Retail Buyers Guide: SUP 2019
Brand: Hala Gear
Interviewee: Victoria Ohegyi, Marketing Manager
Based on your revenues and general impression, is the SUP market still gaining momentum or running at a healthy moderate growth?
The inflatable SUP market is still gaining momentum both in the US and across the globe. Inflatables appeal to travelers since they are easy to roll up and transport in a bag.
Do the first-timers turn into regular paddle boarders and thus renew their gear line-up?
Absolutely. A trend we’ve noticed at Hala is that customers will first buy a cheaper, thinner and less durable SUP, which will provide a sub-par experience due to a lack of durability. Customers often turn to Hala Gear to purchase their second board because we offer a higher quality product. Additionally, as people begin their paddleboard journey, they often start with an all-around flatwater board. As their understanding of the sport increases, they often find the correctly shaped and sized board that fits their particular niche – whether it be whitewater, touring, fishing, or surfing.
How did you build up your ranges for this second half on 2019?
For 2019, we decided to organize our lineup into 4 segments: Carbon, Rival, River, and Surf. Each board in our Carbon line integrates our technologically advanced Inflatable Carbon, which increases rigidity by nearly 300%. Our Rival line is our most lightweight grouping of boards, offered at a more affordable price than the Carbon lineup. Our Rival boards are also sold with an inclusion paddle. Our River line features our patented Stompbox system and is intended for crushing whitewater. Our Surf line features our latest DoubleStack technology, allowing for surfers to carve waves just like a hardboard.
Is there room for more than a leisure/casual approach in the iSUP category?
Absolutely. Hala Gear incorporates the most leading technology into their inflatable SUPs, ranging from inflatable carbon, to patented retractable fins, to DoubleStack construction. Hala’s innovation continues to push the sport of paddleboarding to new areas and higher levels.
Can you please tell us what the main innovations among your range are?
Hala’s leading innovations since 2012 are Inflatable Carbon, StompBox, DoubleStack, sizing downriver boards at 9’6” length, double-bladed Butterknife paddle.
Do you offer foiling options? If yes, what has been the reception of your products so far?
We don’t offer foiling options.
PRICEPOINT & DISTRIBUTION
How do you position your offer between the pricey value-added boards and the entry-level pricepoints?
Our entry-level pricepoints can be found in our Rival lineup. These boards are a few hundred USD less than our Carbon and River boards. We market our Rival lineup to those just starting their SUP journey and therefore include a burly travel paddle (with a carbon shaft!) in the entire SUP package. The idea behind our Rival boards is to get anyone on the water.
How do you split your offer in between brick&mortar retailers, online retailers and D2C?
The core of Hala’s business is their brick & mortar retailers. They have supported Hala since Hala’s humble beginnings.