Business in Boardshorts Podcast
EP13 – Ryan Moore


Release Date: February 17, 2021

Location: San Diego, CA

Guest Name: Ryan Moore

Business Name: The StealthRack

Business Website:

Intro (guest speaking): But I would say one of the biggest things that the West coast did for me is when I came out here, it caused me to dream a lot bigger. It caused me to, to set much more significant goals than I would have if I would have, sort of stayed where I was born and grew up the way that everyone else around me was growing up, and not experience that new environment.

Intro (host speaking): Welcome back and welcome to the Business in Boardshorts Podcast. Today’s guest is Ryan Moore from San Diego, California. He’s had a side hustle or business venture since the age of 11. His latest product is called the Stealth Rack, it is a surf rack for carrying your board inside of your vehicle. Ryan, welcome to the show.

Guest: Great to be here, thanks for having me on.

Host: Yes, you’re welcome. So, let’s start with your back story. You’re based in San Diego right now. Have you lived there your whole life?

Guest: I originally grew up on the East Coast in Baltimore and didn’t even start surfing until, probably the, I guess maybe 17 or 18 is when I first started. Because we don’t really get waves there on the East Coast unless there’s a hurricane in the fall. And we would go out to Assateague Island or Ocean City, Maryland, it was about 3-hour drive, but we would go out every time there was a hurricane and surf the hurricane swell. So, that’s, that’s where it all started and I, I really fell in love with surfing there. I spent, when I graduated from college I spent about a summer in Costa Rica and surfed I don’t know, like four or five days a week. I was teaching English out there and, and that’s where I actually became a decent surfer and, and was like – Okay well, you know I can, I can handle most days -and then, you know. And it would get big there, but I, I basically learned in the school of Hard Knocks there and after that summer I was like – Alright well I, I need to be on the West coast. I don’t know if I can handle only having swell for, you know, a six-week season in the year. So, that’s, that’s how I wound up in California from the East Coast essentially.

Host: Very cool. And what would you say the vibe is like in San Diego or West Coast, versus, where you grew up on the East Coast?

Guest: It’s different. You know there’s strengths about all the different areas of the US. I would say the strength of the East Coast, particularly the northeast, is that even though people might be a little bit more bristly at first, if somebody decides to trust you they’re going to be your friend for life. They’re going to have your back forever. There’s a lot of, a lot of loyalty and, and long-term commitment sort of mentality with people. So, they don’t commit lightly because they know that they are really going to have your back, which is a great, a great thing to have. The West coast is a little bit different. I think people generally are nicer at first glance, you know, people like to be liked and, and like to have friendly interactions. So, there may be a little less direct, you know, but in general people are much easier to get to know. So, it’s definitely a different atmosphere, but I would say one of the biggest things that the West coast did for me is when I came out here, it caused me to dream a lot bigger. It caused me to, to set much more significant goals than I would have if I would have, sort of stayed where I was born and grew up the way that everyone else around me was growing up, and, and not experience that new environment. If that makes sense.

Host: Yeah. What do you think is the catalyst for that? Besides just being somewhere new.

Guest: I can’t say what it is for everyone, but I know for me getting out of my hometown, where, you know, a lot of people stay. There are few people who leave, but it’s not, it’s not the norm. Getting out of there and, and making a big move like that, away from my network and all the resources that I had and things like that, I think it caused me to, to expand what I believed was possible. And, and that of course you know changes a lot of things. And then from there, success kind of breeds success or like, well if I did that, you know, I could probably do this too. And, and it’s just your belief structure starts to change. I think so for me the shift in belief structure made a big difference in my life, and travel has been a big part of my life ever since, you know, I’m part of an organization in Central America and it gets to do some surfing and whatnot there, where the waves are incredible and the water is really, really warm especially, compared to San Diego, you know. I, I try to spend a couple months a year there because getting out of, you know, not just East Coast or West Coast or Central America but getting out of the US and into places. Especially third world countries will, will totally shift your perspective and every time I come back to the US I’m like blown away by how blessed I am about by how great things are and I wouldn’t even notice that stuff if I if I didn’t significantly change my environment from time to time.

