Surf Band Pro is a wearable, watch-like device that can be used to dispense sunscreen, insect repellant, or sanitizer, and it is perfect for surfers or anyone who participates in adventure sports. Surf Band Pro eliminates the need to carry a bottle or tube of sunscreen out on the waves, but will the Sharks be willing to hang ten with this innovative new self-protection product? Check out our Surf Band Pro Shark Tank update to see if a Shark is willing to hang ten with the next big thing in surf culture.
What is Surf Band Pro?
Surf Band Pro is a product for adventure sports enthusiasts manufactured by WearSpray, a Fairfax Station, Virginia based company. The Surf Band Pro is a watch-like device, which you wear on your wrist, and it is used to dispense sunscreen, mosquito repellant, or sanitizer without the need to carry a bottle or tube of these protective liquids, lotions, or gels.
The Surf Band Pro is a patented device which was originally developed so that surfers could carry additional sun protection with them, and use it to apply additional protection even when they were out on the water, waiting to catch the next wave. The device is now also used by outdoor enthusiasts for mosquito repellant, sanitizer, and other lotions or liquids.
Who created Surf Band Pro?
Surf Band Pro was created by Greg Demirjian from New York City. After attending Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York in the early 1980s, Greg began a professional career in photography and media. After doing freelance for companies such as Starwood Resorts for a number of years, Greg founded Hampton Jitney Magazine, a magazine devoted to lifestyle, arts, health, and culture in the Hamptons community.
Prior to creating Surf Band Pro, Greg also worked in the philanthropic sector as CEO of iGivingWorld, an online collaborative platform for philanthropists, foundations, and NGOs to work together and track progress worldwide. Then, after another stint working fulltime in media, as a life-long surfer, Greg decided to marry his favorite hobby with business when, in 2020, he founded WearSpray, the company which produces the Surf Band Pro.
How did Surf Band Pro get started?
Greg Demirjian, along with being an enthusiastic surfer, has also always been a very creative person. According to the Surf Band Pro website, these two facets of his personality came together during the Covid pandemic.
The idea for the wearable lotion dispenser didn’t come to Greg from visions of catching the next wave, rather, during the pandemic, he often became frustrated by being unable to sanitize his hands conveniently while on the move. It was during this time that he experienced his eureka moment, a groundbreaking idea for a wearable, refillable device that would make sanitization safe and effortless. This marked the genesis of WearSpray Clean-Bands.
What happened to Surf Band Pro before Shark Tank?
While working on a wearable dispenser for hand sanitizer, a number of professional industrial designers told Greg that it was simply not possible to create the wearable dispenser which he envisioned. However, he did not give up, but spent a good deal of his own money, and two years of prototype testing and manufacturing adjustments to come up with a viable, affordable end product.
It wasn’t until after he had already designed the wearable dispenser that the idea for an application in the surfing world hit him.
Greg’s inspiration for a surf product is described on the Surf Band Pro company website: “While basking outdoors on a sunny day, Greg accidentally cut himself. As he streamed sanitizer onto the wound under the scorching sun, he exclaimed, ‘I should have put sunscreen in this thing!’ It was at that moment that he realized there had to be a version of WearSpray designed specifically for sunscreen, tailored to withstand the ocean waves that surfers face. Thus, Surf Band Pro was born.”
When Greg entered the Tank, the company had been granted a patent for their device, but they had just received their first shipment of product, so they had almost no income to report, and sales of only a few hundred units.
What do customers think of Surf Band Pro?
Surf Band Pro had very few sales when founder Greg Demirjian pitched to the Sharks in the Tank, and thus far, outside of three positive reviews on the company website, we were unable to locate any third party reviews online. Even on the WearSpray Facebook Page, there are not any reviews for the product.
What do customers think of Surf Band Pro?
While we generally look for third-party review sites for Shark Tank products, since we were unable to find anything published online, here are a few very positive responses from customers which appear on the Surf Band Pro website.
One customer, Quetelle Ferguson, writes: “I absolutely adore wearing the Surf Band Pro! I’ve invested in all the colors of the Surf Band Pro to perfectly match my attire for any occasion. Not only does it provide sun protection, but it also holds my sunscreen, sanitizer, or mosquito repellent effortlessly. Thank you, Surf Band Pro, for combining style and functionality in such a remarkable way!”
Another obviously happy user, Adam Bernstein, is quoted on the website, “I am a cyclist and every weekend, I ride over the GW bridge with hundreds of other cyclists. It’s a game changer for me. I never used to use sunscreen and now I do, thanks to your product!”
As the company develops in the future, we will be looking to see if more customer reviews are posted online.
When did Surf Band Pro appear on Shark Tank?
Surf Band Pro appeared on Shark Tank in Season 14, Episode 15, which aired on March 3rd, 2023. The company pitched to regular Sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Robert Herjavec.
Along with Surf Band Pro, FunkkOFF!, another clever, convenient self-care product, appeared in the Tank in Season 14.
What happened to Surf Band Pro on Shark Tank?
Surf Band Pro founder Greg Demirjian entered the Tank and asked the Sharks for an investment of $150k for an equity stake of 10% in his company.
