An Introduction to 270°BoardCo

An Introduction to 270°BoardCo

Navigating the daily deluge of messages flooding the Foilhub Instagram inbox, one stood out a few weeks ago. Grant Hasselbach, the founder of a small startup foil board brand, reached out with the common plea for exposure. Amidst the routine of considering a simple post share, a different idea took root. I saw an opportunity to shed light on Grant's journey and the story behind his brand. 

Can you share the story behind the inception of your foil board company? What inspired you to venture into this market?

Interesting question really. I saw the failures not only in construction, but also design through spending thousands of dollars on boards like all of us. I knew I could design and build a better product.  Designing has always been a goal, and I’ve spent countless hours figuring out designs. I’ve also built through trial and error many boards and learned from each one. I’m grateful to have a crew up and down the west coast to help with this process. The hardest part is finding the right guy to actually “build” and do it right. But I never discount those who taught me everything along the way. 

What is your background in foil boarding or related industries? How has your personal experience influenced the design and production of your foil boards?

I taught myself to foil with a kite back in 2015, simply to get on the water in light wind. It was just another way to get on the water. Kitesurfing in my opinion really brought foiling to light.   

I also attribute it to doing multiple disciplines of board riding with and without a foil.  

Kai Lenny opened the doors to prone foiling and catching bumps. It was game on and the hydrofoil exploded into multiple disciplines.  Kite companies built wings and it took off in many directions. I believe I have a pretty solid grasp at being an all around waterman including surfing, stand up surfing, kite surfing, prone foiling, wing foiling, towing in multiple disciplines whether it be a foil or surfboard, and even including skiing and snowboarding in the mix. 

Taking all the above experience into consideration, I have taken all my experience to design and construction of building a great product.

Starting a business involves overcoming challenges. What obstacles did you encounter in the early stages, and how did you navigate through them to establish your brand?

This is still so new. I am learning as I go!  Definitely trial and error. It is a good learning experience though. I have a full time career which takes most of my time, but my schedule allows a lot of flexibility to focus on designs and concepts.  In addition, it allows me to get lots of ride time for feedback on my designs. I also have a good crew to test and help with feedback. I am still in the early stages. I am here simply to have fun, make good boards, and stoke people out.

As a small foil board builder, what unique aspects or features do you believe set your products apart from others in the market?

The build. The quality. Not built in China. We build locally so I have all the control. I can drive down the street to either my shaper, my glasser, or art guy. In some cases, they are under the same roof. I had been helping with designs only for a number of years, now I am experiencing the entire enchilada. 



In terms of design philosophy, what principles guide the creation of your foil boards? Are there specific goals or characteristics you aim to achieve with each board you produce?

For me it is simple. I take what has worked, and I refine it. Coming from a board sport background, I have found over the years some designs work and some absolutely do not. I also see through the design gimmicks which riders think help but have no positive impact on riding. I see new designs coming out weekly, monthly, etc. It is interesting seeing what other companies come out with, hype up, and try to match or build it better.  

Looking at your current lineup, are there particular types of riders or specific styles of foiling that your boards cater to? How do you ensure versatility in your product offerings?

Being a custom builder, I can mostly do it all. I am a bigger guy at 6'5" and 230 lbs, so I tend to build boards for a larger rider and understand we are all not 5'7" and 155 lbs wet. I have multiple models from higher energy models, to groveler types which paddle incredible. The mid-length is the new hype I am working on. For winging, the designs keep changing, but I am keeping up. Downwinding is the same.  

Considering the dynamic nature of water sports trends, how do you stay innovative and adaptive in the design and manufacturing of your foil boards Are you working with any specific riders to test your boards to gain essential feedback?

I am sticking to the basics for now, although my builder is innovative in his own way. He understands glassing schedules, carbon, and how it works in surfboard language. Anyone can wrap a board, but can you wrap it right? I have multiple friends in all disciplines who test and provide feedback. They are incredible riders in the conditions we have on all parts of the 270 coast. Some are even generous to pay for a board to be built just to test. So far, they have all been a success. I am always looking for a new rider. Being small, and being a fun side business, I don't have the funds to flow gear for free, but can definitely offer some serious incentives and being part of a design/build process.  

What aspirations do you have for the future of your brand? Are there specific markets or regions you aim to reach, or any particular advancements in foil boarding technology you plan to explore?

This is the beginning for me. I have been blessed to work with a local west coast foil company, so we are testing builds and so far it is working out well. I am letting this grow organically. If it becomes stressful, I am not having fun. I am knowledgeable enough and my network is vast enough to keep on top of the advancements. New builds, different techniques, styles, models, this is the process.

How important is sustainability and eco-friendliness in your production process? Are there initiatives or considerations you've implemented to minimize the environmental impact of your products?

Of course it is important. We try to be as sustainable as possible with our building process. Although we are not a huge manufacturer to have a giant footprint, we take into consideration with every board we make the environment and impacts it may have.

As a small business, community engagement can be crucial. How do you connect with your customers and the foil boarding community? Are there plans for collaborations or events to strengthen your brand presence?

We focus on social media at the moment. I will consider other options if they present. I try not to be too critical of the forums, but word spreads fast. I am like a submarine. I come up and take a gander when it is needed, stay "low pro" if it's necessary. I will let my boards do the talking (or flyin'). Get one!


To find out more about 270°BoardCo. head on over to their Instagram page and give them a follow.


Instagram @270boardco

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