2018 was a year of up’s and downs. We knew opening a tiny paddleboard rental company was not going to make us rich, especially in the first season, but I was not going to dream about it anymore. I decide to dive right in and Nicole and I opened Show Me SUP in May this year. We started our company with nine paddleboards including our own personal boards. For the first month it was my face buried in my phone marketing, taking photos and Instagram building followers. We had a rental here and there, I still worked a couple days a week at Ozark Mountain Trading as well. Things were tight but I woke up every single day knowing I was going to get to go to the water. This was the start of a dream for me. In the first two months we built a small base of customers whom we actually call friends now.
The Middle of June is where we took off a little stronger thanks to Rick Lamb and his Summer Solstice event at Rock Lane Resort on Table Rock Lake. This little event brought 16 r so musicians and bands from all over the country to play Caribbean and Troprock music. During this event we set up along the shore line and offered paddleboard rentals and lessons to all of the guests and musicians. A few times we had to start a waiting list as all of our boards were on the water. It felt great to see all these crazy parrotheads and troprock music junkies from around the country getting to experience Table Rock Lakes beauty. It felt even better when they would announce how much fun they had while on stage. Summer Solstice really helped kick off our business. You sort of got the whole Caribbean experience, or Florida Keys experience right here in the Ozarks. You got to wake up, have a bloody mary, head down to the water and learn how to paddleboard, take a cocktail out and enjoy the beginning of the summer “and even hang out on an island” come back and dance and party to some of the best Troprock music in the country. What more could you ask for.
Summer Solstice Troprock Music Festival – Rock lane Resort
As the summer went on we attended a couple more events, some better than others then August came around and it was time for Riverfest in Fort Madison Iowa. We made a pitstop on our little SUP tour to rent boards on the banks of the Mississippi River. Sadly the wind was to strong for very many rentals but we talked to so many great people that seemed to take an interest in wanting to try SUP and we told them not only would we be back but we would be bringing a group of Dirtbag SUP paddlers with some of the worlds most unique boards to play on and we were also going to start the First Annual Riverfest Bar to Concert Race. We are planning on a 7 mile race that will start at Ikes Riverfront Tavern in Dallas City Illinois and you will paddle down the Illinois side of the Mississippi then cut over across the river where you will finish at Fort Madison Riverfront park where riverfest is being held. We will also include those pesky canoes and kayaks to. This will be a race for amatures and professionals alike. We are also thinking about a 25 mile race starting in Burlington Iowa and ending at Riverfest as well. That is still in the thinking stage. Either way, we are planning on spread the SUP Love to the river rats up in Iowa next year. The best part is that it is two weeks after the MR340 so paddlers will be good and rested up..
Rounding out the summer it was just our growing in popularity Sunset paddles on Springfield lake and Finley River here in Springfield Mo. We have two beautiful and perfect local rivers that for tiny lakes that provide great water to paddle on and see some pretty cool sunsets. As the 2018 season has come to an end we are going to be doing monthly float trips all through the winter for those brave and a little more experienced paddlers. We will also be doing float camps, where you will carry your camping gear with you as we paddle a stretch of a selected river and find the perfect place to set up camp and make a cozy cool weather fire. It might get chilly here in southern Missouri but, that’s when the crazy’s come out and play, like us, crazy SUP paddlers with nothing more than a board and a you and a 50 degree river. Some of the most beautiful paddling can be done in the winter and we will be around to give people that experience. 2018 was our year to market and brand our company and show people that Stand Up Paddleboarding is something that you can enjoy right here in the Midwest, not just Florida or the tropics. We have some of the most beautiful waters in the world right here in the Ozarks. So with that said, watch out 2019 because Show Me SUP is coming for you and we will be doing some fun and crazy things to get people up and standing on water.
Nicole and I would like to thank everyone for a great first season of learning, meeting great new friends and giving us one of the best summers we have ever had meeting all of you people. See you all this winter if your brave enough and if not, see you all in the Spring when we open back of for the 2019 season.