Founder of Rheopaipo Bodyboards passes away

February 5, 2020 | Bodyboarding
Rheopaipo Bodyboards: a unique bodyboarding company founded by John Holmes | Photo: @dolphinchild_

John Holmes, the founder of Rehopaipo, has passed away.

Holmes created Paipo Bodyboards in the early 1990s, after witnessing the explosive expansion of bodyboarding throughout the world.

Before starting his own bodyboard brand, the Central Coast businessman owned a sports store in Terrigal, New South Wales.

Holmes saw Morey Boogie's iconic Mach 7 take over the market, became the Australian distribution manager for BZ, and then decided to put his ideas into action.

The Australian entrepreneur was quick to get the stars of the sport into his team.

PJ Hyland, a Maroubra bodyboarder magnifico who dominated the national scene in the late 1980s, and Dave Appleby, Narrabeen's most famous rider, were the first athletes to join Holmes' brand.

However, due to copyright issues, John Holmes was later forced to change the name of the company to Rheopaipo. The word "rheo" comes from the Greek expression "rhéos," meaning flowing stream.

Rheopaipo Bodyboards: Ben Holland was one of the stars of the company

An Active Bodyboarding Promoter

John Holmes was also an active event organizer and helped many local riders rise to the top, including Michael "Eppo" Eppelstun, Ben Holland, and Damian King.

The Central Coast bodyboard manufacturer closed down after more than 15 years of service, inspiring young generations with high-quality products.

Despite operating in a highly competitive market, Holmes was one of the few bodyboard shapers who chose not to shift the assembly line to low labor cost countries like China, Malaysia, or Indonesia.

In recent years, the Rheopaipo mastermind had been struggling with health and financial issues.

Today, owners of Rheopaipo boards still praise the quality of the Australian boogie board.

John Holmes will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on. His brand entered the shortlist of iconic, vintage bodyboard companies.

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