Aqua Loops EXTREME: How disaster at Daytona led to the best jetski tow loop
Aqua Loops EXTREME: How disaster at Daytona led to the best jetski tow loop on the market
By Krisdy Riddle
There’s a well-known phrase that goes, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” The truth is that bad publicity can make or break your reputation, and Jim of GPO Jet Ski saw an opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive learning experience and make the best jetski tow loop on the market.
A family man, entrepreneur, and racer with an astounding background in extreme sports, Jim launched GPO Jet Ski to build and improve more protective products designed for vintage model skis. With a lifetime experience in manufacturing including building pro-level bikes for the Tour de France, he sustained a deep desire for knowledge in discovering solutions to common problems. Noticing a growing trend in vintage racing, GPO aspired to get more involved in the racing program and sought to add a jetski tow loop to their collection which is required to abide by the IJSBA rulebook. From the opposite side of the country, Jim discovered a California-based company that advertised the exact product he needed and soon after purchased ownership of AquaLoops.
The original design of the AquaLoop featured a standard single ferrule setup, which is the metal cap that holds the cables together. Though this design appeared adequate for the original concept of hooking the ski to tow in the surf or a race, a customer’s bad experience at the Daytona Freeride quickly hit social media stirring up a turbulent frenzy against AquaLoops and GPO Jet Ski.
What Happened At Daytona
On the beach, a customer attempted to winch a cable through the AquaLoop where it snapped the ferrule and released. The disappointment led the customer to Facebook, announcing “[The AquaLoop] didn’t even last one day, what a piece of junk,” directly tagging GPO Jet Ski. Others pitched in accusing the product’s inadequacy and unfair pricing, inferring “Twenty three dollars for a wire, crimp, and a little tube *shocked emoji*.” The community also questioned whether or not the device could handle a ski that took on water, criticizing it’s safety performance and overall sufficiency.
Noticing the post immediately, Jim reached out to the dissatisfied customer to clarify what happened and declared that GPO Jet Ski was going to make it right. GPO announced their promise to fix the situation by rebuilding the original design and replacing every AquaLoop that was purchased at the Daytona Freeride event with the improved model, an AquaStrap, thank-you note, and stickers free of charge. Jim remained positive and perceptive with the negative comments, using the criticism as fuel to construct the best jetski tow loop on the market.
What GPO Did Next
Investigating what exactly went wrong, Jim and the team discovered that the cable strength was not at fault but that there was not enough pressure on the cable with the primary ferrule being used. They identified their new ferrules must be a certain density, a specific make, and only purchased through a certified rigging company to ensure the best quality setup. GPO invested in the IWISS tabletop swaging tool, used by professional rigging companies worldwide, to ensure consistent crimps with every product and acquired their own scale tester to conduct their measurements. Using a 3/32 304 stainless steel cable with a breaking strength of 1000lbs on top of adding a second ferrule more than doubled the AquaLoop load ratio from 400lbs to 957lbs.
The Best Jetski Tow Loop Ever
While some feel discouraged from receiving adverse reviews, the spirit to grow in the vintage industry and drive to innovate further never fizzled for Jim. A wave of inspiration came over him to create a bigger and more superior version of the jetski tow loop: the AquaLoop Extreme. The design implemented entirely new material; employing a heavy duty stainless steel cable, 3/16 in size, E-Rigging certified with a dual ferrule system, resulted in the ultimate tow loop that never showed any sign of fatigue at a scale capacity of 2200 lbs. The AquaLoop Extreme will fit on any vintage ski or sit-down boat, and prevails over every existing tow loop known to the public.
From GPO Jet Ski staying true to their promise to fix the issue at hand, to testing and executing new equipment to assure quality improvements, Vintage Jet Ski is proud to represent great businesses who demonstrate honor, dignity, and the ability to build back a stronger foundation as Jim did facing this challenge.