At Glide we love talking about the construction of our SUPs. There is an enormous amount of pride that goes into making every one of our boards, from the planning and design steps, testing stage, hands-on manufacturing processes all the way to shipping them out to our happy customers.
But people do not usually hear about the amazing crew that makes the magic happen. The employees of Glide might possibly be the most hard-working, unique, funny, inspiring, dedicated staff in the industry. Let me introduce Joe Culbertson.
It is difficult to give Joe a title at Glide because he wears so many hats here. Joe has been with Glide since the beginning and he has done everything that there is to do here, shaping, sanding, running the machines, and he designed, painted and laminated my personal favorite surfboard to ever come out of Glide. Joe is like the magic elf that fixes and maintains things all over our factory that many people do not even realize he does. Beyond a reliable hard-worker, Joe is an all-around awesome dude, and I hope this interview does his awesomeness justice.
AJ: How would you describe working at Glide?
JC: It keeps me on my toes- there’s usually something new/interesting going on and it’s a rare week that doesn’t require problem-solving.
AJ: What is your favorite role here at Glide?
JC: Mr. Fixit. There’s nearly no part of the factory that I didn’t help build and/or wire myself, and it’s cool to see this system running and spitting out SUPs at the end. Keeping it all working is engaging (and sometimes exasperating).
Joe running the CNC machine.
AJ: What is your favorite style of paddling and board to ride?
JC: I’d say surf, but being landlocked most of the time means that’s rare. River paddling is a blast but I don’t consider myself a whitewater paddler. That leaves touring on a Quest, which is what I spend more time doing than any other type of paddling. It’s a great board.
AJ: Your vast knowledge of decades of music and bands always amazes me. Who are a few of your all-time favorites?
JC: My knowledge pales compared to all my musician pals- they’re the real reason I know what I know about music. I love live music and honestly enjoy anyone who puts on a good show and is at the top of their game as long as they aren’t too repetitive/generic. I hate favorite lists because I don’t like excluding bands, plus it changes with my mood.
Joe out for a paddle with his son, Adam.
AJ: Who have you been listening to recently?
JC: I have about 6000 songs in my car’s memory, so that usually dictates what I listen to, and it’s got a pretty good mix of genres except Country; Johnny Cash, Roger Miller and Willie Nelson are pretty much it, unless you count cowpunk like Gun Club, Rank and File, Jon Wayne’s “Texas Funeral”, Ween’s country album etc.
Sly and the Family Stone have been in heavy rotation for carpool lately, because kids love the funk. When I see someone in person, new or not, I tend to binge them for a while afterwards. Our local public station, KRCL, is still a great way to stay current, so I tune in to them when “shuffle” isn’t calling the shots.
AJ: How does music affect your life?
JC: Positively ;)
One of Joe's master-piece surfboards.
AJ: Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
JC: We covered concerts already. Camping. I’ve started biking again, and wondered why I ever stopped. Hanging out with my kids is nearly always a fine way to spend time.
AJ: The unavoidable question… What keeps you stoked?
JC: Beating coworkers at warehouse pickleball is a good start to any day…
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*For more information on Glide SUPs, please see: www.glidesup.com
*For more of Joe's awesomeness, please see: https://www.facebook.com/joe.t.culbertson