Welcome to Elements Board Shop! Less than 2 miles from Lake Erie.
When and why did you start this business?
We opened the business in December of 2009. I have always wanted to have my own board shop. I worked at a local surf shop in high school and college and got the itch to open my own shop someday. 20 years later here I am with my own shop and it is GREAT!
What is your favorite part of running this business?
The customers, they are like family to me! Customer service is the most important thing to us. I truly enjoy meeting new people and helping them fulfill their passions, whether it is Snowboarding, Surfing, SUPing, Skating or Wakeboarding!
Need a new pair of shoes? Elements has you covered.
What’s the local scene in your area? Any spots worth mentioning?
The skate scene is very good. The city put in an outdoor skate park located at 15th & Popular Street. We have a mini pipe on the side of our building for kids to come skate as well. The Stand Up Paddle Board Scene was new to the area last year and is really blowing up. We have Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay to paddle on. Sunset point is a great place to launch from on the Peninsula. The bay is also awesome for Wakeboarding. You can always find calm water as long as the wind isn’t blowing from the East. If the wind is blowing from the East then we go Surfing out at beach 11.
Lake Erie is a mile and a half away from us, and Presque Isle state park has about 13 miles of beaches. Lot of surfing on Lake Erie, they were calling for 9 footers today (4/20/11). It’s funny, Erie is unique. We are 1½ east of Cleveland, 1 ½ west of Buffalo, 2 hrs north of Pittsburgh so we are in this little triangle. Erie is behind the times by about 2-3 yrs. What is hot in terms of products, it just happens later on in Erie. When things hit the bigger metro areas, they then hit Erie in a couple of years. All the reps are telling me now, jerseys are selling really well right now, but jerseys don’t sell here. They probably will in two years, maybe.
Another service we provide our customers is teaching them how to wakeboard, water ski, wake skate, you name it. And we can do it because we have a shop boat. A fun event we do every week is Wakeboard Wednesday. It only costs $10 per person, up to 6 people, and we take them out for an evening ride. We will probably have to raise the rate a bit with gas on the rise, but it will be affordable. I just want people to be able to enjoy the things that I do and not have to worry about breaking the bank. So many times I have gone to the bigger cities and wanted to ride, but it costs like $75 or $100 for a couple of hours behind a boat. That just doesn’t work for most people, and we just want to keep it economical for everyone and stay in business. Sometimes, not the easiest thing to do, but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
What is interesting is that we sold a couple of wakeboards to people who don’t even have boats, but just wanted their own equipment instead of using our demo boards on Wakeboard Wednesday. They don’t even know anybody who has a boat; they are just solely relying on us, which is a great feeling.
Pick you board, boots, and get out there!
What’s the most exciting development in action sports in the past year–from your perspective?
For us it has been Stand Up Paddle Boarding. We have a great resource with Lake Erie being in our back yard. No one had ever really done any paddle boarding on the lake and last year was our first year in business, we opened in Dec of 2009, and we brought it to the area. We have a rental program and it is amazing, we sold 20 boards last year. I had projected the store to sell 10, so we doubled our sales projections, which is never a bad thing.
This year, we received permission from the state to rent paddle boards on the beach. We will actually have a concession stand on the sand which is going to be great because it is where everybody goes in the summer. It takes a lot of the hassle out of renting them for our customers because, before, we had to rent them from the shop. Throw a soft rack on their car, strap the board down, and off they go. Then, we just prayed to God that they come back in one piece or even come back at all. Now it is a waterside service with a smile: less hassle, more enjoyment, more peace of mind.
For the township that I live in, Fairview, we did a kid’s class after school last year for the teaching them how to stand up paddle. It was done in a pool, not on the lake, but we had ten kids sign up for it who then finished the class and received a certificate for a free rental this summer down on the lake. That way, they can take what they learned in the pool and apply it to open water. We are doing it again this year in the pool, but we have expanded to add a class on the lake as well. We are excited, and so are the kids. Helps them conquer any fears they have about the water and shows them that they can do it. It has been a really enjoyable and fulfilling experience for myself for sure.
Bringing SUP to Lake Erie. Lots of water out there to explore.
Tell me about your shop team?
Our team is really our family and friends. Some are loyal customers, some are employees, and we take care of them all. Check out our teams below:
Dave Kinney – Shop Manager and Team Manager
Tyler Orlando – employee
Molly Sanko – employee
Kara Holsinger – employee
Check out the Orlando boys and others at their local park:
Which athletes do you follow?
I’m a HUGE Kelly Slater Fan. The guys at the shop say I have a "Man Crush" on him. I also like Shawn White, JD Webb, Clayton Underwood, Dave Mirra, Andy McDonald, Travis Pastrana, Drew Danielo. Drew is a good friend of mine. Not only is he insane on a wakeskate and wakesurfer, he is one of the most genuine guys I know.
Are there any upcoming competitions or events in your area that people should know about?
We will be having some on water Wakeboard Clinic/Demos this summer, and Drew Danielo is coming in to host a Wakesurf Clinic.
June 24th is our Hyperlite Pro event. Clayton Underwood and Jimmy Lariche will be the two pros giving tips and hanging with the kids.
June 25th we are having a Stand Up Paddle Board Clinic/Demo with Starboard SUPs. This will be held at Presque Isle State Park at Sunset Point.
Thus the name "Board Shop." They have everything you need to get started.
Any new products or product developments that you’re excited about?
We are stoked on the new binding system from Hyperlite called “The System!” It’s definitely revolutionary and I am surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. I actually worked for Hyperlite for 8 years as a NorthEast rep and these guys are always on the cutting edge. They basically took the concept from the snowboarding industry where you have a snowboard binding that gets mounted to the wakeboard and then you have a boot that you wear whenever–on the boat, the dock, at school (just kidding). It fits right into the bindings with a toe and ankle strap just like a snowboard binding. What is great about this is that everyone on the boat can have their own boot, but the binding system stays on the board. No more changing out bindings because they don’t fit the next rider’s feet, you just have your own boot. The heel and toe support on these things are unbelievable. It makes the board react so much faster edge to edge. Pretty cool and super efficient!
Burton’s Squeeze Box technology is pretty sick! We sold the “Nugg” board at the shop which has the Squeeze Box technology in it and one of the guys that runs the local terrain park absolutely loved it. Basically, if you look at the profile of the board, the nose and tail are thinned out and it gets thicker once you get to the middle. It allows the rider to ride a board that is a lot smaller and which increases responsiveness. Not as much volume in the nose and tail which makes hitting a rail or box that much easier.
Of course GoPro’s LCD BacPac is a must for anyone who has a GoPro Camera. This thing was long overdue. Can’t keep these things in stock! They work so good and fit to any camera with free software that you can download to upgrade your old camera. Plug this thing into the back and you can watch what you just filmed or watch as you are filming. This thing is a must!
Who wouldn’t like to have this in their backyard?
How about a special deal for someone coming in and mentioning that they found you on ASN?
Of course! Mention ASN and receive a Free Elements Board Shop Sticker and 10% off any Regular priced clothing item.
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I started ActionSportsNow (ASN) out of the love I have for action sports. There isn't a time in my life that I can not remember being on a board and now having the ability to introduce this experience to my children is amazing. We do this because we love it and we love working with small business owners in helping them grow their businesses. Without them, these industries wouldn't have the culture and spirit that they do today!