In my last post I remarked that one of the positives from 2020 was the tremendous growth in outdoor activities, including SUP! While I think it's fair to say we had all hoped that vaccine distribution would be further along by now, it is looking like we may need endure this for at least part of one more summer. Luckily stand up paddle boarding is an excellent way to be physically distant, but socially together! So without further ado, here is what is planned for 2021:
Last year was the first full season that I had rentals available, and the demand was tremendous. With a goal of helping as many people get on the water as possible, I had to say no to far too many people. This year, I'm doubling the rental fleet and adding a second brand: Kootenay Pdl, based out of Calgary. Between Kootenay and Red, I expect to have a board to meet every paddler's needs.
New Board Demos
Looking to buy a board this year? I expect to get my new SUP lineup in by March/April. Please get in touch if you're interested in a board from Red or Kootenay's lineup, and I'll let you know if I'm getting stock. My inventory will be locked down until the end of the season by mid-June. If you want to test paddle a new board for possible purchase, I recommend doing it early, just in case there's a repeat of the 2020 global supply issues.
New Rental Rates
I've physically relocated to Stony Plain, but don't worry I still deliver to Edmonton and surrounding area. The increased driving requirement has led me to revisit my rental rates. The good news is that they are simpler now: $30 per day or $150 per week. This makes two days a little cheaper and three days a little more expensive, but overall it's a wash. The only catch is that there will be a minimum rental of 2 days or 2 boards. This effectively sets the minimum cost at $60, which allows me to cover the increased cost of commuting. These details will be updated on the rental page before the start of the season.
In 2020 I limited lessons to an on-request basis to avoid mixing different groups of people together and increasing Covid-19 transmission risk. This will still be available, but I plan to offer advertised lesson dates as well. We will always operate within the provincial health guidance of the time and maintain physical distancing on and off the water. As I mentioned at the start, SUP is an excellent activity to remain physically distant, yet socially together. A year of operation for other SUP schools has convinced me that this can be done safely. More details will be posted on the lessons page prior to the start of the season.
Additionally, I have a personal goal of obtaining my River I SUP Skills Instructor certification this year. Wish me luck!
Do you want to paddle, but have no one to go with, or no idea where to go? I created this group especially for you. Meetup is website aimed at creating communities of like minded individuals to do activities together. I've created a group for SUP in Edmonton called YEG Adventure SUP. Most events will be free, although I do have a long term goal of adding some paid, guided tours (need a partner interested in helping!). I invite everyone to join and share what your 2021 paddling goals are. If you want to organize your own SUP events on there, let me know as well. The more available events the better. Join here, and be sure to share with your friends. I look forward to seeing where this platform can take us!
Chad writes about Edmonton, SUP, travel and his van. We participate in affiliate programs, and can earn a commission on qualifying products linked in the blog.