James Kappen is the founder and CEO of Proposable, an online sales proposal platform designed to streamline the entirety of the sales proposal process, including its creation, delivery, tracking and more. Kappen, a resident of Santa Barbara, California, has enjoyed previous success in a variety of entrepreneurial endeavors and has applied many of the lessons learned from those experiences to Proposable, the company he founded in 2009 with the goal of providing creative solutions benefiting the global sales force as a whole. Living in Santa Barbara provides Kappen with a multitude of recreational opportunities, but he tends to favor a day spent out on the ocean above all else.
What is your hobby?
Surfing and music are both significant passions of mine. One of the things I love most about Santa Barbara is the fact that the climate makes it possible to be in the ocean throughout each season of the year.
How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?
I enjoy being out on the water and have experience on all kinds of watercraft, but there is an incredibly active surfing community in Santa Barbara that really sparked my interest in becoming more involved.
Tell us what you love about it.
It’s just the most beautiful and relaxing way to spend a morning or afternoon. Picture yourself floating on a surfboard in the Pacific Ocean looking back at the dramatic coastline of Santa Barbara and feeling your worries float away with the current.
Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?
No, but I have been considering joining one of the local surf clubs we have right here in Santa Barbara.
Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.
My garage is full of various colorful surfboards of various sizes. One of my favorites is a custom paddle board I had made by shaper, Joe Bark, out of LA that is known for his racing paddle boards. This board is 13ft long and is made to paddle long distances in the ocean and explore areas of inaccessible coastline and then surf. Its my go-to board most days when the surf is small, but I still have a blast.
Where do you buy most of your supplies?
Depending on what I need, I’ll usually stop in at Channel Islands Surfboards.
Are there any good books for beginners?
“The Surfers Journal” is probably the only thing you need to pick up to immerse yourself and catch the stoke that every surfer has. Other than that, just borrow a board and get out there!
How has this changed your life?
There’s a unique sense of freedom and accomplishment that is only experienced through surfing, and I believe that has helped me in many of my professional endeavors as well. Surfing isn’t something that you can just go out and be good at. It takes a long time and a considerable amount of patience, both thing that you need to be successful with any business.
What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and disappointed in your slow improvement at first, so be patient and focus on the journey of progression from one skill level to the next.
Are there any other hobbies you have?
I play music often, so I can often be found in my recording studio in Santa Barbara when I’m not surfing or hard at work on my responsibilities as the CEO of Proposable.