Use it or lose it is so true in the kayak store business. There are stores that really deserve so much support for giving lessons and good service. www.tiadventures.com is a store on the st lawrence river that is so filled with neat stuff. Inventory costs of keeping high end kevlar and carbon boats is high. So is insurance for giving lessons. It is neat to go into your local store and visit and talk. They have excellent guided tours of the 1000 islands or ti as the locals would say and write to address an envelope.
What local kayaking store?
I’d like to but…
the closest to me is 2hrs away. For big stuff it’s worth the drive but for the little stuff it’s the ‘big boxes’ every time, closer and cheaper.
If I support mine any more , I’ll be out
Our local shop did us proud! The hubby
needed a new river knife and Paddle and Trail in Rockford, IL had the best we’ve seen. And the price was excellent. Hopefuly, they’ll be around a long time.
Another Big Ups to
My local shop, Go With The Flow in Roswell GA (Atlana Metro) http://www.gowiththeflow.com/
Good guys, good prices and a ton a free information for Newbies like me. And they have Demos every other Sunday. They got me hooked!
The closest to me is 2Hrs away.
Would love to have one.
I live in Wichita (300,000+) & I’m probably the only wing paddle owner. We have a couple of chain sport stores with small plastic kayaks & canoes. I’ve got all my boats & most of my paddles from Bushnell, so I guess he’s it.
Tried to support local store
I tried to support our local kayak/canoe store. However, they could not and would not match a price I got from a store a bit farther away---which is NOT a big box store---just another paddling store. I tried several times to talk to them--but most of the time all they did was trash the store that I was trying to match the price with. Another local shop did not have what I want in stock-but would order it-- at a higher price. So, next week--I am taking a little drive to pick up 2 kayaks and saving $150---and that is minus the cost of the gas. I cannot afford to support a local store that doesn't want to work with you--no matter how much I like supporting local establishments.
Thanks for posting that Dave. It is good that somebody came out and said that. While it is true you can sometimes get “Better” prices at the big box stores…don’t expect the service or knowledegable staff that you will find in a REAL paddling shop!
Myself, I’d pay more to support a real paddling shop rather than buy from the big box stores.
That being said though, I will point out that I do currently work for a paddling shop here in western Canada and have been in the business for many years. I’ve heard some real horror stories involving some big box stores.
I also like to see people support the small manufactures whenever possible as opposed to the huge corporate run companies out there now who control so much of the market.
Okay…that is my rant for the day.
Support goes beyond local
If I use a shop’s facilities, I try to purchase something even if it is just a hat or t shirt.
Pelee Wings Nature Store
is a great shop located on the right hand side of the road on the way into Point Pelee National park in Ontario, on the southernmost point of Canada! It’s also got a great stock of things for all you birders out there! And you can rent/buy canoes and kayaks! You can visit their website via typing the above name in your search.
I try to but the LOCAL store is now out of business and the only REAL stores are over 100 miles away. The Local store was one of those, “I’m sorry we don’t have that but we can ORDER it for you” type stores!!! Even the Non-Local stores get into this mode from time to time, Like yah I want YOU to order it for me so I have to drive over 200 miles to come pick it up, I don’t think so. Now with the NET I can order it myself, it comes directly to MY door and it’s ALWAYS cheaper. The Only things I don’t order my self now are apparel items. Don’t get me wrong, every time I go near my non-local stores I always stop in and usually buy something. As for having a knowledgeable sales staff, well Not that I am an expert in anything, but I have yet to find a Store sales person that is a well versed in the TYPE of kayaking that I do…
>>>While it is true you can sometimes get “Better” prices at the big box stores…don’t expect the service or knowledegable staff that you will find in a REAL paddling shop!
What do you consider a big box store? Some place like EMS or Cabela’s? And how much service do you need after you buy a kayak? I’m thinking it’s a kayak/canoe–not a car. Right?
And knowledgeable staff–I guess since I don’t really know much, everyone that I have talked to in 3 or 4 different shops was way more knowledegable than me.
I will always go for the better price–from a paddling shop–not a Kmart.