If Greg Rudolph had his way, every skateboard would be equipped with headlights not only to look cool, but for safety reasons, too.
And by the looks of his tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit, he's on his way to getting what he wants. The 2010 Dana Hills High Schoolgraduate is the founder of Board Blazers, a Laguna Niguel-based small business specializing in LED underglow skateboard and scooter lights.
"They really light up a board, so they're valuable for keeping kids safe while cruising the neighborhood at night," said the 20-year-old said. "Plus, kids love the 'cool factor' they add. They are small and slick, and cast bright, vivid ground effect beams for your skateboard or scooter."
Super lightweight and concealed until you manually turn them on, Board Blazers enhance the look without detracting from performance, he said.
"Simply stick on the lights and go," Rudolph said.
Rudolph's company, Grenada Innovations, now designs and sells the fun lights for $12.99 for a four-light set. Available in a wide variety of colors: Radical Red, Wild White, Blazing Blue, Outrageous Orange, Poppin' Pink, Boss Black, Crazy Color-Changing, Lightning Lime.
He declined to give sales figures, but said that in addition to marketing Board Blazers online, he has gotten them into various skate shops around Southern California.
- Bright, vivid ground effects lighting for your ride.
- Compatible with all types of skateboards and scooters.
- Self-adhesive. No screws or board dis-assembly required.
- Fully customizable colors and layout.
- Add multiple colors to personalize your board.
Birth of an Invention
How did he get the idea? When he was at college and quite by fluke.
"I'm an Arizona State University student, and started the company after students began taping Christmas lights to their boards to cruise around campus," he said. "I refined and developed the product myself, and run the company as a full-time student."
How do the lights work?
"Each light adheres to the bottom of the skateboard and is powered by a small lithium battery. They are concealed during the day, but once dusk descends, after a quick twist, the colorful lights illuminate," he said.
Trying to find a company to bring his creation to life, wasn't instant.
"I had to have the lights designed and manufactured in China after I did a prototype," Rudolph said. "I did a lot of Google searches and must have made hundreds of phone calls, but once I found the right one, it fell into place."
Rudolph was required to order a minimum of 1,000 sets of four lights in various colors.
"I used money that I made from when I worked at at Wild Rivers in Irvine, which closed after the 2011 season," he said.
Rudolph comes from a family of business folks, his mom and dad have their own businesses, too. Dad, Glen owns Industry Mortgage Associates, specializing commercial real estate financing, and mom, Ada, founded Goal Strategies, a relationship counseling service.
These days, Rudolph is in business school at Arizona State University as a full-time student majoring in marketing and supply chain management, but says school won't stop him from running the business.
He also has advice for other would-be inventors: "If you believe in something, I say take the jump and do it. You need to take a leap of faith," he said. "You never know where it will lead."