Initially we wanted to remain hidden from the image of the brand. However, as we travelled across the continent promoting our boards, the feedback we received is that we should share our story. So here it is:
Meet Mauricio, the dreamer and the doer. He conceptualized the whole concept of our boards and painstakingly designed them. He puts thought into every last detail and is constantly trying to improve the quality, look and feel of our boards. He uses Shape3DX’s software to digitally shape our boards with maximum accuracy and quality control.
He was born in Venezuela and grew up spending his weekends and holidays at the beach. His father would take him to a famous national park in Venezuela called Morrocoy, the name of a local turtle. Because of this, when coming up with a name for our brand, he wanted to incorporate the turtle into the brand. Also, if you’ve ever seen a turtle swim, you know how easily they glide across the water. Thus the name Tuga, short for tortuga (turtle in Spanish), was born.
Mauricio began surfing in Venezuela as a teenager. He quickly developed a passion for it and eventually went on to surf all over the world, including Australia, Indonesia and Portugal. In 2011, he made his first surfboard in Venezuela. When he migrated the business to Canada, customers quickly began to ask for paddleboards. To satisfy this demand, he designed his first paddleboards and launched them in the 2013 season. Unaware of what would come of this venture, the boards became a hit. Before he knew it, they were considered a premium brand.
Lia is a Pilates and Yoga instructor. Mauricio designed the FITBoard with her in mind. She is the organizational brain behind the operation as well as the social media manager. She is the navigator and the one that ensures the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed. Lia was also born in Venezuela. In fact, Mauricio and Lia went to the same elementary school. They both ended up moving to Canada at different points in their lives, but as fortune would have it, they reconnected there. They married in 2013, the year Tuga was launched.
Both Maurcio and Lia are World Paddle Association (WPA) certified paddle boarding instructors. For them, paddle boarding is a way of life. They considered themselves blessed to be able to design and ride boards for a living, while getting a chance to share this passion with the rest of the world.