Thursday, May 23, 2024

Local Businessman Brett Slaughter Launching Shaka Surf Bikes This Month

Coronado local Brett Slaughter pictured with one of his original Shaka Surf Bikes. Brett credits the island, where he and his wife got engaged and raised their three daughters, as his inspiration for the e-bike.

Businessman Brett Slaughter has been carving his own (bike) lane for the past three and a half years, and a niche in the e-bike market while he’s at it. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and an 80-hour work week, like many of us Brett found himself in need of an outlet; being a Coronado local for 13 years, that became walking the island. On one of these walks, Brett ran into his buddy on the way to a surf with his board wobbly-tucked under his arm. As simple as that, a lightbulb went off. With years of experience in manufacturing, growing a startup from five employees to 2500, Brett started designing an e-bike with surfers in mind (hence Shaka Surf Bikes’ tagline: “Born for Surf, Built for All”).

Today, every aspect of Shaka Surf Bikes has been thoughtfully curated for the everyday rider. “It’s been an exciting, cathartic experience for me,” he shared over coffee at Clayton’s Bakery & Bistro in early April. “We’ve successfully produced an e-bike that focuses on Style, Innovation, and Price — my hope is to expand the e-bike market and make quality e-bikes accessible for the recreational rider, which there are so many of on the island and beyond.”

So, what exactly makes Shaka Surf Bikes so special?

“In all my research, I felt that many e-bikes were clunky. I wanted to design an e-bike that, true to my own roots, had the sleek appearance of a Cruiser. We’ve hidden wires for one, but an exciting feature is we’ll have an option for people to design their own bikes — down to the color, frame, tires, fenders, and chain guard.” Adding an element of individuality to Shaka Surf Bikes is something new to the e-bike market, and with a baseline pre-sale price of $599, customers’ personalized upgrades become more affordable for new e-bike enthusiasts and longtime riders alike.

Speaking with Brett, whose cutting-edge mind and passion are evident, it’s no surprise that his patented Shaka Surf Bikes have a seemingly endless upgradability from the engine to the handlebars. The e-bike has a hidden case that can charge your phone and be locked and unlocked with RFID sensor technology, a controller that can set max speed limits for safety, and a Bluetooth speaker that will never lose battery power. But perhaps the most innovative element is the Shaka’s modular piece being built off of a standard bicycle frame, allowing for Brett to offer a two-year warranty standard (double what is currently offered in the marketplace). In other words, customers will have no need for the bike repair shop: Brett’s team can overnight a new seat, motor, etc., with instructions for how to repair any mishaps themselves.

Finally, and perhaps most attractive to those looking for a way into the e-bike market, Brett designed Shaka Surf Bikes to switch the game on a previously expensive industry. And since his pre-sales have begun, over 20% have been for multiple e-bike ownership. On April 22, customers will have the opportunity to purchase their own Shaka Surf Bike for the baseline pre-sale price of $599 for standard black, white, or grey e-bikes (with upgrades available from the starting price point).

Courtesy photo of Shaka Surf Bikes, by Brett Slaughter.

Brett is thrilled to hit the ground spinnin’ with his April 22 launch date, which has been predated by sponsoring an amateur surf team and offering a Shaka Surf Bike at local fundraisers. And for creatives on the island and beyond, Brett had one final sentiment to share: “Life works in mysterious ways. If it weren’t for me saying, ‘Why not?’, none of this would have happened. Be open to new opportunities and stimulus. During COVID, we were trying to tread water; now, here we are.”

Join the countdown at!

Instagram @esurfbike

Caroline Minchella
Caroline Minchella
Caroline was 15 years old when her family moved to Coronado. Though she was a “transplant”, Caroline found a home in the Coronado community near-immediately: she became an intern for “The Coronado Times”; helped reinstate the CHS newspaper, “The Islander Times”; was a volunteer dog-walker for PAWS; and a faithful Concert in the Park attendee.After completing her BA in English at the University of California Santa Barbara, she went on to craft answers for Amazon Alexa devices and write creatively on the side. Fast forward seven years, Caroline is thrilled to return as a Reporter for “The Coronado Times.” Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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