You wouldn’t go surfing if a great white shark was spotted at your favorite surf spot, so why go surfing if other dangerous conditions are predicted?
Since 1985, Surfline has been providing surfers and beachgoers insights about ocean conditions, so they know how the ocean will behave during their visit. Now, the company is ready to start a new chapter with a change in leadership and injection of new capital.
On Tuesday, Surfline\Wavetrak — the parent company behind Surfline — announced the appointment of Kyle Laughlin as its new CEO. In addition, the company received $30 million from investment firm TCG.
Laughlin has a long track record of working as a tech executive. Previously, he led a hardware and software team at Amazon. Before that, he worked as a senior vice president at The Walt Disney Company overseeing mobile apps, connected hardware and games. He has also held leadership roles at several other tech companies.
Laughlin will replace Surfline’s previous CEO Jeff Berg, who has been with the company for 20 years. Berg will stay on with the company as its executive chairman.
“Our commitment to connecting surfers with their passion has fueled the growth of our business over the past 35 years, and today’s announcement is an important step in strengthening that promise,” Berg said in a statement. “Kyle brings leadership experience gained at the most successful companies in the world coupled with a true passion for surf and the ocean. I’m confident that he is the right person to drive the next phase of Surfline’s growth and evolution.”
Laughlin’s tech background will help Surfline as the company relies more on tech to deliver its product. A lot has changed in the world of ocean tracking since 1985, and in Surfline’s 35 years of existence it has incorporated tech like wave modeling and data science, machine learning capabilities and livestreaming from over 700 HD cameras around the world.
Surfline\Wavetrak is also the parent company of several other ocean tracking sites and apps, including Magicseaweed, Coastalwatch, Buoyweather and FishTrack. The company is headquartered in Huntington Beach, with offices in North Carolina, the United Kingdom and Australia.