Unique Florida-inspired iSUP and open water swim brand launches in Tampa Bay, Florida
December 16, 2020
(TAMPA, DECEMBER 16) — For many entrepreneurs, a new business idea usually comes from sensing a need and finding a way to meet it. For retired professional triathlete Rich Allen, it was something in the water — literally.
“Although I’m not originally from Florida, I have been coming here three or four times a year for 25 years,” Allen said. “Florida means everything to me. St. Anthony’s Triathlon was my first professional race. I met my wife Tonya here, we got married here and many of my closest friends live in St. Pete— we love the outdoor Florida lifestyle. It’s a very unique and diverse place.”
It was that very outdoor Florida lifestyle that inspired Allen to launch his own open-water swimming and inflatable paddle board brand, Stingray. The brand is named after the majestic sea creature that has become synonymous with Allen’s adopted hometown of Tampa Bay.
An avid paddle boarder and open water swimmer, Allen noticed something unique about the hundreds of stingrays that migrate across Tampa Bay that set his mind ablaze. Could this beautiful creature’s effortless balance and glide be translated to the human form through a wetsuit?
Following months of design and testing by both novice and professional swimmers, Allen’s Stingray brand produced its first product, the Stinger 2.0 wetsuit for both men and women. The wetsuit, which features a unique Stingray chest panel, also features Yamamoto neoprene, titanium glide skin coating and Air Tech air pocket technology. Next came the inflatable paddle boards with exceptional double layer fusion technology.
While Stingray produces professional grade products for both the open-water swimmer and paddle board enthusiast, the brand prides itself on its affordability. The Stinger 2.0 wetsuit is priced at $399 and their Fusion-Tech iSUP just $649, a fraction of the price of other high-quality brands.
“Looking at what’s out there for consumers, I really wanted to disrupt the market and offer the best products at a more affordable price,” Allen said. “The timing was right with my experience as a professional athlete and experience in warehouse distribution and marketing all coming together at once.”
Allen wasn’t the only athlete involved in testing and developing products for Stingray. The brand has partnered with three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Brooke Bennett to launch her own signature brand of goggles and other gear. “We are extremely excited to partner with Brooke,” Allen said of the Olympian. “She brings exceptional experience to the table and has a passion and positive attitude that encompasses the Stingray mission.” Bennett, a native of Florida, now a world class open water swimmer and mother of two, won the gold during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta in the 800-meter freestyle race. Bennett added to her gold tally during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, taking home the top prize in the 400 and 800-meter freestyle races, with the latter coming in Olympic record time. “With the Brook Bennett goggles, we wanted to combine a fast pool racing goggle with the comfortable features and UV protection perfect for long open water swims,” Allen explained. “The Brooke Bennett Collection goggles deliver this.”
Stingray isn’t just about enjoying the water, but also about giving back. In addition to staff efforts each year cleaning Tampa Bay beaches and waterways, it also gives back through an initiative called “The Ocean’s Heartbeat,” Stingray donates 10 percent of its profits to help support marine life conservation. To learn more about the initiative please visit https://www.project-stingray.com/pages/the-oceans-heartbeat.
Stingray is a Florida inspired open water swimming and inflatable paddle board brand that’s deeply connected to the ocean and its conservation. We offer professional-grade, high performance and superior quality products at an affordable price. Its founder, Rich Allen, is an avid paddle boarder, open water swimmer, and retired Pro Triathlete. To learn more about Stingray products and its conservation efforts, visit https://www.project-stingray.com.
To schedule an interview with Rich Allen or to learn more about Stingray and its products, please contact Megan Constantino at [email protected]
For retailer enquiries please contact [email protected]