Updated: Dec 21, 2021
This summer has been mental. The usual weekly SUP Socials have slipped because of the busy weeks of lessons, adventure trips, holidays and sales in the shop. Gladiator, Sea Lion, Anomy and Sandbanks board sales have seen unprecedented numbers of sales and the team of instructors at Glasgow Paddleboarders Co. has grown to 12. Rab has become operations manager so that I spend more time working on the retail side of the business and have less time in the water. (Failed but I'm trying) Becoming a trainer with Water Skills Academy at the start of the year was both a privilege and an honour and seeing people now trained as instructors through the SUP school we have, literally fills me with excitement. People are coming through the SUP school now, enjoying the sport and being trained to go and teach the next generation of paddlers. The SUP safety courses we run have all been full and the demand for water safety and supporting others in their new found love for the water has been amazing. Over 2000 people have been out on lessons with us this summer, and because the paddleboarding community in Glasgow is at the heart of what we do, everyone that has wanted to on the lessons, has self rescued on lessons and can join in on our SUP socials. This is key for what we do, and for the sport to ensure that people are safe on the water.
The beginnings of work with children through our Glasgow Paddleboarders Pikes has begun and we're excited about the Me Time and 55+ sessions to encourage more people to get out boarding mid week. The kids we have had out over the summer have been very fun to work with and have learned lots. Using the canal has been a fantastic home and we're so proud to have cleaned over 50 black bags of rubbish out the canal to help support Scottish Canals in keeping it a place of beauty. The kids were very much part of this and loved being involved in keeping their local environment tidy. This has led to improved links with Planet Patrol which we are also very excited about.
The Gladiator kit has been a huge hit and we are very excited about the high quality boards coming in at a very reasonable price range. They truly are the best boards on the market for the price range offered and we are very proud to be the only Scottish retailers of the brand. The light range starts from only £410 for adult boards. The kids kit from £370. All the light range is double skinned and this is a huge improvement for the brand. The Pro kit starts at £510 and is all triple skinned. The elite kit is all fully laminated which keeps the weight low producing excellent quality touring boards with super accessories with brilliant prices starting at only £690, including a 3 piece carbon paddle.
Sea Lion kit finally arrived in June after a long wait and everyone so far has been more than happy. The cost of the production of these boards is high because of the eco aspect to the brand so the boards come in at a higher price ranger than Gladiator and start at £750. The 12'6 Tasman is an absolute stand out for us compared to other 12'6 brands on the market. A heavier board than other 12'6s that glides incredibly well especially in choppier water and remains our one of our favourite boards in the ever growing demo fleet. We believe in trying kit out before you buy so now have demo kit of most of the boards that we sell to give you the chance to try a range of boards before you make a decision on a potentially expensive purchase.
Further retail opportunities have come in via Blackfish paddles. If you haven't used one of their paddles or heard of them, then please request a demo paddle on a social. They are phenomenal paddles.
Anomy 12'6 and Gladiator 12'6 boards all perform very well. The Starboard boasts eco values which we love. Anomy is our Spanish party kit and was a great hit on presales with arrivals in May. The boards designs didn't disappoint and we're excited for new designs coming out next year. Preorders for this kit will be back again before Christmas. Touring boards have become a big hit with adventure trips on Loch Lomond proving a popular option for customers coming out with us. The adventure guides can't get enough of spending 3-4 hours out on the water showing people the beautiful sites of our favourite places to reach when on a paddleboard. The 10'6 and 10'8 boards have worked well as boards on the canal for the beginners sessions. A lot of people have come to us for advice and help on choosing the right board size for what they want to do. Lots of companies sell lots of 10'6 and 10'8 boards because they're classed as a good starting board for beginners. We have tried hard to encourage people to think about what they will be doing in a years time and if surfing isn't going to be a huge part of your paddleboarding life, touring boards are the board for you.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park has seen a huge increase in numbers of people using the water so safety on the water is paramount to people continuing to enjoy the sport. Don't skimp on cheap kit from amazon to try out the sport. Board quality hugely varies on cheap brands and makes it harder to paddle when you don't know how.
As the nights begin to close in and the water begins to cool things will slow down on the lesson front and we will ramp down the amount of time we spend out to have recovery from such a busy summer. Adventure trips will still run at weekends, with SUP safety days and Social paddles still continuing on into the winter. So many friendships have been formed this year because of the socials.
Thank you for all of the support so far this summer. Please keep safe on the water and wear a buoyancy aid when you're out on your board.
Check out our SUP safety courses running over the next few months here.
Adventure trip dates for September and October can be found here.