My dad asked me to hold the canoe in the middle of the river as he headed over to a nearby boulder to fillet the fish we had caught a few hours early. The boulder wasn’t an ideal fillet surface, but there was no other choice if we wanted to eat dinner later that night.
My grandfather first adventured down the Westfork of the Chippewa River in 1975 and it’s become a sacred outdoor trip that lives on in our family. As my father puts it, “there’s something incredible about being unplugged and being one with nature.”
I first experienced this generational journey on a brisk autumn day in 2018 with my father. Although we didn’t have much luck throughout the day, we were able to land enough fish to prepare dinner. We were in the last leg of the trip as my father trudged through the water, set the fish down on a boulder, and do his best to fillet properly. This process was inefficient, and the boulder’s surface was unfavorable for a task that may as well be an art.
As I watched from afar and took a moment to appreciate the surrounding environment, an idea formed. The only reason we were filleting fish on a rock was because we didn’t have another choice, other than a canoe paddle I suppose. What we needed at that moment was a durable, portable cutting surface that could withstand the rugged conditions of the Chippewa River.
After finishing up the 10-hour trek down the river, we began preparing dinner and I quickly realized we could utilize a durable, portable cutting surface within the cabin as well. The simple kitchen cutting boards didn’t offer the necessary durability, size, or portability for various outdoor activities.
Two days later we headed home, and I spent the car ride conducting my initial round of “research” by searching the web for a portable cutting board that would’ve been tough enough to endure the trip. Sure enough, no tool appeared that my father and I were confident would’ve made the process of filleting any easier. This marked the beginning of a brainstorming session that led to the idea for a line of durable, portable, foldable, & storable surfaces built for the outdoors. Creating outdoor’s toughest portable cutting surface was a result of our generational fishing trip and this project soon transitioned into SLAB Outdoors as we know it.
Despite a difficult process, we were able to build the first version of a tool that fills a direct need. The SLAB 1.0 Cutting Board includes a highly textured surface to prohibit slipping, a folding mechanism for added compactibility, handles for portability, specific width & length for efficient use, a notched ruler for measurement, and a weight of a bit over four pounds making it outdoor’s toughest portable cutting surface.
Although the SLAB 1.0 has been in the market for a few months, the utilizations are growing beyond our imagination. Individuals use this tool to efficiently fillet fish, measure fish, fillet doves, prepare vegetables in the kitchen, carry brisket out to the grill, present a tasting board, and even cut a pizza. The SLAB 1.0 was created because of a need we had, but the use cases have already surpassed all expectations.
The SLAB 1.0 is the centerpiece of our mission of creating durable, portable gear that enhances the outdoor experience and we love hearing how it’s impacted outdoorsmen. This story started with a simple need that day on the Chippewa River and our family’s generational fishing trip now inspires every piece of gear that we create.
Take It With You.
Author: Tyler Jones, Founder