Function Meets Fashion in Hearing Protection

Beware of the Kraken! Look Out for the Newest Wave in Extreme Board Sports!


Kraken Boardsports has revolutionized what it means to love extreme sports and has created solutions that allow action sports lovers to maximize their performance speeds. Often times, athletes resort to dangerous measures in order to get the speed they need. Thus, the Kraken Stealth Wakeboard Snowboard Winch was born! The 120 pound Kraken Stealth is a powerful machine intended for experienced riders, available in 212 cc, or 301 cc.  It gives riders the speed they need to ride on a snowboard flat, or wakeboard with no boating waves.

Kraken Boardsports was co-founded by Mike Grobinski and Danny Lykens. Mike loved the sport and Danny was brilliant with product design; together they created the Kraken One as the world’s best winch. Alex Planer and Brandon Carey were brought on the team as additional co-founders contributing master engineering, and business skills to the team dynamic. Kraken Boardsports is headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Kraken Boardsports has yet another product to soon be a part of their extreme sporting portfolio – the SkateBlox. Skatblox introduces a way for athletes to finally create their own, easy to build ramps out of building blocks, or shall I say, “blox”!

Team Fader had the opportunity to speak with Danny Lykens about the team’s journey developing the niche products for Kraken, as well as his experience with hearing protection. Here’s what he had to say!

1.) Where did the inspiration for the SkatBlox and Winch come from?

The inspiration for the SkateBlox and the Kraken Stealth winch line came from seeing where whitespace exists in the board sports arena mixed with our knowledge in product development, but mainly we just wanted to have fun.

2.) How would you describe the company culture at Kraken?

On business-y sounding forms, we put our dress code as “California Casual” – but that’s basically managed day by day.

3.) As a skater, how do you compare your experience between using the SkateBlox and your every day wooden ramp?

SkatBlox have the ride quality of concrete ramps at the price of premium wooden ramps, but are portable and indestructible. Seriously, you can hit it with a sledge hammer.

4.) What do you think is the common perception of hearing healthcare amongst millennials?

Hearing healthcare among millennials is usually forgotten…unless in a work environment that requires ear protection, you usually won’t see people wearing ear protection.

5.) Have you taken any precautions over the years to protect your hearing health? If so, what do you usually use?

We wear the little crappy foam earplugs in the shop if we are doing something loud.

6.) Do employees in your manufacturing sector utilize hearing protection? If so, what are they using?

People do utilize hearing protection in our manufacturing sector. It’s usually a toss up between people using disposable foam plugs and over the ear protection.

7.) If you had a quality pair of earplugs, would it be something you would consider using?
If I had quality earplugs, I would use them all the time in the shop. The one machine makes this terribly annoying loud pitched whooshing sound and the foam plugs only do so much.

8.) What is the most memorable highlight of the Kraken Boardsports journey to date?

The most memorable highlight from starting Kraken Boardsports has to be the road trips to demo the product. We learned our market in Texas demoing our first winch, and have traveled to Alabama twice this year for wakeboarding events with the Kraken Stealth. Getting out, meeting people, and testing the products has taught us tons, and has been too much fun.

For more information on Kraken Boardsports visit: