Greene created his own wakesurf board company, Glen Lake Surf Co., in the summer of 2020.
Greene conceived the idea for GLSC in June 2020 while working his summer job at the Glen Craft Marina in Glen Arbor, Michigan.
“I was with my friend there, and it was a slow day so we were just hanging out in the office, and he, for some reason, started talking about million-dollar ideas,” Greene said.
Greene said the idea for a custom surfboard company eventually came up.
“I decided to run with it and do some mockup stuff on my computer to see what it would look like if I were to order parts for boards,” Greene said.
After finding his first client, Acme Propellers, Greene started working out of his garage, building two boards in 2020. As one would expect, business slowed down as the weather got colder.
Growing a company while in school required determination. His roommate, sophomore Mathew Muller, witnessed this resolve first hand.
“Caleb is a very determined individual,” Muller said. “I looked up to how much time he dedicated to school freshman year. His love for surfing helps him keep this determination. If you don’t believe me, just come to our dorm, and look at all of the water skis, surfboards, and posters of lakes filling our room.”
As warmer weather rolled around in 2021, the opportunity to let GLSC grow presented itself again. One of Greene’s former high school teachers, Richard Butcher, joined him as a business partner, allowing for more efficient production.
“When this summer started I saw a really good opportunity to get involved and work with Caleb to produce wakesurf boards,” Butcher said. “I jumped at the chance.”
He also noted the effect GLSC has had on Greene’s overall demeanor.
“When Caleb was in high school we used to joke there were two Caleb’s: the Caleb that was in school and ‘Up North Caleb,’” Butcher said. “In school Caleb was always stressed about grades and uptight about everything. ‘Up North Caleb’ was laid back and had everything under control. I think as GLSC grows we will see ‘Up North Caleb’ turn into the full time guy that he is, and I feel like I can already see that happening.”
Greene has also incorporated his own creative flair into board design. Drawing on his love for the northern part of Michigan, Greene was able to partner with a brand called 45th Parallel and produce a board which showcased the Michigan area with the parallel running through it.
GLSC has also started to become a family operation. Greene’s sister is currently in charge of the Instagram account and handles all the marketing for the company.
“It’s been really fun to work with her and see her take off with it,” Greene said. “She’s kind of taken it and made it really professional and really cool.”
Greene also brought his brother on to produce boards. This has allowed him to start thinking about the future of the company.
“I brought my brother on with the idea to start training him so that in a couple years when I graduate and move on to another job, he could take over and continue to run the business in some capacity and continue to build boards and grow it,” Greene said.
Regardless of where the business goes, Greene has gained experience and created memories which will last a lifetime. GLSC has allowed him to pursue a sport that he loves.
“I think it’s really cool that you can get out and surf, but you don’t have to have waves or wind or anything like that,” Greene said. “It’s also really social, and it’s a lot of fun to be with your family, and have that bonding experience.”
Greene noted that he would encourage everyone to get out and give wakesurfing a try. No matter what anyone thinks about wakesurfing, Greene believes that anyone can have a blast, and they might even see him out on the lake.