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Ups And Downs

Did you miss how we found our professional help? Rewind and read about our Engineers and Manufacturers

I filed a provisional patent application on July 28, 2005 after I had a pretty good idea and working model. Lots of research and writing claims and summaries finally led me to filing the utility patent a year later on July 26, 2006. The official US patent number 7,357,767 arrived in the mail on April 15, 2008 and Si Boards was officially in the database!

Our first board was 45" long and we realized it may be too big and extreme for smaller riders. Along came the smaller 36" and 27" boards. All boards were Original models with a steel rail system, urethane rail blocks and urethane balls.

I stopped working at the Santa Margarita Catholic HS in the summer of 2007 and put all my energy in Si-Boards. At this time the economy was heading into the recession and we decided to create the economical Starter version of our boards. We also popped out with the Ultimate Fitness board, the Resistance Band System and our Creator Kits. Ryan engineered the urethane rails, test rode everything and helped with the tape dispenser when needed.

We started sales and attended trade show events in the summer of 2007. Setting up booths at the ASR, Huntington Beach Games, NATA, APTA and IDEA conventions. We had packed booths with people wanting to try our boards. Sales were pretty good including a big order to Japan and things were looking great for launching a new product.

In 2008 it was apparent the US economic recession was hitting us all hard. People saved money for gas and food and didn't have extra cash for balance boards. We had limited US sales but still managed international orders. At one point I thought I would change our slogan to "Si Boards, popular everywhere but the US".

One day everything came to a grinding halt. We arrived at the Huntington Beach warehouse, where we subleased space. A 15 day lock out notice was posted on the door due to unpaid back rent for about $60,000. Despite our rent checks being cashed, we had no knowledge of any rent issues and we got caught in the middle.

We had 15 days to pack up and remove our inventory and tools before they became the possession of the building owner. Thankfully he was a nice guy and let us move out when we could. We quickly found a big storage unit. Ryan, some friends and local guys picked everything up and shoved it into storage in one day.

At this time Sandy had battled breast cancer for a year and was one week post double mastectomy. She also had a whole year ahead for reconstructive surgeries. I had to return to part time work and became a morning Code Pink Boot Camp instructor and sports performance instructor at Compete Sports Performance and Rehab. In 2008 I started traveling with the US Soccer Federation as an athletic trainer.

Si-Boards, LLC lost momentum. I felt defeated and honestly I did not know what to do with everything in storage. I was unable to afford rent at a new location. I shipped out inventory and made batches of small orders when I could. I worked many part time jobs and put Si-Boards on hold for a few years.

Find out how I picked up the pieces...