So how does a kiteboarder living in Victoria British Columbia end up with his LKBS [local kiteboarding shop] located in another country? Well it’s simple living on an island has some upsides and some downsides. One of the downsides is the lack of a local kiteboarding shop. There is a surf shop in Victoria that is supposedly a kiteboard dealer, but when I went there the staff knew nothing about kiteboarding and just pointed me to a dusty box of random parts that were horribly overpriced.
So I knew I had to look elsewhere and I ended up at Bellingham Kite Paddle Surf [aka Bellingham Kiteboarding] for a bunch of reasons:
- best prices I could find online
- enthusiastic knowledgeable staff
- great selection of gear and lots of stock
- free shipping in the US and to Canada [for orders over $300USD]
- awesome customer service
I’m definitely not a lowest price at all costs kind of guy, but if you give me the lowest prices and great service you have my attention. To give you an example of why I’m so stoked about Bellingham Kite Paddle Surf when I was in Baja this past winter I was unhappy with my kiteboard. I demo’d an Ocean Rodeo Mako 140 and loved it, but there were none for sale in Mexico. I found them online in the US, but shipping and customs was so much money and hassles I gave up. I figured I’d just grab one on my drive home. Of course that meant 6 more weeks of riding a board I didn’t love. Then someone suggested I contact the folks at Bellingham Kiteboarding. I fired off an email letting them know I needed a Mako bad! 7 days later they had a brand new one in my hands on a beach in Mexico. Not only did they give me a lower price than anything else I found online – they arranged for a customer to who was flying to Mexico to bring it to me. No shipping cost and no customs hassles. Keep in mind I had never bought anything from them before and I never even spoke to anyone at the shop other than through email. Awesome! The best part was I got to spend the rest of my trip riding a board I was totally stoked to hit the waves with.
Anyways if I seem enthusiastic about these guys I hope you can appreciate why…=-)
One of the major kiteboard brands they carry is Ocean Rodeo. Which is funny because OR’s HQ is in Victoria BC…lol…so I live in Victoria and I buy my Ocean Rodeo gear from Bellingham WA then I ride it on Vancouver Island…=-) I could buy my gear directly from Ocean Rodeo, but it’s actually cheaper to buy it from Bellingham Kite Paddle Surf. Go figure.
Besides Ocean Rodeo they also carry:
- Liquid Force kites, boards & harnesses
- Slingshot kites and boards
- Blade Kites [Trigger, Fat Lady and Prime] and Blade boards [Deuce and Sanchez]
- Liquid Force kites and boards
- Dakine & Mystic harnesses
- Hyperflex, NPX and Mystic wetsuits
- Starboard stand up paddle [SUP] boards
- Evergreen SUP boards
- longboards and mountain boards
So if you are in Canada or the US it’s definitely worth checking these folks out if you need kiteboarding or SUP gear.