The news just crossed the wire that Kubus Sports acquired the Naish brand and its underlying companies, or in other words looks like Robby Naish is retiring from running his brand. The sale of his Maui based Nalu Kai Inc. and its subsidiary the US distribution Pacific Board Sports came somewhat as a surprise.
Naish and Kubus Sports have a long and respectful history of more than 20 years, whereby Kubus Sports has acted as a value-added distribution partner for Naish’ water sports equipment products in Europe. The sale of Naish to Kubus Sports takes the cooperation to a new level and will boost further growth and investment in the well-known and pioneering water sports equipment brand. Naish and Kubus Sports will integrate their organizations with the aim to further strengthen the product development, product portfolio, sales and operations.Robby Naish will continue to drive product innovation and will stay on as brand ambassador. Naish’ Hawaiian headquarter will remain the core of the R&D program and heritage of the brand for future marketing. Naish’ sales organization on the US mainland will be further strengthened.
Kubus Sports, founded in 1970 and headquartered in the Netherlands, is an owner and value-added distribution platform for premium quality sports equipment brands, covering various niche sports markets, including STX, Prolimit, Storm, Ohana, Brabo Hockey, Brabo Padel, STX Snow, Atom and Princess Hockey. The company’s all-season product and brand portfolio is focused on fun & water sports (SUP, kiteboarding, windsurfing, wing surfing, foiling, sailing and wakeboarding), field hockey & paddle and winter sports markets.
Robby Naish comments: “My parents started Naish Hawaii in our Kailua garage in 1979, making and selling custom windsurfing boards that were ridden and cherished all over the world. I expanded the reach of the Naish brand in the mid ‘90’s with the launch of Naish Sails Hawaii windsurfing sails. A quarter century later the Naish brand has grown into a complete board riding company with a full range of products for windsurfing, kitesurfing, Stand Up Paddling, foil surfing, and wing foiling.
The driving force behind the Naish business has always been a love for these sports and an undying passion for riding the wind and waves. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. But I’ve also come to realize that I have taken the business as far as my passion, knowledge and knowhow will allow. For the Naish brand to meet its full potential requires new direction, new structure, and new energy. This partnership with Kubus Sports will provide that, as well as the resources and infrastructure needed to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing business landscape. I am excited to see Kubus Sports push the Naish brand to the next level. I’m also excited to slow my life down a bit. This acquisition frees me up from the day-to-day operations and stresses and will allow me to re-focus on why I started doing this in the first place: getting out on the water… riding, for the pure fun and enjoyment of it. I look forward to sailing into the future with Kubus Sports and the Naish brand, and continuing to share my passion for water, wind, and waves with people around the globe.”
Alex Cretier, CEO at Kubus Sports, complements: “We at Kubus Sports are extremely excited about this opportunity for both companies. We will further strengthen the distribution and portfolio of the Naish brand. The acquisition at the same time puts us in a position to grow our presence in all main markets around the world. The Naish brand is unique, based on Hawaii and is bearing the name of the living legend in all water disciplines. When you want to identify yourself with one of our water sports, there is one brand that exudes love for the sport and that is Naish. Together with Robby, we continue to work on building our brand.”“We would like to thank Robby Naish for his confidence in Kubus Sports and we are looking forward to our future endeavors.”
We at the Stand Up Magazin are looking forward to continue to follow the Naish story. We had an elaborate interview with Robby in 2020 (here is the link but only in German). We remember Naish being one of the first brands to invest into the SUP sport with a big SUP Team, sponsoring the Gorge SUP Race and the famous Naish paddle Race on Maui that went on for years. Over the years however the involvement of Naish in SUP started to dwindle and to this day the last SUP Athlete for Naish was/is Casper Steinfath.
We hope under the new ownership we will see the Naish brand reinvigorated in the SUP sport.