ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - After ordering boards for paddleboard company Stillwater Paddleboards with his Chinese manufacturer and settling for the use of substandard products, Keith Quien, owner of a paddle board rental/sales shop in Florida, is now shooting himself in the foot after not demanding original equpiment for his paddleboards. Read his story below.
"My wife and I own Fun Unlimited, a water sports rental company in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 2013 we started building our own brand of paddle boards, Stillwater Paddleboard's, out of the necessity to get great boards at good prices. For the 2014 generation of boards, we had our boards made with a manufacturer in China. The boards were good quality, but the handles were a nightmare. The handle is similar to LiftSUP handles, but the design has critical flaws; inferior materials and poor overall design.
Within 10 minutes of getting the first board out of the bubble wrap, there was damage to one of the boards because of a failure with the handle. I went to test the strength of the handle by lifting the board from it being flat on the water. I was able to lift the board up above the dock and then disaster struck. The handle simply fell out of the board... The board fell three feet onto a cleat of the dock and put a two inch hole into the board. My heart sunk.
Every time we rent or sell a board to a client we have to educate them, telling them that the handle is NOT a LiftSUP handle and that we really wished we had demanded the superior LiftSUP handles. We have to show them how to tilt the board at a 90 degree angle before lifting to avoid the handle falling out. This is a tremendous waste of time and a real stumbling block for sales; clearly the handles are the boards achilles tendon.
What have we learned from this? When ordering boards from any manufacturer either overseas or domestically always demand original equipment and don’t settle for sub standard copies. Do we think the LiftSUP handle is the best handle on the SUP market today…… yep! Do we wish we had used the original patented, tested, proven LiftSUP handle from the get go…..yep!!"
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