On a trip to Whistler in 2001, he strapped on a snowboard for the first time and hasn’t looked back.
A lifelong surfer growing up in South East Queensland, he moved to Victoria in 1989 to live on the Victorian South Coast.
It was around this time that Simon met legendary surfer and board shaper Dave Boyd, and over the next 20 odd years Dave shaped many boards for Simon, each different, each unique and each for a different purpose.
It was this relationship with the surfboard shaper that fuelled the fire that led to Savage Panda Snowboards.
Simon gets that a board, whether surf or snow, is always a better fit when designed with the specific rider in mind. Every rider is different. You can tell who a rider is from a long way off simply from their individual style.
Simon also gets that there is a world-wide trend where people are demanding individuality, diversity and uniqueness in their products and services.
Futurists are also predicting that one of the biggest trends from 2017 and beyond is that of customisation and a bespoke offering.
People don’t want the ‘one size fits all’ model anymore. As the population of the world grows, discerning people just don’t want to be part of the pack, they want to be different and individual.
Tailoring things for the individual has been a stand out element of Simon’s successful business career across sectors including aviation, fashion retail, logistics and engineering where he worked with some of Australia and the world’s biggest and best brands.
The time is now right for Simon to bring together his business skills, his love of surfing and snowboarding and, along with the marketing and PR prowess his partner Kate brings to the table, create a new and exclusive brand in the snowboard world, and maybe, just maybe change the way the industry thinks about its customers.
He understands however that he and Kate can’t do this alone, so that’s why the Savage Panda Rule Breakers were created.
A team of big brained, incredibly experienced and knowledgeable snowboard people.
Simon is so pumped to be working with these amazing people and can’t wait to see what they can collectively come up with in designing and building 100% customisable snowboards for Savage Panda customers.
It’s god dammed exciting!!
Kate co-founded Savage Panda Snowboards, and used her extensive media and marketing knowledge to establish Savage Panda’s brand identity, and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of media coverage for the company, including national TV exposure. Kate resigned as a Director of Savage Panda Snowboards in 2019 for personal reasons, leaving the day to day operations of Savage Panda Snowboards to Simon Thorne.
Kate still runs her Meet The Press MasterClasses twice yearly and thrives on seeing businesses connect directly with journalists who want to hear their stories.
With a history of being a ‘rule breaker’ in her own right, Kate has always broken the rules and challenged the ‘status quo’.
Her 30 years in PR and publicity earned her the title of ‘PR Anti-Christ’ from one senior Fairfax journalist who loved the way she turned the tables on the traditional PR consulting model, and carved a path of making a powerful and positive difference for business owners all over Australia and New Zealand.
Every year, Kate and her clients controlled hundreds of hours of TV and radio time, and hundreds of pages of national, local and specialty newspapers and magazines.
Media programs and publications that are household names often featured her clients as she brought journalist after journalist together directly with hundreds and hundreds of her publicity-hungry clients at her signature ‘Meet The Press MasterClass’ events.
Kate co-founded Savage Panda Snowboards with Simon Thorne and used her extensive media and marketing knowledge to establish Savage Panda's brand identity and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of media coverage for the company including national TV exposure. Kate resigned as a Director of Savage Panda Snowboards in 2019 for personal reasons leaving the day to day operations of Savage Panda to Simon.
Kate still runs her Meet the Press Masterclasses twice yearly and thrives on seeing businesses connect directly to journalists who want to hear their stories.