A-Team Paddleboarding, NYC’s Only SUP Shop
Andrew Dima--Owner of New York City’s Only SUP Shop--Talks Starting a Standup Start-up
Interview by Rebecca Parsons
Photos courtesy of Amy and Andrew Dima
On April 15th, 2015, Andrew and Amy Dima opened up A-Team Paddleboarding in Rockaway, NY, making it the first and only SUP-specific shop in all of New York City. And they hit the ground running. Or should we say, paddling? Their first summer was a huge success and they are already making plans for the future. Here, owner Andrew Dima tells us about the different lessons they offer, the perks of paddling in the wintertime, and what it's like running the shop with his wife, Amy. --RP
SUP: Tell us about your background.
Andrew Dima: I grew up in Southern Jersey and spent my summers down there. I grew up surfing, which led me to lifeguarding. That's how I got into standup paddle boarding. About three years ago, I got into racing and I fell in love with it. I started taking it a little more seriously and was picked up by a couple local sponsors. Now I'm a team rider for Riviera Paddle Surf and FCS. From there I opened up the shop with my wife. We were sitting there one day and thought: "Why the heck not?"
What makes Rockaway an ideal location for SUP?
Rockaway is one of the last beach towns of the five boroughs. It's one of the nicest and most established and is also pretty easy for people in the city to come out to. Jamaica Bay, which is the bay behind Rockaway, is gorgeous. There are tons of different marshes and places to go.
What kind of lessons do you offer?
We offer lessons of all different kinds. We do sixty and ninety minute lessons for beginners. My wife teaches SUP yoga classes. We do race training about once a week; people come out and try to build up their racing a little bit. We do surf SUP lessons and surf lessons as well. And we offer kids camps every week in July and August.
Are you open year-round?
Yes and no. We are open in the off-season, but we operate by appointment. Other than that, we open up our doors April 1st and we go as far as we can into the season depending on weather.
What is paddling like in the winter in Rockaway?
Winter paddling is a pretty crazy, surreal feeling. I'm huge on Mother Nature and as much as I would prefer for it to be in the 80s and 90s and sunny, there's something really peaceful about paddling in the wintertime. All the tourists leave and it's usually just the locals.
What's it like running the shop with your wife?
It's what I've always wanted to do and I think from what she said it's what she's always wanted to do. I hope she's being honest. We still have our other jobs, but hopefully we can start peeling away from them a little more and more. In the summertime, I'm up in the morning training and she's doing yoga. Then we connect back together and spend the whole day together. Of course there are those times when we don't see eye-to-eye, but I think that's what makes it special. It's a learning process and we just move along. It's a pretty cool experience.
Any plans for the future of the shop?
My wife and I absolutely love traveling all over the world, obviously with water that you can get into. We're putting together retreats so that we can start taking people to different countries and connect them with other paddleboard groups. You'd get room and board and could grab the paddleboards whenever you wanted to go out and just do your thing.
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