Nestled between the impeccable mountains and famous beaches lies the beautiful southern California. With its sunny, year-round summer climate and abundance of outdoor activities, southern California, or “So-Cal” as the locals call it – California easily has it all. Among the many activities So-Cal residents enjoy, water sports have increasingly become an integral part of So-Cal culture. In 1970, Art Center design school graduate Pete Brock fell in love with hang-gliding, an extreme aerial action sport. During Brock’s adventurous days soaring over the world, he started Ultralite Products.
Ultralite Products offered not only hang-gliding, but ventured into making parasailing, windsurfing equipment as well. Brock designed the “UP” arrow, a simple, straightforward logo that captured the essence of such dangerous, adrenaline-ridden sports.
In 1976, Japanese investor Yusuke Yamazaki brought this rush to the Asian market. He partnered with George Follman, who in October 1975 became the first man to do the aerial loop in a hang-glider, and formed UP Sports, inc. headquartered where it all began – southern California. Follman ran the hang-gliding park for Jim Robinson at Robinson Ranch, where he gained his recognition. In the spring of 1976 Follman won the Dry Run World Open, a hang-gliding event at Escape Country Park, which caught the attention of Yamazaki, who invited Follman to Japan, where George introduced the UP hang-glider and helped Yusuke Yamazaki start UP Sports Japan. For the succeeding six years, Follman was the national hang-gliding coach for the Japanese team. In 1982 Follman and Yamazaki returned to southern California and started the first retail outlet for UP Sports on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach, where they continued to create pioneering hang-gliding and windsurfing sail technology.
A few years later, Bic Sport, a subsidiary of the Bic pen corporation, licensed UP for its windsurfing sails, which garnered UP international recognition as one of the top windsurfing brands in the world. UP Sports Sails broke the world speed record and became the first company whose line achieved speeds of over 40 mph.
UP Sports has since developed stand up paddle boards , surfboards, travel gear, sportswear and accessories. UP is also known for its innovative sit-on-top line of kayaks, and accessories. Now becoming a more well rounded sports company, UP has added diving, spearfishing and accessories to its line-up.
UP Sports has been providing its valued customers with quality service for the past 40 years. UP’s reputation is built on “the importance of supplying the highest quality gear with both the best service, and price.”
The UP Sports headquarters office and flagship store is located on Pacific Coast Highway adjacent to Interstate 5 freeway in Oceanside, CA.