs.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Buy an eBike and use it instead of a car whenever is convenient. All the car trips averted across entire populations can really add up.