The latest instalment of the PaddleSurf.ca Shop Profile comes to us from Red River Paddle, an online shop specializing in Red Paddle Co. inflatable paddleboards, and offering rentals and tours in and around the Winnipeg Manitoba area.
How long has your company been in business, and how did you get your start?
We have been in business since June, 2015. We got our start here in Manitoba because there weren’t any local Red Paddle board rentals or sales – and that’s what we wanted to ride! After some inquiries we decided to start small and see if there was any demand – and since then we’ve been very successful in our local market and selling all over Canada on our website.
When and how did you first find out about Stand Up Paddleboarding?
I first saw an article in Explore Magazine of Norm Hann paddleboarding in the Great Bear rainforest of BC. As soon as I saw him standing up and paddling through the mists with a fully laden SUP, I knew that I would be doing it. A year or so later when I first got to try it I was instantly hooked and haven’t looked back since.
When did you start carrying SUP related products in your store?
We started with the full line of June 2015. So we started with Red Paddle Co and started up the business eventually adding in other brands like Black Project, Blue Planet, Level 6, etc.
What are your top board brands?
Red Paddle Co and Lokahi.
What are your top selling paddle brands and models?
Red Paddle Co’s 10’6 Ride (the best selling inflatable iSUP in the world), 10’8 Ride, and 11’ Sport.
Do you offer additional value added services?
We currently offer sales plus demos, advice on gear, group paddles, and eventually we’ll offer rentals as well. We specialize in high value and being able to find the best board for our customer’s needs.
How do most of your customers use their stand up paddle boards?
Most of our customers do general cruising or flatwater touring but we’ve had a few racers and surfers too.
Where do you and your customers get out on the water?
Most of our local customers like to get out on the plethora of lakes here in Manitoba (Lake Winnipeg being the most popular). Recently we’ve been encouraging more people to get out on rivers – like our local favourite: the Brokenhead River just outside of Winnipeg.
Where do you see stand up paddle boarding going in the next few years?
We think the pace of innovation in the field will only increase as more and more people develop an interest. As inflatables keep improving so will their popularity… And percentage of all boards bought. The best is yet to come!
Thanks to Keith & Mark at Red River Paddle and if you’re in the Winnipeg area, be sure to check them out!