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Shouldering Pent-Up Recreation Demand

As Dynamite Bike Lab in North Scottsdale celebrated its grand opening at the end of August, sales associates explained it was tough to stock the new store. Other outdoor recreation gear shops across the state are experiencing higher than usual demand, as well. They credit the pandemic for the surge in business. Meanwhile, recreationists complain new bikes ordered online take weeks to arrive and parts, like tire tubes, are noticeably in short supply.

“It’s COVID,” said Go Stand Up Paddle owner Chad Brockman, who rents SUPs and teaches lessons at Bartlett Lake. “People are wanting to get out of the house. We are twice as busy as last year. On the weekends, we’re renting out at least 70 boards a day.”

Brianna Hovis, sales associate at Snow Mountain River in Flagstaff, agrees. She says this summer has definitely been busier than last. “People are renting kayaks and SUPs. Our bike mechanics are very busy, too. People have more time to get outside. The demand for gear was huge at the beginning of summer when people were out of work.”

Brockman says as business has increased, so have shoulder injuries. “People aren’t using the paddle correctly. Most people have the paddle backwards.” As a result, he says, at the end of each stroke, they are often pushing the front of the board into the water instead of gliding on top.

For a quick tip, Brockman says the paddle should angle away from you. Feet should be shoulder-width apart in the middle of the board, the body should form an A as the paddle is pushed down in front and to the side, and then pulled back through the water as knees are slightly bent and core muscles are engaged to push the board forward. The stroke stops at the body, not beyond.

Brockman reminds recreationists that September and October are beautiful months to be outdoors in Arizona. FBN

By Bonnie Stevens, FBN

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