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Carlsbad is home to action sports business cluster

Posted at 6:09 AM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 10:50:42-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) -- When it comes to business in Carlsbad, there is plenty of action -- as in action sports.

Inside a building on Newton Drive, a profound change in sports technology is in full swing - after swing.

"It's a new era for sports information. I think analytics is going to take the game to the next level," said Roger Weingarth, President and CEO of Blast Motion.

The company's technology uses a sensor that attaches to the end bat, as high-powered cameras record everything measurable, from bat speed to body rotation. That is a big edge in training athletes and a boon for coaches in search of data for recruiting.

Among the company's customers: thousands of high school baseball programs and hundreds of college baseball and softball programs, along with nearly all Major League Baseball teams. For the last decade, Blast Motion has called Carlsbad home. The company has some 80 employees, most of them in Carlsbad.

"Having this wonderful combination of education, engineering talent - as well as authentic athletes - is relevant and very important for our success here in Carlsbad. People are very active here, active in sports," said Weingarth.

About five years ago, Chris Crawford was one of those athletes. He was a surfer who was tired of getting his car dirty. He invented a pressurized portable shower in his garage in Carlsbad, showed it off at the city's street fairs, before a Kickstarter campaign, viral video, and an appearance on the show Shark Tank helped lead his company Rinsekit to success. The company is one of more than 15 firms that helped turn Carlsbad into an action sports hub. Other companies include GoPro, Prana, Spy Optic and Reef.

"Carlsbad has a neat energy to it. There is a culture of thinking people that are smart that want to be here. They have access to capital and other resources all around," said Crawford.

In all, the action sports business employs nearly 1,900 people in Carlsbad. Employment in that cluster is about 50 times the national average. In a recent 10-year stretch, some 1,700 patents were issued to action sports companies in Carlsbad.