#17: Tower Paddle Boards – Growth, Shark Tank, and Mark Cuban

Stephan Aarstol founded Tower Paddle Boards in June of 2010 after picking up the sport early that year in the waves of the La Jolla shores in San Diego, California. Like anyone else whose tried the sport, he’s been hooked ever since. Tower Paddle Boards was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank earlier in Season 3 during 2011.  Stephan arranged a partnership deal with Mark Cuban and I followup with him on how the business has grown since being on the show.

Topics Discussed:


  • PPC in the early 2000s
  • Learning from boom and bust industries
  • Finding a group with similar entrepreneurial mindset and goals
  • Origins and benefits of paddle boarding
  • Pushing SEO into product development
  • Uncovering industries to disrupt with a better value proposition
  • Choosing a market from an SEO-based angle
  • How to determine if a market is too small
  • Long-term customer acquisition – SEO vs PPC
  • How PPC can make you lazy
  • How to get on the Shark Tank
  • How deal negotiation on the Shark Tank works
  • Working with Mark Cuban
  • Benefits of having a strategic investor like Cuban
  • Leveraging SEO to the max within a booming industry
  • Downsides of capital constraints in a growing industry
  • Surfers vs. Paddle-boarders, Snowboarding vs. Skiers
  • Tower Girls
  • Banks are not lending money

Mentions in the Episode:


Episode Length: 56:09


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