August 17th, 2009
REAL Watersports celebrated our 8th year anniversary this past weekend aboard the Crystal Dawn with Dub Island Sound System of Charleston, SC jamming out the tunes all night long. Delicious food and drinks were served by Kylie Simpson and the staff of The Outback Kitchen. The party was sponsored by Naish Hawaii.
REAL began it’s humble existence in August 2001, with Co-Founders Trip Forman and Matt Nuzzo operating out of Trip’s garage with a 4wd van and a 1995 Yamaha Waverunner GT. The business expanded into their Buxton Retail and Administration location, 1,500 square feet total, in April 2002. In April 2003, REAL opened the REAL Lesson Center in Waves with an additional 1,200 square feet of indoor space, along with 4 acres of waterfront access and a boat basin to dock their skis. The company operated both the Buxton and Waves locations from 2003 through 2008.
In 2008, REAL opened their new REAL Flagship Store and Lesson Center, with Gear Rental Shop, Administrative Offices, Warehouse and Restaurant space (now leased to Mojo’s Sunset Café, operated by former REAL coach Steve Myers). This new facility totals 21,000 sq feet and houses all of the above as well as 75 REAL employees and 8 employees at MOJOs Sunset Café. In April of 2009, the finishing touches were completed on Watermen’s Retreat, 14 high-end, luxury condominiums located waterfront on The Slick. From first sketches to final touches, the REAL Flagship Store and Watermen’s Retreat project took 6 years to complete.
During this time period, REAL has racked up some serious credentials including 5 TELLY Awards for their Instructional DVD Series covering the sports of Kiteboarding, Surfing, and Standup Paddleboarding, an Outside Magazine “Top 10 Adventure Camps in the World” Award and a listing in INC Magazine’s prestigious “Inc 5000” list of the fastest growing private companies in America. In 2009, REAL Co-Founders Trip Forman and Matt Nuzzo were named by Kiteboarding Magazine among “The Top 10 Most Influential People in the History of the Kiteboarding”.
“Thank you to all of our employees and all of our clients who make achievements and celebrations like this possible. The REAL Anniversary Party is always a great night for the team. Everyone gets dressed up and celebrates another fun year on the water with friends. It’s such an incredible feeling to see how much we have grown, both infrastructure, facility and staff-wise. When we started REAL, I was the only one of all of us even living in Cape Hatteras ! (Even then, Nuzzi was commuting from Rhode Island.) Now we have 75 people showing up to “work” every day, 6 couples who have gotten married, and “REAL Baby #3” on the way ! Congratulations to our entire team, past and present, for what you have achieved, all while having fun every day doing it !” – Trip Forman REAL Co-Founder
“The REAL Anniversary Party is about celebrating our time together, our sessions, and all the new friends we’ve made along the way. We couldn’t have made it this far without all the help our team has provided along the way. They are the reason people come to REAL and have such a good time. Hats off to another great season on the water !!!” – Matt Nuzzo REAL Co-Founder