Rental Spotlight: SUP Cleveland

Isle surf and sup cleveland sunset paddle

Monthly Rental Spotlight

Here at Isle we not only sell boards directly to end customers but many people have started small rental and touring companies using fleets of our boards to have fun, share sup with others, and generate some income while paddling. We get great photos and stories all the time from these paddle outfits so created this monthly rental spotlight to share a little more info about these cool companies.

We offer great bulk pricing discounts for orders of 6 or more board packages for anyone looking to start a sup business or rental company.

About Cleveland SUP

SUP CLE was started by an avid paddler by the name of Jill Jankowski who has as much love for her city as she does for paddle boarding. Jill left her previous job because she wanted to focus solely on paddling and make it is accessible for everyone. Seeing that Jill is so devoted to her hometown, she wanted to make sure to give back to the city which has given her so much and that is why she does a lot of charity events tied in collaboration with SUP CLE.

Isle surf and sup standup paddle boarding downtown cleveland

Paddling Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland’s Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake in North America and is the shallowest of all the Great Lakes which is the reason it has more consumable fish than all of them combined. One of the best parts about standup paddle boarding in Cleveland is the variety of conditions it offers. Some days Lake Erie will be smooth as glass and the next day you’ll enjoy great down winders for miles to come. Lastly, you could have the rare chance of surfing the rare lake surf which his caused by high winds. Regardless of what you want to do, SUP CLE will have something for everyone just as Jill wanted it to be.

Isle surf and sup cleveland

Read a little more about Superior Paddle Boarding in this Q&A 

Can you tell us a little about your company and what you guys do?

Well, SUP CLE was born out of a couple of things i guess. I founded SUP CLE (Standup Paddle
boarding Cleveland) as a way to not only bring all the things I personally love about SUP to as many
people as possible, but to do it right in the heart of the city to make it accessible to everyone. I
wanted to feel like something Cleveland could adopt and own – to add SUP to the what seems like
always-expanding list of cool things that seem to keep popping up here! I had first been involved in
a multi-partner wholesale SUP outfit of sorts here in Cleveland, but that company was too tied to
retail and I wanted to keep the focus  just on the love of paddling itself — and partnering with like-
minded folks who just loved to paddle, race, etc. So I left that company and began SUP CLE. We
knew we wanted to be paddle on open waters, too. You know, boundary-free. So that’s what we
offer. Lessons, excursions, sunset paddles on the amazing open waters of Lake Erie!  We also do a
lot of charity tie- ins and partnerships for fundraising through SUP CLE. I wanted to make sure SUP
CLE gave back in some way no matter what we did. So we do SUP lessons, SUP paddles, excursions
out on the lake, birthday/bachelorette parties, reunions, sunset paddles, SUP yoga, SUP
meditation, corporate teambuilding events, etc. We’re so excited because now I’m getting all kinds
of organizations coming to us looking to wrap standup paddle somehow into their group events,
fundraising, etc.

Isle surf and sup standup paddle boarding cleveland boyfriend and girlfriend copy

How is the paddle boarding in Cleveland? What will you normally see on a paddle on Lake Erie in Cleveland?

At SUP CLE we paddle mostly on the open lake on Cleveland’s breathtaking newly renovated public
beach. At Edgewater Park – Killer views of the city skyline, incredible sunsets (our sunset classes are
most popular), and beautiful long paddles along the shoreline and behaves. One of the profound
characteristics of Lake Erie is how truly temperamental she is! You never know what you’re going
to get and we love that actually. Sometimes you get a paddle smooth as glass, sometimes it’s
definitely a washing machine out there, and sometimes high waves for some super fun surf. Each
time is a surprise which makes it both challenging and interesting. We also SUP on both big and
small rivers and in the beautiful Cleveland Metro parks reserves here. So you’re getting lots of
different views, marine life and different paddle experience depending on location. It’s one of the
main reasons we love loving here too 🙂

What can you expect on a typical paddle lesson by SUP CLE (SUP Cleveland)?

People are always super excited when they come to us for offer lessons and rentals, and
SUP YOGA.  Sure they’re getting everything they need to have a fun experience!  We know learning
is sometimes not people’s first thought when it comes to SUP, so we’ve developed our classes in a
way that keep it extra fun, but still informative, especially on open water.. Usually we keep the
instruction light and comical people feel connected to it. We work through the basics, safety, gear,
general SUP industry info, trends, how to fall, In fact we encourage people to jump in and  fall in
with every loud sound they can think of – it takes the edge off of people who might not want to
“get their wet” so to speak. But then we send them off to show off their new skills, so to speak.
We just keep it fun!  We also make it clear that anyone who doesn’t’ stand up is totally fine- that
this is an activity that has nothing to do with anything else they’ve done, and that everyone can
make it whatever they want it to be – sit down, standup, race, kneel, read a book out there,
whatever. For those who don’t want to stand up, I’ll try to challenge them in a fun way anyway
because they’ll love it when they do. And people always tell me they were glad they did. I even got
my parents out there in their 60s!  News travels fast on social media- and i love bringing in folks
like who might have otherwise been intimidated by it.  But they did awesome! And so now their
friends are calling us, haha.

Isle surf and sup standup paddle boarding cleveland lake

What’s your favorite thing about teaching SUP lessons?

The best part is when we get “Oh, you’re SUP CLE!  The ones who do the ….” {As they make
paddling gesture.} That seriously never gets old to see people do that. To me, if you can get anyone
to do any kind of gesture that’s tied to your business, that’s success!  Honestly though, we really
just love bringing it to people who haven’t tried it yet. And hearing the “L” word after they do. We
always get “Oh, I LOVE this” “Oh my God this is so cool” or “Best thing I’ve ever done’. Because
yeah, that’s how I feel about it too.  🙂

What do you/ your customers like about SUP CLE SUP Cleveland?

We’ve got this amazing lake that’s big and blue and awesome, and its right off of our great city with just totally stunning sunsets and a killer skyline view.  We love our city, we love water. I guess anything people can do to combine those things and to get out there is appealing. Plus if you don’t have a boat or have already kayaked, it’s pretty amazing way to be on the water, as we all know.

Isle surf and sup kids standup paddle boarding cleveland lake

Any advice when traveling to Cleveland, OH?

You’re asking the right person- I’m kind of an unofficial booster. When you visit Cleveland, get ready to be surprised and get ready to have a blast (and hopefully shed what you think you knew). It’s pretty awesome to live here. Most of us who own businesses here are involved in so many other things that connect us – because that seems to be what’s propelling us forward. Cleveland has this grass roots, cultural feel that has been kind of silently sprouting under the rust belt bridges and now just totally exploding! We all partner together to put on cool events and create things that we love to do, so visitors do too.  SUP CLE is at Edgewater Park, so where we paddle is a walk under the bridge from one the MANY new, hip, historic bustling neighborhoods – Gordon Square/Ohio City.   We’re experiencing a huge boom in all of these innovative and fun things to do. I also host people in my home as guests so i love to recommend everything i love about this city! It’s loaded with entrepreneurs, packed with arts and cultural activity, lots of cool entertainments districts, new hip neighborhoods. Tons of restaurants like the Happy Dog and breweries galore, shopping, and world class orchestras and museums, I promise, you won’t be disappointed. If you are, you can have a paddle on me!

 

Posted in Industry
Marc Miller - Co-Founder of Isle Surf & SUP. I started Isle back in 2004 to share my love of paddling and surfing in the ocean with others one board at a time. I love to surf, paddle , travel and write about it. When im not in the office I can be found on foreign shores searching for waves and fun.

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