August 29, 2017
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

The Return of Rogue: Iconic SoCal Brand Set for Major Comeback as Part of Rejuvenated ‘Boardworks’ Team

Fernando Stalla

Fernando Stalla and Bicho Jimenez racing for Team Rogue last year (photo: Reiko Allen)

Rogue, one of stand up paddling’s original super brands, is set to make a serious comeback under the umbrella of a rejuvenated Boardworks team, with the latter using the might of its parent company Confluence Outdoor to re-launch as a major player in the SUP industry.

Both of these brands were household names in the paddling community during the heady days of SUP (circa 2011-2015), however both have also been fairly quiet over the past couple of seasons as the industry in general has plateaued and gone through a sizable shakeup. But with the backing of kayak behemoth Confluence and a revamped management crew led by Rogue founder Rick Karr, the Boardworks/Rogue team are looking to jump straight back into the ring and reclaim their former status.

Rogue was the original trend-setting brand in the SUP world. Their boards were marketed in an edgy way that helped stand up paddling drop its kooky image, and its team featured of some of the sport’s best-known characters such as Fernando Stalla.

So when Karr joined Confluence earlier this year to head up their SUP division, the industry veteran saw an opportunity to revive the Rogue brand in a global licensing agreement with Boardworks (which itself was acquired by Confluence back in 2015).

Moving forward, Rogue will stick to its performance roots and act as the high-end offering, while the Boardworks brand will focus on mass market opportunities in a similar vein to the recent SIC/BIC tie-up.

As the official press release sums it up:

Boardworks is debuting a new visual identity and reimagined board collection strategy for 2018. The new collections tout multiple new board categories, designs and the hotly anticipated debut of the Rogue Performance line. The Rogue collection features performance-driven race, surf and SUP foil designs.

When I spoke with Rick the other day, during his whistle-stop trade show tour to promote the brand re-launch, it would be an understatement to say the Rogue founder was fired up. He’s going all in to see the famous logo back on top, and he’s brought on another industry veteran in Andrew Mencinsky – previously part of the team at SUP the Mag and the Pacific Paddle Games – to help guide the brands forward.

Quoting from the press release: “The opportunity to shape the future of the Boardworks line utilizing Rogue’s performance lineage is something Rick and I are stoked about,” said Mencinsky. “Rogue compliments a completely redesigned Boardworks line and our team is fired up about the launch of the brands and the future.”

Rogue also plans on getting some of the old band back together, including their original star from Mexico.

Fernando Stalla has been sorely missed on the circuit after he followed the same trajectory as Rogue and went quiet over the past couple of seasons, but with the brand seeking to regain its original status as one of the leaders in the surfing and racing world, Fernando will be front and center once again.

Keep an eye out for more news on the Rogue front in the coming days and weeks (including a relaunched and revamped version of our very own Rogue Race Calendar).