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January 10, 2022 6 min read

SUP Rental Business

GILI inflatable paddle board rentals

Stand up paddle boarding has gained popularity over recent years, and now more than ever, people want to hit the water and improve their paddling skills. 

For some, purchasing a paddle board can be out of their budget and unrealistic, but that does not mean they shouldn’t be able to enjoy SUPing. 

The love for stand up paddle boarding will continue to grow, making it the perfect time to chase your dream and create a trusted and profitable paddle board rental business. 

We’ve compiled all the key factors and important information you need to know before starting your rental company. 

Types of Paddle Board Rental Business Models

Mobile business model - woman paddle boarding

The first decision you’d need to make is whether you want a mobile or retail business model. 

Mobile

Mobile businesses are cheaper and easier to create because you don’t need to pay an overhead for renting a retail store. 

Your mobile business would require you to have a supply of boards and accessories, as well as a vehicle for transport. 

You can essentially run this business from the comfort of your own home, and when customers call you, all you need to do is pack up the boards and deliver them to the water.

Retail

Retail business models are slightly more tricky, but they also come with perks. 

To set up the business, you’ll need to rent a space close to a suitable paddle boarding waterway. You’ll also need a permit from the local government to operate your business legally. 

As with the mobile business, you’ll need to purchase a selection of paddle boards and accessories that your customers can hire and take out for the day.

One of the major perks of a retail store is that people can physically see it. As people walk by, they may be interested in SUPing and ask for more information that could eventually lead to them hiring one of your boards.

Equipment You’ll Need For A SUP Rental Business

Man paddle boarding with complete accessories

After deciding your business model, you’ll need to purchase all the equipment and inventory. 

Boards

Once your business is up and running, you’ll have a wide selection of customers who will all want a different type of board.

Some customers may wish to practice their SUP yoga, some may have never stepped foot on a SUP before, and some might be extremely experienced from paddling their whole lives. 

To suit everyone, you should purchase a selection of boards in all shapes and sizes so they will work for all skill levels and all SUP activities.

Soft top paddle boards are good for beginners because they’re ding proof and can withstand a beating. 

Inflatable paddle boards are comfy to ride on, lightweight, and make an amazing platform for SUP yoga. 

Epoxy hard boards are great for touring purposes and are ideal for more experienced paddlers. 

Paddles

Paddles may seem insignificant, but the quality of a paddle really makes a difference when you’re out on the water. 

Carbon fiber paddles are the best on the market because they’re lightweight, smooth, and durable. They’re the most expensive type of paddle, but experienced paddlers will appreciate the quality and ease that comes with them. 

Aluminum paddles are an excellent choice for beginners because, although they aren’t as lightweight as a carbon fiber paddle, they’re affordable, easy to use, and easy to replace. 

When you’re shopping for paddles, look out for adjustable ones, they can be made shorter or longer, depending on the size of the paddler, so you’ll be able to accommodate everyone. 

Leashes

A paddle board leash is a basic but essential bit of kit. Paddle board leashes will prevent the boards from floating away from the renters and are extremely important to use in oceans or fast-moving rivers. 

PFDs

Personal flotation devices are not only lifesaving, but they are also a legal requirement when out on a vessel. 

You’ll need a selection of PFDs in all sizes, and you’ll need to check them over frequently for any damage. 

What Your SUP Rental Business Should Offer

Two people paddle boarding on a lake

Just Rentals

Renting out your board is the simplest service you can offer. Your customers will hire the board for an hour or two and return it after. 

Lessons

Lessons help first-time paddlers with the sport of SUPing and also provide an extra income for your business. 

Guided Tours

Guided tours of local waterways also help first-time paddlers build confidence on a board and experience a proper SUP adventure. Big groups are likely to book tours, leading to an increase in sales. 

Group Classes

Creating fun group classes like paddling with your pup, yoga, or just an intro to paddling can catch the eye of customers and introduce them to your SUP business. 

Marketing Ideas For A SUP Rental Business

Woman browsing Gili sports website

Marketing plays a huge role in setting up a business because, without it, you’ll have an extremely slow start with very little exposure. 

You need to create a marketing strategy that will attract customers to your business and prove that you’re the best rental company in the local area. 

Marketing Softwares

Marketing software like Mailchimp, Hubspot, and Convertkit help you execute campaigns and convert leads into sales. 

Social Media

Most of the world’s population is on some form of social media, and it is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. 

Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are all free to use, and you can easily capture beautiful images, create informative blog posts, and promote your business by simply being present and active. 

People trust businesses that have a decent amount of followers on their social media accounts and to build your social media presence you should:

  • Follow and interact with posts from people in your local community
  • Use relevant hashtags
  • Keep a consecutive posting schedule
  • Use informative content to show everyone you know what you’re talking about

Website

A clean and user-friendly website that is easy to navigate will attract customers and keep them drawn to your page. 

SEO is an extremely important factor to think about when creating your website. SEO is how you rank on search engines, and if your SEO is high, it will be easier for potential customers to find your page online. 

Many website builders on the market are easy to use and require a small monthly or yearly fee to operate. 

Reviews

It is no secret that people love reading reviews. Before we make purchases in life, we want to know that the product or service we are buying into is everything we want it to be and more. 

Having 4 to 5-star reviews on the internet will build trust for new customers and will be highly beneficial for the success of your business. 

Businesses are free to claim on Google and Yelp, and here, people can share their experiences, photos, and reviews. 

Legal Precautions

Man instructing a woman how to paddle board

Insurance

A paddle board rental business has a lot of liabilities, so it is important to take legal precautions and set up an insurance policy before opening. 

Your insurance will need to cover all of your equipment and the renters taking your boards out for the day. 

Hospital bills can be extremely expensive and could damage your business entirely if you don’t have adequate insurance. 

Instructors for Lessons

If your business will offer lessons, your instructors need to be properly trained in all things water safety. 

FAQ’S

🏆 How much does renting a paddle board cost?

Stand up paddle boards are usually rented out by the hour. On average, renting a paddle board for an hour will be $20, half a day (4 hours) is $40, and a full day (8 hours) is $60. 

The longer you rent the board, the cheaper it will be. 


👍 How do I start a paddle board business?

To start a paddle board rental business, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Decide if you want a mobile or retail business.
  2. Purchase your equipment.
  3. Decide what services you want to offer.
  4. Market your business online.
  5. Train your staff in all things water safety.
  6. Purchase adequate insurance. 

🏝️ Is a paddle board a good investment?

Paddle boards are a good investment as long as they are properly maintained and cared for.

A decent paddle board can last you years, and although they can dent or ding, they can be easily repaired by a trained professional. 


❓ Is it better to rent or buy a paddle board?

Whether you rent or buy your own paddle board will depend on your lifestyle and budget. 

If you only plan on paddling boarding a few times a year, renting a board from a local company will be sufficient for you. 

If you are an avid paddler and want to hit the water regularly, purchasing a SUP would be a good investment and save you money in the long run. 

Storage and transportation also play a huge role in whether or not you buy a board. Do you have a vehicle that can transport your board to the water? Do you have a decent amount of storage space at home to store your board when it’s not in use? 

If storage or transportation would be an issue for you, Inflatable SUPs are compact and can fit into a small duffel bag or backpack, making transportation easy.

Megan Bryant
Megan Bryant

Based in Bali, her favorite SUP spot is the GILI Islands themselves. Travel is another passion of hers - she dreams to see the entire world one day.


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