Rental Paddle Boards Par Excellence
Glide has been a dominant force in providing rental paddle boards to liveries from coast-to-coast for over a decade. Many have asked us how we decided to chase this particular market. Well, grab your beach chairs kids and let us tell you a story.
Paddle board with roots on the river
When Glide started in 2010, our goal was to create a stand up paddle board that could survive whitewater adventures. Mainly because our founder Ken Driscoll had broken his back going off a 50 foot waterfall in a kayak and could no longer sit comfortably in a kayak cockpit but he still wanted to enjoy the challenges that river paddling presented.
After, taking a few epoxy paddle boards down whitewater rapids and breaking them in half, he realized that there had to be a better technology out there. After experimenting with compounds like “Rhino Liner” (too heavy), he finally was able to formulate a coating that made the boards ultra durable but not much heavier than an epoxy board.
From River to Rentals
After demoing the boards for some shops that specialized in whitewater kayaking, he learned that the formula worked perfectly for whitewater SUP as the paddle boards could take a pounding in the rocks and get a little dinged up but didn’t crack or break. One shop mentioned that their paddle board rentals were constantly out of service because renters were actually as hard on a paddle board as a rushing river.
Ken then crafted a paddle board with the same material that he used for the river boards in a shape designed for rental fleets. He made the board wider than most recreational paddle boards and flattened out the bottom so that newbies could easily stand their first time on a paddle board. He also added a hole at the tail of the board so that the fleet of rental paddle boards could all be locked together.
Performance and Durability in the same paddle board rentals
Most of Glide’s competitors in the rental paddle board space either offered epoxy, roto-molded plastic or composite material that are sandwiched together by a heat press. None of these competitor's rental paddle boards could hold a candle to Glide’s durability as well as its performance on the water. Roto-molded boards were far too heavy, while an epoxy rental paddle board spent as much time being fixed in the shop as they did on the water and the composite material tended to pop its seams easily.
Once word got around about Glide’s “secret sauce”, the orders started flooding in.
Will the Rental Paddle Board Break on Wednesdays?
We made a complete video series on YouTube called “Will it Break Wednesdays” where our employees did all kinds of crazy stunts which included driving 60 mph down a deserted road and releasing the paddle board which caused it to fly about 25 feet in the air and clatter to the road below. Another involved an employee standing on a rental paddle board while it was towed by a pick up truck around the parking lot - basically water skiing on concrete. We also dropped boards from cranes, slid them down rocky mountain sides, and took one to a batting cage and had the machine pitch fastballs at it.
The board got a little scuffed up from all these hijinks but didn’t develop and cracks or holes. Even we were surprised by how well it faired.
Never content to rest on our paddle boarding laurels
Through the years, we’ve made a few modifications to our Glide Surface Shield, so the paddle boards are quite a bit stronger and lighter than our early variations were. As new materials come to market, we are constantly trying them out to see how they compare to our current formulation. So there may be a new variation coming out in the near future. Stay tuned!
Whether you are looking for a paddleboard rental for the whole day or the whole week, make sure that you test the paddle board out first before you rent because there is quite a difference in the quality of of paddle board rentals out there. A great price doesn't necessarily translate to a great paddle boarding experience.