Shop Talk | SUP to You | The New SUP Retailer That Brings Boards To Your Waterway
Buying a brand new SUP can be an intimidating process. Size, style and shape are just a few of the details that go into picking out the right board for you. So what do you do when you’ve done all the research and shopping imaginable, but you still aren't sure? You demo it, and that’s where the Orange County shop SUP to You steps in.
The name says it all—SUP to You literally brings the SUP to you. After a customer narrows down their board choices online, co-owners Steve "Steve-O" Owen or Ryan Okon will bring the board to the customers’ paddling destination of choice and allow them to demo the boards. Once the customer finds their perfect fit, SUP to You will even hook their car up with whatever racks or gear they need to take the board home.
The industry has countless board options, and seeing as most quality sleds cost a pretty penny, buyers need to be confident in their purchases. Testing a board out first is the best way to build that confidence. Online, SUP to You has hundreds of boards to choose from. Their brick and mortar store carries plenty as well. Customers simply pick the board they want to demo, SUP to You delivers it to the water for no extra cost and the prospective buyer makes a purchasing decision from there.
"We think of our shop as a SUP candy shop," says Okon. "If you open a magazine and see a board, chances are we have it, and you can try them side-by-side for yourself."
SUP to You is a small shop in the Laguna Beach canyon, easy to miss for the common passerby. But don’t let the small size fool you; the shop has a big motto that is making buying a SUP much less stressful.
"Every board we carry, we demo,” says Steve-O. “That way people can paddle multiple options and make sure they choose their perfect board.”
"Most of the time people are doing their research and then they come into the shop to see the options," said Ryan. "We're attracting a lot of people who don't want the first board purchase experience where they grow out of it or realize they made the wrong decision. We like to avoid that step all together."
Steve-O and Okon like the idea of a running a full-service SUP shop, and that’s exactly what they deliver. And in the two years of business, SUP to You has never had a return; that's 100 percent satisfaction right there.
During the summer months, the duo loads up the van with multiple boards and heads down to Baby Beach at the Dana Point Harbor every week for their Monday Demo Day. The demo day is not a day of renting out boards to random walk ups, but more so the perfect opportunity for a customer who is serious about buying a board to try it out on the water.
“Physical touch is everything," says Steve-O. "Being able to actually touch and feel the board changes everything for a buyer.”
Steve-O loves their expression, "We sell stoke," and it's true. The owners have a red carpet approach with each and every person that walks through the shop doors. From educating each customer on the products, to meeting them on the beach for a demo, to installing racks in garages after a purchase is made. Ryan and Steve-O are running a SUP specialty shop and just want to share the lifestyle of the sport.
So where will you go when it comes to making your first or next SUP purchase? Well that's SUP to You.
SUP to You has recently become affiliates with Sean Poynter and his SUP n’ Surf Retreat with Ian Cairns, coming up October 12 in Punta Mita, Mexico. If you’re looking to step up your SUP skills, this educational camp with the world’s best instructors is the go-to option for paddlers of any ability level.
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For more gear purchasing help, check out the Gear Guide.