Host: I love that there’s so much to be said. Even I had traveled recently just within the country here, but just to change the perspective there, to have new surroundings and I can’t imagine what that’s like. To go to a third world country and then come back it’s even you know got to be 10 full.

Guest: Yeah if I, if there were three things that I would speak out to anybody who wanted to grow in business or, or entrepreneurially. Especially if they’re younger and haven’t traveled, you know, getting out of the US and spending time it’s not just like a week or two, but like a month or two or more. In, in a completely foreign environment is, is one of the top three things that I would say it makes a big difference in someone’s life and in their ability to dream and imagine, and inspire creativity and, and motivate them, and then actually realize how, how much effectiveness we have. You know, just by being born in the US, we have a level of effectiveness in the world that not everybody gets to have. I mean, our language English, like the English language is the language of business around the globe. So, just by nature of speaking English as a first language you, you automatically have a ton of doors open to you that, you know, maybe not everyone else will experience. And you don’t realize how, how, how much leverage and how much ability we have to make a difference in the world. Or to develop things in business, until you go somewhere where you’re like, oh this is very different here, you know. What I have is, is, is not the norm and then you start noticing, you know, stuff that’s in your hand already that is valuable. Because, I think a lot of people, you know, when they’re thinking about starting a new business or, or even when they own an existing business, they forget about what they actually have in their hand already because they’re just used to it.

Host: Your current product here, the Stealth Rack, can you explain more about that and how that works?

Guest: Yeah. So, I originally just started keeping a board in my car all the time when I was here in San Diego. Especially when I first moved here, I would serve like four or five days a week, it was a big part of my life. So, it was always at least one or two boards in my car and because the water is cold here, and I’m a baby about cold water, there was always a wet suit in there. And, you know, the board if you, I would leave the back seat down it would just kind of rattle around or whatever. Then, if I needed to put people in there, or things in there, and the board was always in the way and it was just kind of inconvenient. And even worse if you slide the board up through the middle of the seats and you have a passenger in that, that passenger seat, in the front, it’s hard to communicate with the boards there like a barrier. It’s kind of bouncing around, it’s not safe, and it was like man, there’s got to be, there’s got to be a way of doing this. And obviously I wasn’t going to leave my board on the roof of my car all the time, you know, you can’t just like go into a coffee shop or, or, you know. I had a, a coworking space that I worked out for a long time and I couldn’t just leave my board outside on my car for 8 hours, because, you know, hopefully on the way back home the swell would be nice and the wind would be, you know, down or whatever, you know, just the conditions might be good. So, I want to have a board with me, but I didn’t want to leave it on the roof of the car all day to get baked in the sun and melt the wax off and whoever knows, what, whatever else. So, so I kept it in the car and eventually started, I just, just rigged the system for keeping the board in the car and it was crappy, it was terrible, it was like nothing that anybody would want to look at. I mean it looked like a mess, but I was kind of excited about it. I was like, hell look at this solution. So, I basically scratched my own itch and I just felt led to refine the design and simplify it. And, and it kept on coming up and kept on coming up and you just kept feeling this pull to, to simplify that design and start sharing it with people. So, you know, I, I worked on it and simplified it brought it down to the simplest possible design for carrying a surfboard inside the vehicle and it essentially holds the board on the inside roof of the car, so you can still see out of both driver and passenger mirrors and the rearview mirror, you can have all the passengers in the car, and it’s secure and it’s not going to rattle around. Just the most convenient way of having a board in your car all the time and for me that was the solution I needed. So, I, I thought well you know, maybe there’s other people that need this solution too and as it turns out there are.

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Host: And how long did it take from it being just an idea? To where you’re at right now and having a website to sell it and all that kind of stuff.

Guest: I tinkered with the design and I just had it in my car for, I don’t know, probably 2 years. And then, just felt this prompting that it was time to refine it and make it ready for market. So, that process began last February, we’ve got the website up now. You know, I think probably since it’s a side project, it took us about like four months or so to really get everything refined and have a presence online, and get some photo shoots and, you know, develop our first 200 units of inventory, get the material assemble it and just have it ready to go. So, four or five months I would say from, from where it was just kind of a prototype, to an actual product out there in the world.

