After playing with some disintegrating rec center paddles at Utah State University students, two local entrepreneurs decided to make their own — built like bison.
Collin Peterson and Daniel Warren started Bison Paddles last August, when they were both business admin and marketing dual-majors at USU. Peterson graduated last year, while Warren said he has about a year and a half left.
“We noticed a lot of the paddles were falling apart,” Peterson said of their first outings with the gym’s equipment. “And any of the ones that were really durable were really expensive.”
“Built like bison” is a tall order for a pickleball paddle, but if the materials used are any indication, Peterson and Warren have given it a good shot.
“The inside is a honeycomb composite core, so it has more bounce to the ball, a little more control as well,” Warren said. “The face of the paddle is carbon fiber. It’s textured, as well, for extra spin. Our grips, people really like the grips on our paddles.”
The paddles, available on bisonpaddle.com, are currently marked down to $49.99.
“It’s gone better than we could have initially anticipated,” Warren said. “We went from selling less than 50 paddles in the first few months to a few hundred a month, now, and we think that’s just going to keep going up.”
Demand has increased to the point where it can be tricky to keep paddles in stock, Warren said, which is a good problem to have.
Warren and Anderson met during a table tennis class at USU and then continued their friendship as they gained an interest in pickleball, so even with the rigors of a college education, they both describe running Bison Paddles as “fun.”
“To build a business on something that you’re already having fun doing I wouldn’t say was that much of a challenge,” Peterson said. “Granted, I will say we had challenges going further. But doing something you love for business really pays off.”
And given their areas of study, Warren said, running Bison Paddles has made some aspects of learning more enriching.
“I highly recommend all students, business students especially, start a business,” Warren said, “because I think you can retain information a lot better when you’re actually working on something that’s tangible, not just a pretend project.”
Mendon resident Sandee Macdonald, who was playing at the Bridger Park pickleball courts Monday morning during The Herald Journal’s interview with Peterson and Warren, said she recognized the two — as well as their their paddles — right away.
“I love seeing them, I love starting, budding businesses,” Macdonald said. “And they’ve done a great job. I’m impressed by them.”