Meet Icon Founder


Meet MARK RESSEL – best known to everyone simply as ‘Res’ – the founder of Icon Sports. Res is one of the lucky few to have grown up on the stunning, majestical shores of UK’s North Devon coastline, where England juts out into mighty Atlantic Ocean, creating some of the finest surf beaches in Europe – Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton Sands.

As a keen and loyal member of the local surf life saving community, Res spent several years working as a beach lifeguard, laying down strong, initial foundations for passion and performance in surfing, paddling and all things sea and ocean!  First competing in ‘spec (surf life saving) ski’ racing, then flat-water sprint kayak racing and ocean ski racing – Res soon started achieving major national and international success in competitions across the globe – and continues to do so to this day.


Icon founder, Mark Ressel (‘Res’)

Highlights of his paddling racing career include:

Surf Life Saving Open British Titles
• 2 x Single Ski and 6 x Double Ski
British Ocean Ski Open Titles
• 4 x Single Ski (2016 winner) and 1 x Double Ski
International Ocean Ski
• Molokai 2012 Double Ski – 3rd
• Mauritius Ocean Ski Classic 2013 – 14th
• European Masters 2014 – 1st
British Sprint Kayaking Men’s A 1000m
• 2014 K1 / k2 / k4 – 1st, 2015 K1 5th / k2 1st / k4 1st

Over the years, Res has had the privilege of paddling with some of the world’s best paddlers, gaining a wealth of knowledge about ski paddling and sprint kayaking. The creation of Icon Sports is the culmination of all this experience – and as he says himself – now able to better share his passion with the wider world for his love of the sport of surf-ski paddling and all things performance, ocean and kayaking…  is a dream come true.


Ress testing the original Icon Genesis Ocean Ski in 2013

Adventure to Lundy – One of Res’s most recent and personal memorable paddling experiences, was from Icon’s birthplace, near Woolacombe, to the small island of Lundy 18 miles off the North Devon coastline. “This was an extraordinary experience which inspired me to create our ‘Adventures’ programme so I can share more of this type of paddling. On a surf ski, long distance paddling like this is fast and exhilarating – the experience exemplified when in the open ocean, taking you close to the power and forces of nature”. Hop aboard a 40 foot boat and get whisked away to Lundy or to one of three other Adventures in the programme – find out more here.


The stunning 3 mile long beach at Woolacombe

on June 1 • by

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