Summer in northern Idaho and in particular, the Coeur d'Alene area, is a Mecca for triathlon races. Each year small northern Idaho lakes and communities play host to these awesome outdoor racing events. Safety of participating athletes should be the number one priority of any race. Kym Murdoch, owner of Coeur d'Alene Paddleboard Company, has combined her passion and business of standup paddleboarding with local race safety operations. Kym and her group of standup paddle mates patrol the water as safety agents for these large scale events. Kym says the tri-athletes love having, the highly visible standup paddlers out on the water directing them and if needed, providing assistance. If you find yourself in northern Idaho this summer check out Kym and her SUP Safety team at one of these great events. - Chad Randol
SUP mag: SUP is a fast growing sport and industry. When did you buy in and why?
Murdoch: In May of 2009 I vacationed in Maui and tried standup paddling. I was hooked. When I returned home, I quit my construction job and started Coeur d'Alene Paddleboard Company.
SUP mag: What does SUP mean to Coeur d’Alene Paddleboard Company?
Murdoch: Coeur d'Alene Paddleboard company is dedicated to standup paddling and the community of Coeur d'Alene (CDA), Idaho. From starting Coeur d'Alene Paddleboard Company two years ago to now paddling 7 days week, life on the water in northern Idaho is pretty good. To answer your question, SUP means everything to the Coeur d'Alene Paddleboard Company.
SUP mag: What’s the 2012 Coeur d'Alene, Idaho SUP scene like?
Murdoch: The CDA SUP scene is still fairly new, but it is growing rapidly. This is a great place to standup paddle, but I still haven't found the crew that will consistently paddle in the winter with me.
SUP mag: What kind of boards are you selling the most of? And besides a paddle, what’s your current top selling SUP accessory?
Murdoch: We are definitely selling the all around or touring board the most. However, I have been selling a few raceboard set ups.
Our top selling SUP accessory has to be a PFD and whistle. They are required safety equipment for paddling on the lake up here. We sell the PFD and whistle in an all-inclusive bag, that can be carried on your board while you paddle. It’s a hot ticket.
SUP mag: Have your SUP sales continued to increase at Coeur d’Alene Paddleboard Company? About how many boards and paddles would you say you’re selling annually?
Murdoch: Yes! My business has more than doubled and each year continues to show signs of growth. Annually Coeur d'Alene Paddleboard Company is selling around sixty boards.
SUP mag: Looks like Coeur d’ Alene Paddleboard Company is a shop that loves promoting standup paddle. Your Paddle Boarding "Membership" sounds cool. Can you tell us more about that?
Murdoch: You bet. Our "SUP Membership" is a standup paddling club that (if necessary) provides all SUP equipment, guided individual and group SUP excursions, Northern Idaho SUP adventures, equipment transportation and maintenance, and much more. The first year we offered the SUP Membership we had twelve participants. Today we have over sixty members and growing!
The Coeur d'Alene Paddleboard Company also offers standup yoga classes three times per week. We have around twenty individuals that participate regularly in these classes. Our SUP Yoga is also growing.
SUP mag: What’s the best local wave? And the best local place to take my family paddling?
Murdoch: There are a couple of waves located on the Spokane River. One is 15 minutes from the shop and the other is a half an hour. Stop into the shop and we’ll give you water levels and directions.
Best place to take the family standup paddling in the CDA area is Noneyerbizness Cove. No just kidding, come by and see us at Coeur d'Alene Paddleboard Company and we will send you in the right direction for that particular day and time.
SUP mag: Any upcoming special Deals and or race/promotions they would like to plug?
Murdoch: You bet! May 5 we are co-hosting CDA Paddlefest with Kayak Coeur d' Alene. The 2012 CDA Paddlefest will take place at Independence Point in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. There will be free demos and plenty of paddling spirit! Hope to see you there.
– As told to Chad Randol