For the latest installment of the Paddlesurf.ca Shop Profile, we profile Sliver Paddleboards
How long has your company been in business, and how did you get your start?
I started Sliver Paddleboards in 2010 after being unable to find an environmentally responsible paddleboard. Paddle boarding is inherently a very clean activity but when you consider the harmful chemicals, overseas manufacturing, and short lifespan of foam boards, things start to look quite different. For a long time I have lived with the idea that recycling isn’t the answer to our society’s constant use of the planets resources so paddling on a foam board made about as much sense to me as eating on styrofoam plates. Wooden boards offer an alternative that is environmentally responsible, longer lasting, and the boards have timeless style.
When and how did you first find out about Stand Up Paddleboarding?
I was surfing in San Diego (I can’t remember the exact year) and saw a paddler catching waves with a paddle. I thought at the time he was a windsurfer goofing around because there was no wind but now I wish I had paddled closer to see what he was riding. It was years later that I saw my first paddleboard and realized this might be the next mountain bike.
When did you start carrying SUP related products in your store?
From the first day paddleboards has been my only focus. I tried to buy a kit to build my own wooden SUP but was unable to find anything that I liked. At the time you could buy stich-n-glue plywood kits or kits with solid rails but nobody offered kits with hollow rails and organic shapes. Unhappy with the choices at the time I designed and built my first board by making a computer model of a friends Starboard. After building many boards by hand I realized that I needed a CNC machine to speed up cutting out the fishbone frames for my custom boards. After having in house CNC capabilities I started selling fishbone kits and now have boards all over the world.
What are your top board brands?
I only sell my own brand.
What are your top selling paddle brands and models?
The Eleven2 is our most popular model because the shape works really well for everything from flat water paddling to surfing in Tofino.
The 11’2” x 30” shape was first built as a present for a customer’s 40th birthday present from husband and kids. The board was very special because the recipient’s daughters drew the artwork for the board. I am sure it will be cherished by that family for a very long time.
Do you offer additional value added services?
There were other companies selling plans & kits for building wooden boards when I started my company but they all had the business model of , “Give me your money and I might show you something special.” Our company is different in that we have a very detailed tutorials section on our website that teaches you how to build a wooden board for free. After fully understanding how the boards are constructed do customers buy the fishbone kit or plans. I speculate that a higher percentage of my boards are actually built than the other business model.
How do most of your customers use their stand up paddle boards?
I hope in the water. This year I have had requests for boards to be used as wall hangers, boards to live on super yachts in Italy, all the way to a luxury hotel wanting boards for their customers to use in the Jasper National Park.
Where do you and your customers get out on the water?
My favourite place is on vacation each summer on the Sunshine Coast.
Where do you see stand up paddle boarding going in the next few years?
I see paddleboarding as the mountain bike of the water with no real limits. The coolest thing with stand-up in my opinion is you can have fun just about anywhere there is water. Flat water paddling with the family or surfing with friends. Same board, same smiles!