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Life & Work with Robert Lutes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Lutes.

WaveSlider was built on a longtime dream of three childhood friends from southern California. Don Lutes, Robert Lutes and Rick Smith grew up surfing all social surf spots, riding mountain bikes and racing offroad. Don was the oldest of the three and at age 16, he became the designated driver. The deal was, “you drive, you choose”. Therefore Robert and Rick surfed at Don’s choice spots for a few years. Thankfully Don knew his spots well. The three traveled up and down the California coast in Don’s 1967 VW Squareback named the “Wave Sled”. The three dreamt of one day having jobs in the surf industry together. Don started shaping surfboards in the 80’s had a small brand called Assassin Surf Boards. As life progressed, Don and Robert became very successful engineers while Rick became a marketing professional in the power sports industry. In 2020, Don passed away while riding his mountain bike at the young age of 54. Shortly after Don’s passing Robert and Rick started WaveSlider in Don’s honor. The brand is built on the passion of surfing, great childhood memories and making a dream reality.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting an online apparel company was very tough. Although Rick had the proper connections to get the T-shirts and Hats going, Both Rick and Robert had no idea how hard it is to drive sales purely online. Generating a following is beyond difficult for Instagram and Facebook. We found that advertising on those platforms didn’t pay off well either. We now use our Shopify account to advertise on Microsoft and have our product come up when search terms are used that apply to our products.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Robert is the SVP of a large real estate company and is in charge of the construction department. Rick works in design and marketing for a well-established company in the motorcycle and offroad market. What sets us apart from our competitors is that we run the business for the love of all water sports and support our youth growing up loving the outdoors. Our first athlete we sponsored is a surfer but is trying to make it in the mountain biking profession. We love his drive to succeed and enjoy watching his growth. You can follow him @Michaelbeckerrips on Instagram. We hope to continue to support our youth with their dreams of making a career out of what they love to do in all outdoor sports.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
Our family deserves a lot of credit with helping us get the company started. Our daughter shot all the photos, Robert’s wife was in the background making sure the photo shoots went great and helping ship our orders. Our daughters and sons modeled in the photoshoots too. Roberts’ brother Don deserves the most credit. He was a wonderful Brother, Dad, friend, and mentor. Don’s art was phenomenal and can be seen on our website with his pastel of oil piers in Ventura. His passion for the ocean, art and life was awesome! Gid took him too soon!


  • 19.95-29.95

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: @wave.Slider

Image Credits:

Bellelu photography

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