While working two part-time jobs and skateboarding in his spare time, Northwest Indiana Society of Innovators Finalist and Member Kyle Ayling developed a new grip tape for skateboards called Cloud 9.
The idea of developing a new grip tape came to Ayling while he was skateboarding and the adhesive from the original tape, which is meant to help skaters get a better grip on the board, was peeling and not sustaining quality. Instead of searching for a type of tape that was sufficient for his style, he decided to create his own.
The idea started with the grip tape, but then soon developed into a branding opportunity that Ayling has taken full advantage of today. It has grown so much that reality TV celebrity Kylie Jenner posted photos while wearing a “We Cloud 9 Grippy” T-shirt that Ayling sent her.
Ayling said he is happy to see the business grow and loves to create his own market where he can continue to develop his entrepreneurial career. He hopes to maintain the consistent pace of growth that Cloud 9 has been in the past two years.
In addition to being backed by a celebrity, Cloud 9 products have made it into 51 Zumiez stores nationwide and are available for anyone in the world to order online at Zumiez.com. Zumiez is a leading international retailer for skateboarding, snowboarding and motocross gear and apparel.
To learn more about NWISOI Members such as Kyle Ayling, visit www.NWISOI.org