Indiana Paddle & Surf Co.: discovering the Swiss foil brand with the Co-Founder and CEO Maurus Strobel

Do you know Indiana Paddle & Surf Co.? This Swiss brand finds its roots in the world of skateboarding and has gotten along in the whole world of board sports: from SUP to surfing, including foiling in all its forms and now wingfoil. From incredible pumpfoil and dockstart videos in alpine lakes, to the IWSA Wingfoil Racing World Champion Master title of Gunnar Biniasch, team rider and designer at Indiana, you must have already seen Indiana’s boards and foils in action! Over the years, Indiana Paddle & Surf Co. has developed a very wide range of gear for wingfoiling: from beginners to experts, from inflatable to rigid, from entry-level to high-performance… there is something for everyone! And to help you choose, the brand has even developed a Board Finder and a Foil Finder that will create your ideal quiver according to your level and your program. For all those who wish to discover the brand, and those who want to know more about the development of Indiana around the wing, we called on Maurus Strobel, who is the Co-Founder and CEO. He talks to us about his journey, the natural turn of the brand towards wingfoiling, their designers but also the collaboration between Indiana and the Ozone wings.

Maurus Strobel, Co-Founder and CEO of Indiana SUP.

So to begin with, who are you Maurus?

I am Co-Founder and CEO of Indiana Paddle & Surf. A Board- and Watersport enthusiast and dad of 2 little kids. Age 48. Born and living in Zurich. I started skateboarding with 7, snowboarding with 11, windsurfing with 12, then learned surfing and kitesurfing. Had my first SUP experience in Maui in 2008. On the education side I studied physical education and sports management. After a snowboard crash resulted in a broken nose and spine I changed into the event business and did Public Relations. After a few years working for an event agency I founded my own PR Agency. I buried it in 2017 to focus 100% on Indiana Paddle & Surf which was a good decision. In my slalom skateboard carrier I could win 2 World Champion and 4 European Champion Titles.

Maurus Strobel skateboarding

After skateboarding, SUP, surfing… what were the impulses for Indiana to enter the wing market?

During a SUP surf and kite trip in Fuerteventura in 2017 I met foiling pioneer Gunnar Biniasch who taught me kite foiling. It was a lot of fun. It was clear pretty soon that Foiling will be the next big thing and that Indiana will start a foil range with Gunnar as the designer. He had more than 10 years of foil experience and is an expert in foil development. In 2018 we had our first 850 S complete foil on the market and a 5’2 kitefoil board, 4’10 wake foil board and an All In One 7’8 foil boards for SUP and Windsurf Foiling. In 2021 we already offered 10 foilboards dedicated to Wing Foiling, and in 2023 it is 19 in Carbon and 6 inflatables.

Maurus Strobel, Co-Founder and CEO of Indiana SUP.

When did the first Indiana wing boards and foils date from?

It was by coincidence that our SUP Foil boards met pretty good the needs of the wingfoilers back then in 2019. Buoyancy to get up and going straight when cruising were needed for SUP Foiling and Wing Foiling. We offered 87L, 105 and 130 Liter boards with a deep double concave. All these shapes came from Gunnar.

Who is behind the design of the boards, and the foils?

It all started with Gunnar making the foils and Andi Widmann from Constance making the boards. Since 2021 the Foil Development Team consist of Gunnar, Andi and as well German Engineer, Windsurfer and Foiler Jan PĂĽtz. They develop the prototypes and the 3d files and do all the research and testings with their network in Fuerteventura and Lake Constance. Andi has his own CNC machine in Constance to make custom boards and protos. On top we have two product designers and a graphic designer who helps with the designs and the production files for the factories.

In terms of wings, what is the link between Indiana and Ozone?

Back in 2019 Gunnar as an Ozone International team rider connected us with Ozone. We had no clue and no time to develop wings, Ozone had no boards and foils which would make us competition. We found a good deal and could print our Logo on their wings in the factory in Vietnam. It is a good thing to offer Ozone Wings with Indiana Branding to Ambassadors and shops, like this we have a standard as well for content and no competitor brands to combine with our boards and foils.

What is Indiana’s sales model? Direct sale or via surfshop (or both)?

When we started in 2010 to sell our first SUP boards, no shops wanted to take these boards and sell them. We sold only b2c. After 1-2 seasons we were quite successful and some shops started to take them in their range. They accepted from the very beginning that we sell b2c and b2b. For the same retail price logically.

Can you tell us about the Indiana Foil Competence Center?

Foiling is very complex and versatile. It is very important to have many places where customers can learn how to foil and get information and advices about our products. For us an Indiana Foil Competence Center should offer a wide range of Indiana Foil Products and as well offer courses and coaching.

And finally, who are your wingfoil ambassadors?

Blez Rouiller, Vince Duschneit Steeve Fleury, Gunnar Biniasch, Michi Ferchert, Johannes Becher, Markus Schneider, LĂ©onard Berner and Philipp Pfeifer. Still looking for some new, young people with skills and spirit. And Giiiiiirls!

Thank you Maurus for your answers! Stay tuned for more news and interviews on wingfoil at Indiana Paddle Surf & Co., in the meantime, go visit their brand new “Foil Finder” tool to find the ideal Indiana foil for you!

More about Indiana Paddle Surf & Co.:
Facebook / Instagram / Official Website / Youtube

About the Author

Laurie Montagner

From SUP Racing to wing foiling, through windsurfing, wakesurfing and surfing, you will always find Laurie somewhere in the South-West of France. Passionate about watersports, Laurie spends her time surfing, whether on the wave... or online! Laurie is indeed a specialist in social media marketing and web development, from writing lines of code to making professional videos. Very much a competitor, you've probably already met her on one of the SUP and wing events all over France!

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