Host: And where would you like to see this business two, three years down the line?

Guest: My goal for this particular product is to continue to sell it through E-Commerce. Currently, you know, direct to consumer because I think it’s super fun to be able to manufacture something and then supply that to a consumer. Because normally there’s several steps, right? Normally there’s a manufacturer and the manufacturer sells it to a distributor, and the distributor sells it to the retail, and the retail sells it to the consumer. Well, each of those entities have to make a cut a profitable way, right? Like the manufacturers making profit, the distributors making profit, the, then the retail stores making profit. So, the markup is huge, but if you can go straight from manufacturer to end-user, you can cut all that out and supply something to the user where it’s still worth it to be a business, but it costs like half of what it would if you did it the other way for the end-user. I want to keep that model going as long as possible and ultimately, to paint a picture of the perfect scenario, we would get picked up by one of the major surf accessory brands and sell them the IP, and the manufacturing, and the inventory and those, those types of things. Because, you know, ultimately, I probably won’t continue to have an E-Commerce business for the rest of my life. You know, I have a stack of inventions that, that I will be bringing out to the world for sure as time goes on. I just keep like a running list of that and then this is the second product that I brought to market. But ultimately, I think once we sell a few thousand units we will likely get picked up by, by one of the major surf accessory manufacturers out there because they have massive economies of scale in distribution and manufacturing. So, they can probably even produce it at a lower cost than we can.

Host: What would you say is your favorite thing about owning your own business, entrepreneur, and having all these different ideas and different products that you want to bring to market? What do you enjoy most about that?

Guest: One of the top things that I love about that would be, you know, just the ability to create something that doesn’t exist. You know this thing didn’t exist in the world before the team and I brought it out into the world, and I think that, that is what people are made for. Certainly, there is a category of people that are, that are called and designed and made for working in a 9 to 5 role in someone else’s business, you know, and, and just about everybody will do that for a portion of their life. So, there, there are phases of time and there are individuals who are absolutely made for that and I think that, I think that if, if somebody really enjoys that, then they should absolutely do that. You know, if it’s inspiring to them and they are in a role that they love and they’re working with the company that, that means something to them, I absolutely think that is a very viable and great career path for many people. And then you have people on the other end of the spectrum, who would never survive in an office (laughing), like I’m one of those people. Like, either I wouldn’t survive, or the office wouldn’t survive, but you know there’s not, and it just wouldn’t work (laughing), in some way it wouldn’t work. So, I have very blatantly will not live that life, cannot live that life, it, it just doesn’t work with how I’m made. You know, which in some ways is a strength and in some ways is not a strength, and I think that’s fine too. Like, either ends of the extreme, totally fine. The problem is, I think that the average human, that the middle part of the standard deviation curve, I think that, that is comprised of many, many people that are in a 9 to 5 role that don’t actually want to be. That do it because it’s expected or do it because of financial pressure or, or whatever. You know, just for whatever reason that’s what they’re doing, but it’s not what they want to be doing and I think that’s the only problem. You know, someone is in a role like that and they don’t want to be in a role like that. There’s so much that each person has to contribute to the world and I believe that the world gets moved forward by people being willing to step out and walk in the fullness of what they were made to do, like the completeness of what they were made for, rather than getting stuck in a role that they’re doing because they feel like they have to. And I would say to anybody hears this later on, if you feel like you’re doing what you’re doing because you have to do it, I would question whether that’s reality, you know. What, what would it be like if you let that feeling of “have to” go and started living out what you felt like you were made to do? And in my opinion, that’s what moves the world forward and the opportunity to do that exists for everyone, but deciding that it exists for you is one of the main things that moves someone from that space of being in a “have to” type scenario into a space where they’re like, “I love what I’m, I’m inspired to do this, I feel like I’m, I’m, I’m contributing to the world what I was made to contribute to the world.” It’s the belief that, that opportunity exists. So, one of my favorite things about my role is that I get to share that with people, but I think this was just a silly idea in the back of my head and now it’s reality. And in the several other businesses that I’m involved in and that we’ve got going as a team, you know, proves that on several different levels that, that people can do this and that it is available and that it is possible. So, inspiring other people to walk out the fullness of what they’re made for is, is one of my favorite things about, about the whole thing.

