Handcrafted America: Fridays at 8:30p ET

Meet Handcrafted America’s Artisan John Ippolito, Spearguns 

John Ippolito of Koah Spearguns 

Riviera Beach, FL

When John Ippolito was dissatisfied with the spearguns he used on his job, he began adjusting and improving the equipment he was using at the time. Then having a vision in mind, he finally crafted a speargun to his own specifications. He knew what he was looking for: a gun that would track, balance and drive the same shaft path time and time again. But just having a technically functioning speargun was not enough. John put his years of art and design experience to work, creating a quality speargun that looked beautiful in and out of the water.

He continues to uphold his high standards today in his 3,000 sq. ft. shop with a small staff of dedicated artisans. Everything from the track, laminates, ballast, rubber, shafts and coatings are of the highest grade and strength, and not one gun leaves the shop that John would not personally shoot.

Meet John…

What drew you to your chosen craft?

Necessity and the opportunity to create something better. I was on the ocean 4-5 days a week as part of my Job, and I wasn’t satisfied with the spearguns I was using. Many products on the market were very inconsistent with accuracy depending on the way you set them up. I set out to make a product that was more user friendly, highly accurate despite the power set up, and looked great in and out of the water.

What do you enjoy most about your craft?

I enjoy having the ability to create products that people truly enjoy, while at the same time improving their skill at the sport. Also, the fact that we can continue to push the boundaries of the industry, and become pioneers of a production level product of this quality.

Why is it important for people to make things with their own hands?

While a few of our procedures have moved to machine, quite a bit of the process is done by hand. We are still a small team that has a part in every step of the process and all of us are passionate about what we do and how we do it. This creates a better product in the end and a stronger customer base. This is why we have kept the same guys on the job for the last 3 years. If you’re in a large warehouse focused strictly on volume with a large workforce that has a high turnover rate, you are adding a lot of variables, and employees focused on making a paycheck. Unfortunately, this leaves openings for flaws and negligence.

What does the future hold for your type of work?

Our company, sales and reputation have grown quite a bit over the last 6 years. We will continue to make new, innovative products that will shape the market over the next decade. Eventually, we will branch off to other wood products items with the resources we have here.

 


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