Finding the right stand up paddle board, for the right price, is a tough job for many consumers. With big box stores more concerned with sales volume vs. selling the proper board for the paddler, many first time buyers end up with heavy and unstable paddle boards that make the sport of SUP both harder and less fun.
BOGA board display in our Jamaica, VT shop
The amount of fun and enjoyment you get out of your SUP is directly correlated to a properly selected board based on many crucial factors including but not limited to; paddler size and weight, ability level, primary water condition, etc.
When we get a SUP inquiry, whether it’s on the water, at our store in Jamaica, Vermont, or through our website www.vermontskiandsport.com, a comprehensive assessment is utilized to ensure the best equipment will be recommended.
Our many years as athletes and educators afford us the nuanced expertise of the sport that a big box store just cannot achieve. As a specialty ski and stand up paddle board store we have the experience, brand selection, great deals, enthusiasm, and SUP lifestyle that differentiate us from a chain department store.
We ran SUP recon at three of the bigger chains in the US and consistently experienced the same mistakes and consistent lack of knowledge with Stand Up Paddle Boarding. The takeaway was that the larger chain sporting goods stores sell SUPs only because they are a “hot” item, not because they know the sport, the product, or have a passion for the product and SUP lifestyle.
At Vermont Ski and Sport, we are athletes and adventurers first. We sell our equipment based on how we, as gear heads, would want to buy it. This ensures you get the best product, at the best price, with the best expertise. And we make it EASY.
What we found at large sporting goods retailers (See the bottom of the article for specific stories):
- Firstly, the staff was always pleasant and seemed very nice. Unfortunately this lulls many people into believing they’re on the road to a great choice!
- The staff mostly did not own a Stand Up Paddle Board and or even participate in the sport on a consistent basis, if at all.
- They all consistently recommended an incorrect size board, whether by length, weight, or volume.
- They were greatly influenced by the lowest priced board rather than what my needs were. The lowest price boards were consistently suggested, regardless of what our needs as buyers were. If you’re a good athlete, you want your gear to fit your skill level.
- Not one staff member did a comprehensive profile and assessment, but instead immediately started recommending a model from their computers or from there limited knowledge of current stock.
- Most if not all salesmen and women did not understand how weight, height, ability, water type, and experience affect how a product should be sold. Example: one staff member told me a 9’8” stand up paddle board as a 6’ 200 lb. paddler would be a good choice for me. I did tweak my weight and height for this investigative blog! (Note: this size board could be good for this size paddler if they are running their SUP on rivers and whitewater or sup surfing. But, it would not be beneficial for a general rider in bays, lakes, and ponds.)
Stand up paddle boarding is a fun and exciting sport that offers fitness, social time, and a connection to the water that is unequaled! Having the correct equipment makes you someone who stays with the sport verses someone who drops it, or sells their gear off at their next garage sale. As the old adage goes, buy it right or buy it twice!
We want to be your specialty SUP dealer. From anywhere in the US shop with us at www.VermontSkiandSport.com for specialized expertise.
Team Rider and Web Guru: Jamie Bischof | Location: Stratton Mountain Snowmaking Pond
Our staff are athletes first and sales professionals second. We know and use stand up paddle boards very often. Most of us compete in races, run whitewater rivers, leisure paddle daily and we all own our own gear. (Many of us own 2-3 boards). We are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and live the stand up paddle board lifestyle on a daily basis. Wherever you are located we can offer private lessons, advice, delivery, and setup to make your paddle board experience perfect.
Please let us help you have the SUP time of your life.
Thank you from the Vermont Ski and Sport Team.