Industry giant, innovator, and visionary, Herb O’Brien, passed away on Monday following years of kidney complications. He was 68 years old.
During his life Herb created water sports manufacturing behemoths O’Brien, HO/Hyperlite, and Square One distribution (Ronix/Radar). Among O’Brien’s many contributions to the industry are the first compression-molded neutral-buoyancy wakeboard, the first line of closed-toe bindings, and the first tunnel-bottom waterski. If you have owned a piece of waterski equipment, Herb probably had his hand in designing it.
Herb was also known for creating technology that allowed his riders to perform to the best of their ability, while not neglecting the lifestyle of the rider. In fact, it was Herb’s industry knowledge that served as a guiding light for the careers of some of wakeboarding’s biggest names.
Fortunately, Herb’s passion and legacy live on through his son, Paul, whose ideas and strategies have accelerated Ronix into a worldwide leading wakeboard brand in a mere six years. Our sincere condolences go out to the O’Brien family and the people at Square One.