LOCAL SUP SHOP Profile: SOPOSUP in South Portland, Maine

This is a new series on local SUP Shops. Our goal is to help support local SUP shops, and to connect the people who paddle with their local SUP communities. This is our first shop profile in the series.

Meet Raf (short for Rafael, but everyone calls him Raf) and SOPOSUP (http://soposup.com/) in South Portland, Maine located at 382 Cottage Rd., South Portland, Maine

What board companies do you carry?

SIC, Starboard, Amundson, Focus, Sunova

What paddles do you carry?

Kialoa, Quickblade, Werner

Do you have Paddleboard Rentals?

Yes

Do you offer lessons?

Yes

What is your biggest challenge as a retailer?

Stocking enough boards, selling through

How healthy is the sport?

7 out of 10

How likely will the sport continue to grow in this next year?

8 out of 10

Where will we see the growth if any?

Rentals and used board sales. Going into our 5th year, we expect more people to be getting rid of their used 1st purchase boards and move into more specific board types to their needs

Do you have any advice for manufacturers?

Don’t make your all-arounders beginner specific. If you have an 11′ x 33″, make sure you also have an 11′ x 29″.

What kind of paddling settings and conditions are near your shop?

Almost all our local paddling is salt water, but we have calm tidal marshes, sheltered and exposed bays, open ocean and of course surf.

What is it about paddling that gets you up in the morning? That gets you excited?

Standing on water and being free to go anywhere without restriction. You are your own master as soon as you push off from shore.

Describe your local paddle community. When do you get together and what are they like?

We have a wide range of paddlers, like most coastal locations I’d guess. A few of our local paddlers are very competitive in the New England race circuit, and we have an already impressive and growing group of paddlers participating in weekly races. We also have a growing crew of SUP-surfers. It seems most people do one or the other, although a few of the more obsessed tend to use any excuse to get out and have multi-board quivers. Our summers are short and precious, so we squeeze a whole year’s worth of stoke into about 12 weeks.

SOPOSUP

What local events do you have and what are their dates and locations?

Weekly Race Series June-August, with new race board from one of our brands as Grand Prize. Here is the vid from this past summer:

Best piece of SUP advice you give to paddlers?

Be confident in your abilities

What are your must-have accessories for every paddler?

PFD

For more information on SOPOSUP

Go to: http://soposup.com/

John Beausanghttp://www.paddlemonster.com
Writer, Small Business Owner Father, Husband, Paddler, Surfer Sixers & Eagles Fan Proudly Independent Publisher, @distressdmullet Co-Founder @Paddlemonster

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