What happens when an endurance junkie sees a problem? A new company is formed, at least that is how Orange Mud came about. Today on episode 96 of the Final Surge podcast we talk to Josh Sprague about his endurance career and how that lead him to redesign water packs with his company Orange Mud.
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We want to spend some time talking about your company Orange Mud, but before we get into that can you tell us how you first got your start in endurance athletics?
- Adventure racing
- Noticed ways to make hydration easier
Adventure racing, you don’t hear about that as much any more, do you think it is because of the rise in obstacle races?
- Cost, organization
- The barrier to entry was higher with adventure
- Ultra racing is easier to organize
- Was expensive
What’s the most interesting adventure race you ever did?
- Calico Yosemite Race
What endurance athletics are you focusing on these days?
- Endurance mountain bike races
- Gravel biking
You have done a lot of different endurance events, where did this love for endurance sports come from?
- Country boy in Kansas
- Everyone was a long distance call so always was playing outside
- Learned to explore
You own a successful start-up company, you have a family, how do you find a time to get it all done, do you have any time management secrets or tips?
- I told my wife I would only do my main training during the workday
- I avoid training on the weekends unless riding with kids
Let’s talk about Orange Mud. You are probably known best for your hydration packs obviously, but also wraps, clothing and even awesome looking vintage trucker caps on your website. How did you get your start?
- Backpacks were one side
- Clothing was me wanting better clothing
- Trucker caps were really successful
- We focused on quality
What is with the name Orange Mud?
- My middle name is Clay and always liked it
- Played with a bunch of Clay names and purchased a lot of domains
- Clay is a mud and that name just worked better
What was your first product?
- Hydtraquiver bottle carrier
Can you walk us through how that came about?
- I noticed upper back didn’t move when ran, so focused on that area
- I wanted a place for a bottle and cash, keys and phone
- A place for nutrition quick access area
How many variations before you came up with one before you thought it was ready?
- The first product was 18
- Most of the early products were 17-23 variations before I was happy with it
At what point did you realize this was a great product and you thought you could bring it to the masses?
- Started in spring 2012, fall of 2012 we went to market with a functional and durable product
- 10 months in we launched with an Indiegogo campaign
What makes the Orange Mud different than other packs?
- We put the bottle on the center of the back
- We use a regular bottle so you can use almost any bottle you want
- Our packs are smaller and more stable than others
How hard was it to break into retail, it is a tough business dominated by big brands?
- Big brands have the name, we focus on specialty stores, not big-box locations
- Specialty stores often carry the same as big-box locations
- We make it in the USA
What is next, what new products do you have coming out
- Working on a new handheld
- HiHigh-performanceain jacket/pants
Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? – Endurance – Shackelton
Current trainers you are wearing? – On Running
Favorite race? – The Hawk in Kansas
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? – Infinite Nutrition Repair Fruit Punch
Your favorite workout – Anything on a mountain bike