Buy Local Shop Profile: Sobe Surf & Paddle, Merritt Island, Florida
SoBe Surf and Paddle is a surf and stand-up paddle instruction and equipment company in the Cocoa Beach area, offering surfing lessons, stand-up paddle lessons, SUP nature Tours, and equipment rentals in Merritt Island.
635 S. Plumosa St., Merritt Island, Fl 32952
What board companies do you carry?
Riviera, Blkbox, Guy Takyama, Stellar
What paddles do you carry?
Hippo Stick, Riviera, Epic, Blkbox Surf
Do you have Paddleboard Rentals?
Do you offer lessons?
What other services do you provide?
Paddle board nature / manatee tours, kayak eco tours
What is your biggest challenge as a retailer?
Getting the word out about our shop
On a scale of 1 to 10, How healthy is the sport?
On a scale of 1-10, How likely will the sport continue to grow in this next year?
Where will we see the growth if any?
Largest market share will still be all-around boards, but where the market is now, the brands with good quality, low cost and boards with a readily available supply will be the only brands expanding.
Do you have any advice for manufacturers?
Where the market is now, brands with good quality, low cost boards and ready supply for the dealers year round will be the only brands expanding. The days of requiring big pre-orders are over. Brands/distributors who depend on pre-orders and are not willing or able to invest in supply and affordable shipping will start losing market share fast now.
What kind of paddling settings and conditions are near your shop?
We have a private launch into the peaceful, wildlife-filled waters of the Banana River Aquatic Preserve where we teach sup lessons, lead manatee tours, and offer free demo’s for prospective board buyers. Also, we are just two miles from Cocoa Beach where our shop pro teaches sup surfing.
What is it about paddling that gets you up in the morning? That gets you excited?
It’s so healthy and soulful… we know we am truly helping someone and improving their life when we teach them and sell them SUP equipment.
Describe your local paddle community. When do you get together and what are they like?
We have an avid paddle community here in the Cocoa Beach area… many paddle surfers, racers and casual paddlers… people live in this community because they love the water. We have a few major surf contest each year here, especially the National Kidney Foundation Surf Fest (the largest not for profit pro/am surf contest in the world) which was one of the first contest to include sup surfing as a category back in 2009. Sobe Surf & Paddle has been directing the sup surf part of that event for many years.
What local events do you have and what are their dates and locations?
National Kidney Foundation annual pro/am surf fest. Labor Day weekend each year… first weekend of Sept. always the weekend before Orlando Surf Expo. Held at the cocoa beach pier. Always thousands in attendance. www.nkfsurf.com
Best piece of SUP advice you give to paddlers?
Learn to paddle correctly and it will be the best cross training you will ever do.
What are your must-have accessories for every paddler?