Based in Sechelt and with locations in Wilson Creek, Roberts Creek, Powell River and Pender Harbour, Alpha Adventures has seen tremendous growth with SUP over the past year, so we thought we'd check in with Jamie to see what's happening this year over on the Sunshine Coast...
How long has your company been in business, and how did you get your start?
We have been in business for 11 years. We started by working as kayak and canoe instructors in the lower mainland- but when we moved up to the Sunsine Coast we found a paddling paradise. So- using my 10+ years of working in specialty outdoor retail, we decided to open up a shop.
When and how did you first find out about Stand Up Paddleboarding?
We first discovered stand up paddleboarding on a trip to Hawaii 4 years ago. I rented a board and I was hooked.
We started carrying SUP products in our stores in 2010.
What sort of growth have you seen you started selling SUP related products?
The growth has been awesome. We host a yearly set of demo days- called “You Can Paddle Days”. This is a way for folks to try out kayaks, canoes and SUP’s. This year- on two separate days – in two separate towns (Powell River and Sechelt) we almost saw the same interest in SUP as we did kayaks!
What are your top selling board brands and models?
Our top selling boards are Naish Nalu 11’6, Starboard Big Easy and the
What are your top selling paddle brands and models?
Our top selling paddles are Aquaglide, and Naish.
What are your most popular SUP related accessories?
Our most popular accessories are wetsuits and booties, paddling clothing and roof rack accessories.
If there was one accessory you'd suggest that all stand up paddle boarders should purchase, it would be...
I would say invest in a good paddle. Well worth putting the extra $ into and it can yield amazing results.
Do you offer additional value added services?
- Lessons (owner is a paddle Canada SUP instructor trainer)
- Wednesday Night SUP sessions- rent a board or bring your own. Social paddle with a mini skill clinic.
- Rentals- various types of boards – from plastic to race boards
- SUP fitness classes
- Organizer of what will be a yearly SUP festival- Sunshine Coast Paddleboard Festival. This one day fest is great to find out about SUP- try boards- attend clinics and enter recreational races.
How do most of your customers use their stand up paddle boards?
Most of our clients use their boards for flatwater or down wind paddling.
Where do you and your customers get out on the water?
Our favourite spots are:
- Davis Bay- good for flatwater and can also be a great spot for a little surf depending on the tide and wind.
- Porpoise Bay- Sechelt Inlet is awesome for providing semi protected water.
What time of day brings the best conditions?
Morning and early evening for flat water.
A low tide combined with a West or N. West wind advisory will usually yield some surf for our shoreline on the Sunshine Coast.
Where do you see stand up paddle boarding going in the next few years?
I think it will definitely become more mainstream. It speaks to people in a way that no other paddle-sport does. It is so easy to get on the water (literally) with SUP. It is so diverse- flat water- surf – touring....
What's your favorite part about being involved with stand up paddleboarding?
It is a relatively new and growing activity for Western Canada- and thus it is fresh. I was fortunate enough to be involved in the first instructor training program for Paddle Canada and that was awesome. I love teaching new paddlers about SUP- whether it is in a lesson or in our shop.
Any tips for the newcomers?
Take a lesson and try out different styles of boards. Take advantage of festivals and demo day events.
Any final thoughts?
We are hosting the 1st annual Sunshine Coast Paddleboard Festival on July 24 in Sechelt. It will be a great day of demos- clinics- and some recreational races in the afternoon. Call 604.885.8838 for more info.
We have Naish, Starboard and Amundson SUP’s in stock and in our demo fleet.