Host: I appreciate the way that you articulated that, because I think there is, some people may think it’s black and white. It’s, you know, I’m an entrepreneur or I’m not, I’m 8 to 5 or I’m not, and it’s really a spectrum. And there could be people that are called one way or the other, but then there’s others, like you said, that they may be in that 8 to 5, but they, they don’t feel totally fulfilled. And they do believe that there’s more there and so it’s really just keep digging in and figure that out. What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

Guest: I’ve received a lot of a really good business advice, so it’s hard to dial it into the best one. But I would say one of the things that has made a big difference for me in a lot of the businesses that I, that I have or have run or, or other people’s businesses that I’m involved in is about solving problems. So many people, you know, try to come up with a thing that they would like to do, but instead if you can flip that on its head and say, “What problem would I like to solve?”, it has you focused on the needs of other people, right. And does the problems exist? That’s the thing, “What would I like to do?” Well, that’s a very hard question to answer. It’s vague, it’s a blank slate like, who knows? It is hard to start with that, but if you look around the world and you, you start to observe the problems that other people have, now you’ve got a spark, now you got something to inspire your creativity, you got something to go with, right? And so, you don’t have to start with a blank slate. You can say, “What problems are people experiencing? Which, which of those problems can I solve? And now, of the ones that I canceled, which of them would I like to solve?” And you make a list of those problems that people are experiencing, that you can solve, that you would like to solve, and then you figure out which one makes the biggest difference in the world. Which, which one would impact the most people, which one is the most valuable to people, and you rank that list accordingly, and then you give it a whirl, you just start, give it a shot, see what happens.

Host: If you had a gigantic billboard that you could put a piece of life advice on, what would it say?

Guest: If I could put three pieces of life advice on it, it would say: get alone and be with God, manage and focus your energy, focus your energy will be the second thing, and the third thing would be get out of your current environment. Those three things that, we talked about travel earlier, getting out of your current environment sparks and inspires creativity, so that’s really important. You can’t just have creativity running amok all over the place though, because then you’re going in a million directions and not getting any particular thing done. So, that second piece of advice, focus your energy, would be the second thing that I think people need to hear. And the first piece of advice, get alone and be with God, is you know, I think the most important thing. In my, my experience, separating spirituality from business is, is a fallacy that a lot of people fall into. So, if someone only gets that first one, a lot of times the other two pieces will fall into place. And that, that fallacy it comes from thinking some of these things are spiritual, some of these things are very bad and terrible, you know. Like three categories essentially: good, terrible, and somewhere in the middle, like a bubble of things. Like marketing and sales, like it’s not necessarily good, it’s not necessarily bad, it’s just kind of neutral. But the reality is, there, there are only two categories, and if we can get rid of this gray space in the middle, and say, “Look there’s other things that are in alignment with what we are designed for. There, there are this category of things that are in line with what we’re made for, that, that, that honor and glorify God, that he’s so excited to see that we’re walking in the fullness of what he made us to do, that God loves about us and what we’re bringing into the world.” And then there’s this category of things that are not in alignment with what we’re designed for, that, there is no middle ground. Because even something in the middle ground that’s neither good nor bad, takes space, takes time and energy away from what would go into what, what is in alignment with what you were made for. So, I think that, I think that realization is important and, and so many people separate spirituality and, and their the core of their design from the work that they do, because they think that there’s a middle category of things and their work somehow fits into the middle category of things. If you can get rid of that, and a lot of times it just comes from the first thing, getting alone and being with God and figuring out what your actual design is, what you are made for.

Host: If my listeners want to check out the Stealth Rack, where can they do so?

Guest: Yeah you can go online to, we just set up a new website, so I think it’s shop, yeah,

Host: Awesome. Thank you very much for coming on.

Guest: Appreciate it. Have a good rest of your day.

Host: You too, thanks.

Overview: Ryan Moore has always loved making things and tinkering with inventions. He has had a side hustle or business of some kind since the age of 12. The StealthRack is the latest product he’s brought to market. It’s a surf rack for inside your vehicle. It keeps your board and crew safe, and goes with you – wherever the waves take you.

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