Looking kayaking sponsorship.. - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-19-2016   #1
Mount Olive, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 7
Looking kayaking sponsorship..

I've been kayaking for a few years now, just started whitewater kayaking this past year. The gear can be rather expensive sometimes. So it got me thinking, can I get sponsored? Is there a way to get sponsored so I can get gear at a discount.

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Old 01-19-2016   #2
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 287
Quit your job, move into your car (or your brother's garage), take a vow of poverty, become a raft guide and work somewhere where you can get Pro-Deal. In the process become an expert kayaker and ask around for sponsorships.

I would suggest you're more likely to fracture vertebrae in the process than you are to actually get sponsored.

You could also keep your real job and get used shit off of Mountainbuzz, Craigslist or related sites.

I see you're in North Carolina. Winning the Green Race or going huge during Gauley Fest would help.

Snotty sarcasm aside, the guys I worked with at the NOC in the mid 80s who were mind boggling good made peanuts for income but spent over 300 days paddling every year. It's basically a lifestyle choice.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-19-2016   #3
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 570
Are you comfortable living in a van/ truck and making less than $10,000 per year?
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Old 01-19-2016   #4
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 896
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Old 01-20-2016   #5
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West, Tennessee
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 16
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interested in sponsorship? I'd read this first...

I've been kayaking nearly a quarter of a century, sponsored for half my life, and on team JK for just over a decade... that said here's my advice for anyone who wants to get sponsored:

Boyd's Whitewater Updates: So you want to Sponsored? ...a must read if you've ever thought about it
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Old 01-20-2016   #6
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 609
Become an absolute badass... in every facet of life.
Or at least make it appear so...
Never leave your gopro at home...

Orrrrrrr..... just buy used gear like the rest of us poverty boaters.

Oh wait... I see that this question has already been answered... this new version of the Buzz is kinda messing with me....
It's a good day to be a duck....
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Old 01-20-2016   #7
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 896
To hell with this new fangled MB theme
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Old 01-20-2016   #8
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 820
The idea of sponsorship is that you are such a great kayaker that companies give you discounted gear so that people see you using their stuff. Since you started whitewater this year, you are not a great kayaker. So, the answer is NO.

Buy some cheap gear and have fun learning to kayak.
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Old 01-20-2016   #9
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Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,436
Can you get sponsored in the first couple years of being involved in the sport? Probably not.

Can you get a full or part time job at a shop that sells paddling gear and get pro-deals that will get you the gear for cost plus 10%? Most likely yes. There are lots of these shops, be it with a local independent retailer or a place like REI and similar.

In my experience you still get the pro-deals even working a few days a month, so go ask your local paddle shop if they need someone to fill in hours a few days a month. They probably can't afford to pay great rates, but you'll get a bit of cash to spend on the gear and the discount that comes with it.

Back in the day (10 years ago or so) I worked for Mountain Quest Sports (Now Alpine Quest) in this way and actually took my pay in the form of gear off the racks in the shop.
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Old 01-20-2016   #10
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West, Tennessee
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 16
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That actually is really great advice... working in an outfitter store is the best sponsorship you can get, especially if they use 3point5 (the employee purchase version of promotive). You actually earn cash for your time and get discounts from all those companies instead of just one or two. You learn the industry and get to meet lots of new people.

No one gets free boats, not even EJ. Free boats are a myth. EJ even has his own team account that he pays into from his salary. You either earn boats for an excessive amount of work as a part of your employment in a factory or in boat sales, or you just get discounts. We get discounts and then have to sell our boats to break even... or sell them early to make gas money. Maybe if our sport grows again it'll be realistic to be a true "pro kayaker", but right now everyone has some sort of day job or they're sponsored by mom and dad or a trust fund... or they live in a van.

I'm a teacher and kayaker... I wear a tie during the week, then I drive a bunch on the weekends and film it. That's the current reality of our sport. Free gear happens, but you earn that too... and not by being a good kayaker.

An outfitter store that'll give you time to boat is really ideal.
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