When Greg arrived in the Tank, he promptly told the Sharks, “Sharks, I’ve been surfing my whole life, but like a lot of surfers, I’m challenged by three things out there: Number one, Sharks, number two, drowning, and number three, sunburn.”
Greg then explained that he always carefully put on his sunscreen onshore. Then, he would paddle out, get hit by a couple of waves and some ocean turbulence, then he’d fall a couple of times, and soon, his sunscreen would be gone, so he would end up getting burned out there.
Greg added that the same thing happens to a lot of people who participate in adventure sports and wear tight-fitting clothing, with no pockets to carry sunscreen. Thus, Greg told the Sharks that he had invented Surf Band Pro as the solution for this ongoing problem for those who play hard out in the sun.
Next, Greg demonstrated the Surf Band Pro by pushing on the device on his wrist and squirting out a palm-full of sunscreen. All of the Sharks looked impressed and several commented that this was a good idea.
Lori Greiner started the questions by asking if there was anything like it on the market, and she learned that the Surf Band Pro was patented. Robert then asked what the patent covered, and Greg explained that the most important thing was the valve, which allows a liquid or gel to come out, and also allows a little air in, without having the device leak.
Greg informed the Sharks that he consulted 15-17 design engineers who all told him that it would not be possible to create the type of valve he needed, and that he should forget about it.
However, Greg kept working on the design by himself, and one day, while he was nervously clicking a pen, he thought to himself, ‘how does the pen keep the ink wet inside? And how is it airtight?’ This insight led him to learn about an anular valve, which is a valve designed to regulate flow and pressure because it is sealed all the way around. He thought, ‘Why can’t we adapt an anular valve for this?’ And with this thought the Surf Ban Pro design was born.
Robert spoke up next to ask about sales, and he was disappointed to hear that the company had just started manufacturing a month prior to the pitch, so they had only sold about 200 units so far. Barbara Corcoran asked Greg how much money he had invested in the business, and he told her he had put in $150k.
Mark Cuban jumped in to inquire about the retail price and cost to produce, and Greg revealed that they listed the Surf Band Pro at $9.95 wholesale and $19.95 on the website. Their landed cost was $5 per unit.
Even though there hadn’t been many questions from the Sharks, it now appeared that some of them were ready to swim away quickly.
Did Surf Band Pro get a deal on Shark Tank?
Surf Band Pro did not successfully get a deal in the Tank.
Barbara Corcoran was first to reveal her hand when she said, “I get it. There are so many products out there that are sun resistant which mother’s and people believe in, but it’s a very competitive market. I’m out.”
Mark Cuban followed Barbara to the exit when he told Greg that he believed that it was a really cool idea, but he thought that it is going to be a really hard sale. Lori next told Greg that she thought it was a great product, and that he was on the right path, perhaps needing some help to market it; however, she believed that the product was too niche with the Surf Band Pro name, that it really should be expanded to hand sanitizer and other uses, but at present, it was too niche for her.
Kevin O’Leary proposed a new name for the product. He said, “It should be Squirt Master Pro.” Mr. Wonderful also said that this product was meant to live on Instagram and TikTok, but it was not an investment for him. Finally, Robert chimed in to say to Greg, “I think that you’ve designed a very clever product, but I don’t know about the name. I like Kevin’s better.” Robert then stated that he didn’t see a big market for the product, so he went out.
In what was an awkward moment in the Tank, Greg insisted on continuing to add more details and pitch the product even with all 5 Sharks out, and it was fairly evident that although some of this extended pitch had been edited out, the Sharks were getting uncomfortable because Greg simply would not leave the set. Eventually, Mark Cuban had to tell him to turn around and leave the Tank as others were waiting to pitch.
Surf Band Pro Shark Tank update, what happened next?
Even without a deal in the Tank, it appears that Surf Band Pro is continuing to grow the business. Five month’s after the company’s episode aired, Surf Band Pro Founder Greg Demirjian appeared on the Super Entreprenuer program by Joe Pardo.
One of the first things which Greg revealed in the interview was that Surf Band Pro’s pitch and question and answer session was one of the shortest in Shark Tank history. When Greg was in front of the Sharks, he spent a total of only 20 minutes in the Tank, which was then edited to the seven and a half minutes we saw on the air. The average company spends about 45 minutes in front of the Sharks.
In spite of the abbreviated pitch, Surf Band Pro still saw an enormous Shark Tank effect, completely selling out of products within a few days of airing. Greg noted that things were still going well, as he was able to use funds from the Shark Tank sales to bring in more inventory.
Greg also told Pardo that as a result of being on Shark Tank, he had been approached by several companies looking for licensing deals. He said that he was now working with a licensing specialist for deals with both a sunscreen company and an insect repellant company.
Finally, Greg revealed that before the episode had aired, he had been in discussions with the United Nations to be a partner in United to Beat Malaria, a United Nations Foundation campaign, to raise funds and awareness for malaria prevention. Greg describes this partnership on the Surf Band Pro website: “We’re excited to be part of such an important cause. We designed Surf Band Pro with the aim of keeping people healthy and protected, and we believe our partnership with United to Beat Malaria is a natural fit for the mission to combat mosquitos.”
It will be interesting to follow Surf Band Pro to see if one of the licensing deals comes through with a major consumer goods company in either the sunscreen or the insect repellant sector.