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Buy local; keep it UK – the importance of supporting domestic stand up paddle board brands.

Buy local; keep it UK – the importance of supporting domestic stand up paddle board brands.

Stand up paddle boarding, in its short time since inception, has come a long old way. In particular the domestic UK market has evolved rapidly and is now going through a maturing phase. McConks, and other stalwart UK SUP companies like Fatstick, Loco, Neptune, Hatha and a few others have built solid reputations whilst continuing to drive the sport forward and support homegrown paddlers across all disciplines of the sport.

With global health as it is currently there’s a risk to McConks and the other brands mentioned above. McConks is doing its level best to keep things going and from our point of view there’s no doubt we’ll come through this, as we’re determined and passionate. Our UK counterparts are no doubt in similar situations and will also push through. But it’s going to be tough.

Setting up a Successful paddleboarding business
Photo credit: Boardinskool, Norfolk

One thing you can do is support the UK SUP industry by buying local – as in local to this small island in the North Atlantic. McConks is super passionate about stand up paddling and as much as we are a business we’re also trying to give back where possible. This is why we don’t mind mentioning our friends at the like of Neptune, Loco and Fatstick – we’re all in this together.

Many of you may know McConks SUP were about to launch an initiative to get kids more involved in stand up paddling. That’s now on hold sadly, but the initiative will be back when the time is right. The support we’ve had from instructors and businesses all around the country has been amazing, and when it comes back, it will be bigger and better than we had ever hoped for!

If you’re looking for new stand up paddle boarding equipment, be that either boards, paddles, accessories or apparel, then why not hit up the McConks SUP shop and see what we offer. Check out the other brands as well – together we’ll overcome this and bounce back even stronger!

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Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

We’ve just been listening to the back catalogue of an old friend of McConks.  Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

Not a friend as in someone we know personally, but a friend in the sense of someone who we’ve known for a very long time, whose advice we admire, and who makes us smile whenever we experience them.  Sam Duckworth, the brains behind Get Cape now goes by the name Recreations, and the music is just as great.  But we’ve been following and listening to Sam for many, many years, and some of the early stuff really brings back memories.

And really makes us think.  One song that really chimes with us is the eponymous song Get Cape. Wear Cape.  Fly.  And this lyric sums it up:

“Open your eyes and you don’t need to buy.  You don’t need to be a coathanger for a corporation in a market that’s lost the plot”.

Consumerism can be the enemy of the environment, of social justice, of equality.  Especially if companies are driving change for change sake – changing fashions, changing colours and pushing consumers to buy a new product every year.  When this year’s product is exactly the same as last years, just a slightly different colour or style.  Or when products are made to fail at the end of their warranty period.  Or with cheap products that companies know are not good enough quality, and most people will only use for a short period of time before buying a product that actually works.

All of these things are rife in the world of SUP.   And that’s what different about McConks.

Our boards and paddles are designed with the very best of every component, and made to last for year after year.

We only make products where we offer something different.  So we know that no other company makes packages and paddles of the same quality as us, at the same price point, and with the same ethics.  It’s why we don’t for example make branded t-shirts.  We couldn’t do anything that’s different in price, ethics or quality to what’s already on the market.  And it’s why we don’t, for example, put free car stickers in our products.  Only a small number of them would ever be used, some of them would become litter or be fly posted,  and most would go to landfill.

Ethical products

We only use suppliers who have demonstrated their environmental and worker welfare credentials to us.

But we’d like your thoughts on changing colours and designs.  For 2017 we have kept our great board shape, but have improved our components and manufacturing process as technology improves.  And in doing so we took advantage to change our colours and cosmetics as we weren’t happy with the design of our 2016 lineup.

Were already looking forward to 2018 and what our 2018 lineup will look like, and we’re thinking we should keep our styling, colours etc the same.   That will help break the constant upgrade cycle that other brands rely on, and will reduce our impact on the environment.  We will be bringing new products into the lineup, but this will be about sizes and types, and innovation, not just colours and cosmetics.

But what you think?  Is it important to change colours and style to keep things fresh? Or are our instincts to keep styles the same correct?