Cold water – Rugged Proving Grounds
Vancouver Island, Canada. Far from a tropical paradise, our island is the perfect testing ground on which to develop equipment for extreme marine conditions. Storm to hurricane force wind warnings don’t make the local news; the ocean temperature is cold, all year, and; the remote, rocky, log strewn coastline is hammered relentlessly by harsh north Pacific wind and waves.
It’s our playground and we love it this way and it’s these unwelcoming conditions that drive Ocean Rodeo’s innovation. Whether you’re a recreational enthusiast or a professional mariner, you can rest assured that when the conditions slide unexpectedly into the extreme, we will have you covered.
Innovation was a necessity
Ocean Rodeo evolved out of the passions of its founder, Richard Myerscough and his lifelong friend, Ross Harrington. Growing up together, the two witnessed the formative years of windsurfing, cold water surfing, kiteboarding and SUP. Self taught and making the early models of all their equipment in the 70’s and 80’s by necessity, Richard and Ross learned that good enough was never, good enough and bring their creative and innovative outlook to every new project Ocean Rodeo endeavours upon.
Richard Myerscough – Founder
As a pre-teen, Richard competed in both sailing and windsurfing but shifted his focus entirely to windsurfing by the age of 13. The result was several world titles, a Pan Am Games medal and the honour to race for Canada at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea.
Sponsorships and the tradeshows and promotional events that come along with them introduced Richard to the business side of sport and by age 23, retired from competitive windsurfing, Richard began his career in the wetsuit & drysuit industry. First with Scubapro Canada and then, in 1992 co-founding Whites Manufacturing Ltd, resurrecting the iconic Whites diving brand with a new focus on drysuit innovation for sport, commercial marine & survival and military applications. By 2009, Whites was a global leader in dive and military drysuits and, as a result of this success, was acquired by The Aqualung Group in 2010.
Richard founded Ocean Rodeo in 2001 as an offshoot of Whites for the new sport of kiteboarding with an early focus on surface watersport drysuits. Expanding in 2002 to involve Ross Harrington and the introduction of kites, boards and, kite control bars.
Table top jump (1986)
Richard Myerscough at the Olympics (1988)
Still going strong, boosting with the new Stick shift back line trim bar. (2017)
Ross Harrington – Head of Design
Lifelong friend of Richard’s, Ross was also a champion windsurfer in the 70’s and early 80’s and combined that passion with a love for surfing and hang gliding, setting the stage perfectly for his embrace of the new sport of kiteboarding when it emerged in the late 90’s.
Ross first started designing windsurf sails in 1983 as the head of design for the Vancouver based Windsure brand before later founding his own custom sail brand, Venturi Designs in the late 80’s. Decades ahead of his time, Ross pioneered many windsurfing firsts, including the camber inducer and inset boom end and it was from his Venturi loft that Ross designed and manufactured his first kites in 1998.
Ross Harrington showing off his 1998 garage built tarp kite. (2001)
Ross Harrington still dropping in – testing a surf dry concept. (2017)
Harrington gear testing in Tofino, BC, Canada. (2002)
Never happy with the status quo; Richard and Ross continued to work and develop highly refined, performance oriented equipment. Simultaneously designing equipment for those pushing the sport’s boundaries and helping those coming into the sport with an ever evolving lineup of intuitive, easy to use designs.
Early innovative products include: the world’s first flexible kiteboards (2002); the first ever Dacron reinforced kites (2002); Constant curve leading edge kites (2002); the Mako line of deep concave kiteboards (2003); the Go-Joe leashless board recovery tool (2004); and, countless improvements to the drysuits which continue to evolve year-over-year, including improvements to the suit’s entry, comfort, breathability and the revolutionary new Standby Mode (2012). New for 2016, Ocean Rodeo again heralds the dawn of a new era in kiteboarding with the introduction of back line trim control.
Ocean Rodeo Today
While the company has grown significantly from the early days of 2001, it’s commitment to performance, safety and innovation has never wavered. 15 years later, Richard and Ross are still fully immersed in the design and development of all Ocean Rodeo products but are now surrounded by an incredible team of engineers, graphic designers, customer support and logistical staff.
Both our drysuits and kite equipment have evolved tremendously over the years. More recently the comfort and advanced function of our drysuits has led to us to exciting new markets like surfing, SUP, sailing and commercial marine / cold water survival applications.
We design, build, test, redesign, retest, rethink every product to ensure you have the safest, most enjoyable and performance oriented wind and water experience. Thank you for putting your trust in us and enabling us to continue to pursue our passions.