Memorial Day weekend is over and the first little blip of the season is past. To me it always signifies the beginning of “summer” and what it represents….warmer weather, gentle southwest breezes, and lots of paddling. There is nothing better on a summer day than a couple relaxing hours on a paddle board cruising the lake or lazily lounging around while being able to take a quick dip off your own personal mobile floating platform. This time of year also means that you may finally be thinking about no longer putting off that paddle board purchase you have been contemplating for a while.
I’ve always had a firm commitment to providing the kind of place where you could count on buying a quality board. I have zero interest in the other option. This internet is now flooded with them. However, as people have become more and more price sensitive and the market has matured I’ve tried very hard to find a happy medium. This past winter I spent a considerable amount of time working to find a way to help create options that will get people out on the water for less than a grand. I’m not going to lie, it was HARD to find quality stuff that I could feel proud to carry in the shop but at the same time not break the bank for customers. Its my business to do the homework for you and help sort through the overwhelming number of options. That said, I’m really happy with our board selection this season and hope you will consider us for your next SUP purchase. I have created some amazing top quality, entry level package deals starting at $749 for a whole set up with a paddle board, paddle, and safety leash and its just not going to get any better than that for a decent set up. I also still continue to have some really top quality boards from previous years on clearance so there is really no need to “buy used” when you can buy new for pretty much the same price.
I implore you to shop local. I’m going to be honest, the survival our our shop (and others like it) and the continued ability to sell boards (and not turn into just another t-shirt shop) depends on you. At the moment, I’m in the store pondering on this beast that has become the retail aspect of my business and as the boxes keep coming in with more and more stuff, I also ask myself a lot of poignant questions at this time of year. Like: Where is this all going? What does this store need to carry to work in this tourist town? How do I compete with the flood of cheap, low quality, mass produced boards being sold on the internet? Does my location just stink? Is brick and mortar dead? How am I going to pay my bills? What in the freaking heck was I thinking in the first place!? Long gone are the days when I just had a few boards on top of my truck and met people at the lake to go paddling. Life was simpler then and I must confess that I often long for those days. It was certainly more laid back than 18 hr days tagging swimwear, t-shirts, and a million assorted accessories. Yet the truth is that I love the challenge. Its hard and that motivates me. I want to make it succeed and thrive. I love being my own boss. I love this sport and I really want people to discover how amazing it is. If in the meantime, I also have to sell rompers and cold-shoulder blouses to pay the rent just so I can keep the dream to paddle for a living alive… then so be it.
In the meantime, please come in to the shop and chat with an expert. That little trip to Bar Harbor will be well worth it. Touch and feel the boards. Ask questions. Take a lesson. Experience customer service you aren’t going to find on reallycheappaddleboards.com. And for heavens sake stop procrastinating that board purchase and get out on the water and paddle this summer!