The Pro-Lite Surfing company was founded by two travel loving surfers, Bill Hapgood and Dave Neilson. These two avid surfers were working for a major US airline travelling the world and discovering new surf spots. The more they travelled with boards in tow the more they realised they needed to protect their surfboards against the rigours of airline travel. The mission to build travel proof surfboard bags began. They chose the name Pro-Lite and in the early 1980s the story began. Bill and Dave started production in Costa Mesa, California and began making a limited line of surfboard travel bags, they were the first company to be making surfboard travel bags in the USA. The word soon got round that the best quality surfboard protection was provided by Pro-Lite boardbags and in a very short period of time word spread and many of the pro surfers on the world tour, then called the ASP tour were travelling with Pro-Lite bags entrusted to look after their competition surfboards.
The heightened profile of the Pro-Lite brand meant a move into other surf accessories and essentials was inevitable, day bags, leashes, surfboard traction and other indispensable items soon followed. The key thread running through all Pro-Lite surf products is the attention to detail and the incredible level of quality. You can tell straight away the products have been designed by people who actually surf, although that sounds ridiculous there are lots of ‘surf’ products out there that simply don’t work, this is not the case with Pro-Lite stuff. The next development with the brand coincides with new ownership in 2005, the innovation bought to the travel board bag market since then has pushed the limits of design and durability to new levels. Pro-Lite as a brand is the recipient of many surf industry awards for its innovation and usability, its these factors which define the brand and keep it at the forefront of the surf world. The Smuggler surfboard bag is one such product, innovation at its best – in an age where airlines want to charge you per board to travel (funny how the don’t charge golfers per gold club!) this bag hides one of your boards from view so that you can fly with three boards and pay for only two. The Pro-Lite range of leashes and tail pads lead the charge in those categories too, with the likes of pro surfers Timmy Reyes, Josh Kerr and Keanu Asing on the team it’s no wonder that Pro-Lite surf products are leading the charge, here at Boardshop we’re stoked to be on the team.