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Meet Ryan Guy of Gurilla Battalion

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Guy.

Ryan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in Carlsbad and, like many kids, I played just about every sport and enjoyed them all, but it was soccer that I fell most in love with at a very young age. I came up through the ultra-competitive youth club system here and eventually earned a scholarship to play at the University of San Diego. From there I pursued a professional career an was fortunate enough to play in Ireland, the MLS, and with the Guam National Team because my dad is from Guam. It was during my time with the Guam team, nicknamed “the Matao”, which is the name of the ancient warrior class on the island, that I met Rob DeGuzman.

Rob was the equipment manager for the team and a retired U.S Army Ranger. At that point in my career, taking care of my body was my number one priority and I was obsessed with recovery products, particularly foam rollers. I was always bringing different rollers to training camps and competitions; foam ones, wooden ones, plastic ones, contoured ones, you name it I probably brought it. Apparently, the team got sick of asking me to borrow my rollers and instead started to ask Rob if he could purchase them for the team. On Guam, everything is imported and therefore, expensive. Simple foam rollers cost two to three times as much as they do on the U.S. mainland.

So, Rob decided to build his own version and had the innovative idea to use a material which he had used countless times during his time in the service, rope. Needless to say, it turned out to be the best performing roller anyone on the team, including myself, had ever used. I must have been the most enthusiastic in my usage and interest because, within a few months, Rob and I had agreed to use this rope roller as the flagship product for our new company, Gurilla Battalion. That was almost four years ago.

We have since moved our company from Guam to San Diego, brought two additional recovery products to market, added another business partner, and grown our manufacturing and sales platforms. The biggest decision we had to make was whether to keep our products made in the USA or to outsource, and we are happy to say that all of our manufacturing is done right here in San Diego.

Our grassroots growth effort is lived out by our Gurilla pop-up store which can be seen at athletic events all throughout San Diego where we sell our flagship Gurilla Ground Rollers, our patent-pending customizable Gurilla Styks, our innovative APE Precision Roller, and Gurilla swag. After attending so many of these events I can honestly say that the most satisfying feeling in business so far comes from the contented look on the face of a fellow athlete, who is passionate about taking care of his or her body, use one of our rollers for the very first time.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My partners and I are constantly discussing the need to be doing more, that things aren’t happening fast enough. Even when we choose a strategy and enact a plan with a timeline, there are always the lingering questions, “Shouldn’t we be further along by now? and, “Can’t we move more quickly?” While our original roller was awesome, it took almost two years to get that product to a place that was reproducible at scalable.

Our other two products in our recovery line, the Gurilla Styk and the Precision APE Roller, have each seen at least three iterations since their inception, and that’s just on the product development side, don’t get me started with marketing, PR, sales, and corporate growth! So, I guess what I am saying is that, like most businesses, our benchmarks are continuously moving and the hurdles that must be crossed are more numerous than the victories, but certainly not as sweet. The old cliche that “balance is key” rings true for us!

Please tell us about Gurilla Battalion.
We are an athlete care company specializing in performance and recovery. Our proprietary rope texture, patterns and colors are what sets our rollers apart from our competition. Not only are our rollers more attractive and better built than the cheap outsourced alternatives, but our rollers help relieve the pain associated with fatigue, soreness, and injury better than anything else on the market.

We came up with our name, Gurilla Battalion, from a mixture of inspiration and intentionality. Gurilla, because we wanted to grow organically through guerrilla tactics, because Gorillas are just about the fiercest and most majestic creatures in the animal kingdom, and because the “state code” for Guam is GU! Battalion is an ode to Rob’s military background and an indication of how we think about our company and customers; as a cohesive team always working toward our next objective.

I am most proud of our connections to local companies and athletes. We are always looking to support and partner with other organizations and individuals who are motivated to achieve great things through collaborative efforts.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
This is a random memory that came back to me recently only a trip to the Del Mar far, which is now the San Diego County Fair. I remember going as a boy, and after walking around for what seemed like all day to the point where I was started to whine because my feet and legs were sore, my Mom pointed me in the direction of these big seats with metal footrests. The seats were called “Footsie Wootsies”.

I thought it was the funniest name ever until I put in a quarter and realized how amazing the intense vibration of the footrest felt, and how it allowed me to get back to the fun of the fair for that much longer. I think this was probably my first introduction to “recovery” products, and the realization that there were real and cool ways to help restore and revitalize a tired, aching body.

I suppose that with Gurilla, in a way, we are trying to emulate what footsie wootsies do, but with a more stylish look and name! [laugh]

Pricing:

  • Gurilla Ground Rollers from $49.99
  • Gurilla Styks start from $39.99
  • Precision APE Rollers from $19.99

Contact Info:

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