Richard Alleshouse and Pacific Surf Design Riding a Wave of Success

Richard Alleshouse

Pacific Surf Designs, a company co-founded by Rady School alum Richard Alleshouse (MBA ’12), is riding a wave of success – literally – just two short years after it started. Pacific Surf Designs engineers and manufactures surf simulators and recently installed the largest surf simulator in the world, dubbed the Supertube, at a waterpark in France.

Even more impressive is the company’s rapid growth and increasing market share. Alleshouse, who previously worked in the surf simulator industry, wanted to start an entrepreneurial venture after getting his MBA at the Rady School. The market for surf simulators, which are waves recreated by projecting a very thin sheet of water over a particular wave shape, is growing. Surf simulators can be found in water parks, cruise ships, hotels, private residences and entertainment venues. Alleshouse realized that there was a great opportunity within the industry to produce better quality products and compete with the industry leader, which had 99 percent of the market share. He launched Pacific Surf Designs in late 2012 with the aim of creating an innovative, high-quality product.

“Within two years we went from being a startup to having probably the best licensing in the industry as well as building the largest sheet wave in the industry,” said Alleshouse. “We’ve also had one patent granted with two more pending, and more coming. That will essentially give us the whole next generation of designs and excitement for this industry.”

The success of Pacific Surf Design is also a product of Alleshouse’s unique skill set. He has an engineering background and an MBA, which gave him the confidence to start his own business and take on the industry leader.

“Being in the Rady School MBA program, I was exposed to the startup environment,” Alleshouse said. “I learned how to start a company. After two years of the MBA program, I knew I wanted to start a company but wasn’t sure what type of company I wanted. Then I realized there was a real opportunity in the surf simulation industry where there was only one supplier, which wasn’t meeting the needs of the market. The Rady MBA program made becoming an entrepreneur seem so natural, like something everyone does.”

The future of Pacific Surf Designs continues to look bright. The company is working on licensing its sheet waves to make it easier to integrate into water park designs. Alleshouse said that the company wants to focus more on boutique customers, and may get into the operation of the waves, which presents another growth opportunity.

“Right now we’re on the cusp of really taking off,” Alleshouse said.

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