In our Ask Creators Anything series, Stacy Bradford sits down with Indiegogo campaigners to get into the nitty gritty of their campaigns. Stacy is Senior Hardware Manager at Indiegogo, and he’s assisted bootstrapped entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies alike in raising over $30M on Indiegogo. He’s also a co-host of Go Time, the official Indiegogo podcast.
If you were under the impression that surfing and flying were mutually exclusive, allow me to introduce you to the XFoil. The XFoil is a made-in-the-USA carbon fiber electric watercraft that can glide either on the surface of the water or above it, in lakes, rivers, and oceans. It’s the fourth campaign from Paul Lowchareonkul, founder of PLX Devices, who cemented his place as a stalwart in the sustainable crowdfunding community with launches like Legion Solar, a solar-powered portable energy solution. I sat down with Paul over Discord to learn more about the XFoil and what’s next for PLX.
Stacy Bradford, Indiegogo: Hey Paul! Fancy seeing you here. I don’t know about you, but I think we might have the best seats on the server. What say you?
Paul Lowchareonkul, XFoil: Hey Stacy! Yeah fancy seeing you here as well. These seats are pretty good. I’m happy to be here chatting with you today.
IGG: Yeah, same! Let’s get down to it, since we have a lot to chat about today. Let’s start with introductions. I obviously know who you are, but for our audience out there: Tell us a little about yourself and the founding of PLX.
XFoil: Yeah absolutely! So I’m an entrepreneur and technology enthusiast that founded PLX Devices in 2003 in the heart of Silicon Valley, where we design and manufacture all of our products. Since our founding, we’ve been recognized globally with awards from the automotive industry and consumer electronics industry, including three major SEMA awards for Best New Product, over 100 Global Media Awards, and two Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Awards.
IGG: That’s amazing! Even more amazing is PLX’s commitment to sustainability and fighting climate change. Tell me a little more about that.
XFoil: We take climate change very seriously, and in turn we partner with many green energy companies such as solar manufacturers, lithium batteries, and power inverters for clean energy products. This helps with climate change and to reduce CO2 emissions. Also, PLX offsets about 50% of our carbon footprint utilizing our own green energy product, Legion Solar.
IGG: That’s super cool! Now is that carbon offsetting applied to your manufacturing facilities as well as your office?
XFoil: Currently, it’s just our office. Our manufacturing facility is, coincidentally, located next to the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California.
IGG: Interesting. I’m seeing a Made in the USA, California-centric theme here. Are the materials that make up the XFoil sourced here in California as well?
XFoil: Without getting too in the weeds, all of our materials are sourced globally with final assembly, inspection, and quality control measures done at our factory in Fremont.
IGG: Alright, pivoting slightly to the XFoil itself: What’s something anyone new to watersports should know before backing your campaign?
XFoil: You’re going to get wet and have a blast doing it!
IGG: That I don’t doubt! It looks super fun. Now, do I need to know how to surf before backing your campaign?
XFoil: Absolutely not. XFoil is designed to be the easiest board to learn on. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, XFoil allows you to build riding confidence in progressive steps.
IGG: I saw those progressive steps on your campaign page. They show a natural evolution. You’re telling me that I can learn to body surf, surf, and fly using the same board?
XFoil: That’s right! And not only that: As I said earlier, you’re going to have a blast doing it.
IGG: How hard is it to fly using the XFoil?
XFoil: It depends on the rider’s skill. Some people will be able to pick it up quickly while others may need more time, but with our 100% maintenance-free motor and a 25 mile range with each charge, the XFoil affords beginners and experts alike the time to learn new skills and tricks, respectively.
IGG: What kind of tricks do you think I could pull off on the XFoil?
XFoil: You? Probably not many. Kidding. The XFoil is designed for all skill levels with the safety measures in mind to put even the most paranoid parent at ease.
IGG: I appreciate the ribbing there, Paul. So these safety measures – tell me more about them.
XFoil: Absolutely! So as I said – the XFoil is super safe beginning with a propeller guard on all XFoil packages. Not to mention an anti-runaway feature that shuts the motor off as soon as the remote touches water while simultaneously stopping the motor in midspin. That’s just to name a few. Anyone can check out all the safety features by viewing our campaign page.
IGG: That campaign page is on Indiegogo, right?
XFoil: Stacy, you know it is. We plan to ship XFoil in August 2022 using FedEx as our primary shipping partner, but our backer community should know we also use UPS, DHL, and USPS from time to time as well.
IGG: Awesome! The XFoil is super cool! I know we don’t have much time left, but I wanted to ask you: I’m sure there are creators out there who are looking to the XFoil and PLX as examples of what to do right for their next campaign. Do you have any advice for these sustainable creators?
XFoil: Work hard, be passionate with what you do, and remember to innovate and take risks.
IGG: Appreciate you sharing your perspective with that advice there! Thank you so much for your time, Paul.
XFoil: Absolutely! It’s been fun. Thank you, Stacy.
Want to learn more about XFoil? Check out their campaign page today!