Just over a year ago Sykes acquired Charger Surf Craft after deciding to diversify a little outside the sport of rowing. With our core competency in composites and boat building primarily in competitive water sports, we decided to explore the design and manufacture of boats that ‘go forwards’ in parallel with our rowing boats that ‘go backwards’. We found that surf skis, in particular the downwind models, are gaining popularity, growing at rates not dissimilar to cycling some 20+ years ago. We also found that all surf skis are imported.
About Charger Surf Craft
We feel fortunate we had the opportunity to acquire Charger Surf Craft. Charger has always been a small but highly admired brand of surf lifesaving ski’s that have been made in Victoria for over 20 years by Peter ‘Macca’ MacDonald. Macca was an elite paddler in his day and is one of the most practical, down-to-earth people you will ever meet.
In August 2020 we bought Charger from Macca. And then the fun began! Macca has assumed the role of elder statesman for the business, especially working with customers, and we have focused on what we do best – building boats. Despite our extensive experience in composites and rowing, it has taken us a full 12 months to learn what it really takes to be the best in this industry. With Macca’s guidance, passion, knowledge and most importantly, patience, our new team (including a few paddlers themselves) has set about designing and building a new range of surf lifesaving skis – the Charger XP and Charger M6 models.
The results speak for themselves, the new Chargers are proving to be a huge success – most people who have tried the new models have instantly ordered one for themselves and we haven’t yet taken them to the big markets in NSW and QLD!