They say necessity is the mother of all invention- and we would tend to agree. After spending several years surfing around the globe on crafts of all types, Cullen made the move back to Bermuda see what was next on life’s checklist. While no set directive was in place, one thing was beginning to wear down, and that was his trusty batch of boards.
While studying Earth Science at the University of Santa Cruz, California, Cullen began a relationship with legendary surfboard builder (and co-founder of Santa Cruz Skateboards/NHS) Doug Haut. Doug’s boards were amazing and after several different shapes and designs, a series of surfboards were getting put through the paces mostly around the high quality reefs and points of central California. During visits back home to Bermuda, however, Cullen realized that the Haut shapes, which excelled in Santa Cruz’s consistently large and drawn-out wavescapes, failed to perform to the same degree in Bermuda’s sometimes challenging waters.
So where does a guy turn when there are no resources available to fill such an important void in equipment supply? Well sometimes you just gotta take matters (or planers) into your own hands. So an order was placed for some raw materials, and his parents reluctantly - but graciously- allowed for the use of their garage to shape/glass/and sand a new stick. The first board took about 2 weeks of on-and-off labour, mistakes and corrections, but it actually came out pretty good. The shape was a 6’0” x 19” x 2 1/4”, with a pronounced hip, glass-on fins and generally relaxed rocker- all elements thought to allow for boards to excel in the local beach and reefbreaks..... And how did it ride? Well, nothing’s gonna be perfect right off the bat, but it actually went really well and the integrity of the build was better than expected for a first timer!. So after another order of materials; and then another... and another.... the boards started getting more refined and polished to the point in which, during testing trips in California, Hawaii and Fiji, the orders started to come in.
It was at that point, in early 2009, that Cullen decided to leave his position at the Bermuda Weather Service and focus on board-building full time. But, what will be the name of this new venture? Well, it had to be: Isolated.
Besides the obvious element of Bermuda’s geographical isolation, the focus of the word Isolated was not to be confused with being alone, or separate; but rather, it is about the determined and acute focus that one must have in order to reach full potential. Surfing is hard, and building surfboards (and doing it well, at least!) is even harder! But with an extreme attention to the details of the production process, and an endless reminder to remain humble through positive patches of product development, the realization emerges that “if i keep practicing, I will undoubtedly get better.”
There’s no limit to what a person can achieve if they are determined to continue to grow. Isolated is about the unwillingness to admit defeat when faced with failure, adversity or challenge. It’s battling a stair set for hours, bloody and bruised until you can stomp bolts; It’s pushing over the ledge on the biggest day of the year despite your mind’s auto-response to pull back; it’s about finding the best version of yourself when it seems the world is pushing against you, and push back.
Never alone, Forever Isolated.