ASB MAGAZINE: Akewatu is a new surf concept being launched in Australia this month, by industry veteran Rob Cribb. Akewatu aims to create the largest surf catalogue on the internet thanks to a unique certification process, with an insurance policy that covers any damages on all new surfboards and includes the biggest gathering of Australian surf shops and shapers. The Australian platform has already amassed over 2000 new and used boards from a wide range of sellers.


With three years of success in Europe, Akewatu is now the number one search engine for surfboards. Akewatu gathers Australia’s best surf shops and shapers to create the largest surf catalog, in one place, on the Internet. The website offers the community a unique and innovative certification process for used surfboards and a premium shipping system dedicated to all surfboards.


All new surfboards are covered with complete damage insurance 12 months for free.


Akewatu doesn’t own any sellable product, it is an online marketplace for them. Authorized retailers own every product listed on the site. All new boards are sold by the surf shops or brands, all used boards are sold by the surf shops or individuals. Being surfer owned and initiated the aim is to keep those transactions within the surf community and without the need for a third party fulfilment platform.


Akewatu has created a unique certification process for second-hand surfboards. Surf experts validate every product before it passes onto the buyer. Best of all, individual sellers are driven into their local (nearest authorized) surf shop who then confirm the product quality before being freighted.


Akewatu is mindful that all disused boards eventually become landfill and that any board that can be resold, re-used or repurposed is a great thing for our planet. It’s this ethos that has attracted current world tour surfers like Johanne Defay, Justine Dupont, Ramzi Boukhiam and others all choose to list their used quivers through Akewatu.


Akewatu has set up a shipping system dedicated to surfboards using the most environmentally sensitive packaging possible and uses Flexi-Hex when shipping surfboards.  Flexi-Hex is quietly making waves in surfboard delivery in Europe and is now available in 19 countries with over 154,000 sleeves sold, removing the equivalent of 389 Km of bubble wrap, enough to extend from London to Paris. Flexi-Hex recently launched a popular crowdfunding platform to help with its expansion plans, due to overwhelming demand from the surf community.


Rob Cribb is no stranger to readers here at ASBMAG, Rob is a former professional surfer who launched FCS (Fin Control System) into Hawaii/USA back in the early 90’s,  as well as launching SIMA Award winning Xcel wetsuits into the tough Australian marketplace . “I became involved with Akewatu after a trip to France, speaking to several retailers over there. I saw how a bunch of surfers at Akewatu are building a marketplace for surfers, in doing so are growing a strong ‘core based’ community, which is helping surfers of all levels to find the best suited product and improving the economics of all the surf shops and brands also.


The concept immediately struck a chord with Cribb who says Akewatu will take on alternative pure play and social platforms by delivering valuable services like certification of second hand surfboards, secure transportation services and (environmentally friendly) packaging, something he says’ no others do’


“We’ve fine-tuned our concept in Europe for three years so we now have a solid understanding on how to drive the end-consumers to the platform,”


“Plus, we have the largest choice of boards to ship instantly upon order, no waiting of 6-8 weeks from Akewatu”


It’s through these surfer lead initiatives Cribb says Akewatu has become the go-to destination for surfers looking for surfboards in Europe and he has high hopes for Australia.


“We have great community feedback and  support to make the right board choice. Helping the community to sell fast  and easily, which is a valuable service that our members recognise,” added Cribb.


Cribb cites recent customer feedback on as validation the platform works. “An issue of surfers today is knowing where to find the right board without having to go shop to shop, Akewatu help’s customers find what they need and where to locate it. We are the only company capable of doing that which is great customer experience all around,” says Cribb.


“Akewatu respects the relationships between retailers, brands, wholesalers, manufacturers and the end customer, they’re connecting the whole community. This in turn will only grow our culture and our core industry, all the better for everyone….basically a no brainer to get behind it and launch Akewatu in Oz,” concludes Cribb


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