The Best Boards for Outfitters
Outfitters who run lessons and rentals need boards to have a successful business. That’s obvious. But what's not so obvious is the type of boards they need to succeed on a continual basis.
When inexperienced outfitters first get into business they believe they can purchase any type of board. Or at least any type of board from the most popular manufacturers. And this strategy can work, if only for a little while.
After a season or two, their boards begin to break down. The mats come unglued. The rails are chipped. There might be cracks on the surface. Or indentations on the foot pads where multiple riders stood day after day.
And then what happens? They’re likely looking to replace their entire fleet, burning through their profits to replace the boards they just bought.
Once they do, the cycle continues.
Over time, lessons are learned, and instead of just purchasing any boards, outfitters have realized they need boards with specific qualities to ensure their business runs smoothly year after year.
The most important quality an outfitter should look for in a board is durability.
Beginner paddlers are rough on boards. They’ll likely strike the rails with the paddle, bump into obstacles or each other on the water, fall onto the board with their knees first, and who knows what else.
But this is through no fault of their own of course. It’s a learning process.
Knowing this, the team at Evolve set out to create the ultimate boards for outfitters. We aimed to create ones that were lightweight, big enough for every body size and type, and most importantly - durable.
We wanted to create boards that could be used season after season with no issues. And the result of our endeavors landed us with three different boards in our lineup.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the attributes of each of these boards and why they’re the best choice for your outfitter fleet.
If an outfitter approached us looking to purchase boards for their fleet and they could only purchase one type of board - we would recommend the Rhino Skin.
Why? This board is ultra durable and nearly indestructible.
It is a molded board that doesn’t use regular fiberglass. Instead it is constructed of a molded plastic that is still lightweight but ultra durable. No need to fear any cracks on the surface!
The Rhino Skin also comes standard with cool features that help preserve the life of the board over seasons at a time.
This includes a protective rubber coating along the rail to counter paddle strikes. That means you won’t see any cracks or marks from beginners who bang their paddles on the rail.
A beveled edge on the deck pad to avoid chipping or tearing that usually comes from stacking boards. Plus the deck pad covers the entirety of the board making it a great choice for SUP yoga or SUP fitness classes.
And we also included oversized rings on the back for easy nighttime locking at your launch location.
Comes in sizes 10’6’’x32’’ and 11’6’’x33’’.
Not convinced that this board is the ultra durable board you need for your outfitter?
Check out this video below where we smash it with a paddle - and see the results for yourself!
The second board we believe is perfect for all outfitters is the Brawny.
As the name suggests, this board is tough. Made with a bamboo sandwiched construction with brushed white paint, not only is this board durable on the water, but it looks fantastic as well.
And with the brushed white paint exposing the bamboo on the bottom, you’ll never see any scratches that are bound to happen from stacking boards and loading/unloading them onto your vehicle.
The full length deck pad is perfect for SUP yoga and fitness classes and the bungee on the front is convenient for storing PFD or water bottles while on the water.
What makes the Brawny a great board for outfitters is the flexibility in which you can use it.
It’s great as part of your rental fleet. But it can also be used for SUP surfing in small waves, flatwater cruising, fitness classes, and even river paddling. Though we don’t recommend whitewater river paddling with anything but an inflatable board.
Comes in sizes 10’6’’x32’’ and 11’4’’x34’’
Last but certainly not least, we have our Softy series!
The Softy was our initial inception into the world of rental fleets. When we ran our beginner classes and rentals, we noticed the fiberglass boards were great for experienced paddlers, but a hazard for the beginner.
If there is one thing you can count a complete beginner to do on a board, it’s fall. If you’re lucky, they fall away from the board and into the water. If you’re not so lucky, they’ll fall onto the board, damaging themselves and most likely the board as well. Especially if it is a fiberglass board.
To remedy this misfortune, we created a rigid epoxy board that is wrapped in a soft foam from top to bottom. The result? We have an ultra durable board that is soft to the touch, can be banged around with no issues, and can be fallen on without hurting the paddler or the board.
And since it still retains a rigid structure underneath the foam top, the board paddles just as well as full fiberglass/epoxy board. It’s the ultimate balance between durability and paddle finesse.
These boards are great for kid’s camps as they can be jumped on with no issues and even SUP yoga as the foam stretches the length of the board, making for a soft surface to practice poses on.
Comes in size 11’4’’x34’’.
If you are looking for new boards for your fleet or starting a brand new outfitter in 2022 then we have the perfect boards for you. Whether you want the ultra-durable Rhino Skin, the just as durable and flexible Brawny, or the soft to the touch Softy series, you can’t go wrong with any of the above.
Each comes in two sizes to accommodate paddlers of any size, they’re all sleek and stylish, and most importantly, they’re all made with durability in mind so that you can use them year after year with no issues.
Interested in one of these boards for your fleet? Drop us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!