Shred Ready is a small company located in Auburn, Alabama near the banks of the Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers. In 1996 Tom Sherburne (that’s me) was out at the local play spot cartwheeling his Hurricane kayak, jamming to tunes in his head. As I was shredding the water, I kept thinking ‘I am ready to shred.’ About the same time a local aerospace composites manufacturer approached me about building a slalom racing kayak, since I had been training for the 96’ Olympic Slalom Team. I threw them a helmet to modify and mold. A week later they sent me a carbon composite helmet that was super light. A few months later Shred Ready was born and my spare bed room became the international head quarters of Shred Ready, Inc. Greg Lang’s (co-founder) garage became the first Shred Ready factory. Just like a new born, we struggled and had to learn everything–how to laminate composites, how to make an invoice, what credit terms are, how to manage employees. Our first year on the market we sold a whooping 73 helmets. Today we sell that many helmets a day but remain a small core company focused on the manufacture of protective gear for sports we participate in; whitewater kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, wakeboarding, kiteboarding, and skateboarding.
Shred Ready is more than a helmet company; it is a philosophy for everything we do here in our factory and warehouse (which used to be the local feed and seed store). It is about always being READY to have fun, progress and do things better than they have been done in the past. The Shred Ready gang comes in early to spend some quality time on the rock-wall that they built and molded the climbing holds for. The kayaks are on top of all of the cars out front, just in case the power company decides to turn the water on. If the work is done, and sometimes when it is not, if the water is on you will find us tearing up “Sticky Hole” or shredding the “Big O” on the Tallapoosa River. We are always ready to shred!
The Shred Ready philosophy extends beyond just having fun. It is how we conduct our business and lives. It is about being passionate about what we do. It is about being open to new ideas, providing opportunities for continuous learning and growth for those who work here and for those who have gone beyond the call of duty to help Shred Ready grow and prosper (you know who you are, thanks). It is about developing long-term relationships with our suppliers, dealers and customers instead of just trying to earn a buck. We would rather call y’all friends than business acquaintances.
At Shred Ready we are always ready to go the extra mile for our friends. We stand behind our products. We research and develop new composite manufacturing processes. We design new helmets and products for YOU when we don’t have to. We do it because we don’t like to wear the same old crappy looking helmet that I wore when I started paddling about 7.5 feet ago (that’s 23 years for the new school shredders), which is still on the market today!
Besides, it is cool to develop your own manufacturing process and product designs and keep doing it better each day. It is really cool to develop long term relationships with vendors, dealers and customers (aka friends) across the country and world. And it is even cooler to be Shred Ready!