Article in the Kane County Chronicle!

There was a great article in the Kane County Chronicle this morning!  They did a profile on our business and attempts to grow the sport of paddle boarding on the Fox River!  So excited for people to try it out this summer!  Rentals starting Memorial Day weekend and SUP Yoga classes start July 4th weekend!

You can read the article here:

http://www.kcchronicle.com/2016/05/12/paddle-board-company-partners-with-mill-race-cyclery-in-geneva/aaxc5a2/

 

Paddle board company partners with Mill Race Cyclery in Geneva

Bruce Heidlauf (from left), Bridgett Syzdek and Sarah Traven stand with a paddle board. Traven started a new business, SJ Paddle Boards, selling the boards. Heidlauf, who owns Mill Race Cyclery in Geneva, will begin offering Traven's paddle boards for sale or rent Memorial Day weekend. In addition, Syzdek will teach a yoga class to people who are standing on the paddle boards July 4 at Island Park in Geneva.

Bruce Heidlauf (from left), Bridgett Syzdek and Sarah Traven stand with a paddle board. Traven started a new business, SJ Paddle Boards, selling the boards. Heidlauf, who owns Mill Race Cyclery in Geneva, will begin offering Traven's paddle boards for sale or rent Memorial Day weekend. In addition, Syzdek will teach a yoga class to people who are standing on the paddle boards July 4 at Island Park in Geneva.

Published: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 5:30 a.m. CD

By BRENDA SCHORY - bschory@shawmedia.com

GENEVA – For the athletically inclined, standing on a paddle board atop lakes or rivers might be a perfect combination of fun and exercise.

Sara J. Traven of Geneva said she has watched people use paddle boards on Lake Michigan, Lake Geneva, Crystal Lake and on rivers.

“It’s geared more toward flat water,” Traven said of paddle boarding. “But people can still do it when it’s choppy – it’s just a little bit harder.”

Traven started her company, SJ Paddle Boards, in the fall and sells the boards through her website, www.sjpaddleboards.com.

Starting Memorial Day weekend, the paddle boards will be available both for sale and as rentals at the Mill Race Cyclery, 11 E. State St., Geneva.

Traven, 35, said she has a finance degree and previously worked in that field until deciding to start her first company.

“We would go out to visit our friends in California and we loved doing [paddle boats] on the ocean,” Traven said. “When we were living in downtown Chicago, we wondered why isn’t this big in the Midwest?”

In her research, Traven said she found the technology for inflatable paddle boards improved, making it more feasible for sales and rentals.

“You do not want to store an 11-foot board in your garage or tiny little condo when you can only use it for six months of the year,” Traven said.

Her inflatable paddle boards weigh 30 pounds deflated and roll up in a bag. The paddle breaks down into three pieces that also fits into the bag, Traven said.

“The inflatables are as hard as a car tire,” Traven said. “To puncture them, you’d need to take a knife and stab them.”

Paddle boards cost $900 to buy, but Traven said through her partnership with the Mill Race Cyclery, a prospective buyer can rent them and try them out on the Fox River.

Cyclery owner Bruce Heidlauf said he tried out one of the paddle boards on the river.

“It’s really fun and very good exercise,” Heidlauf said. “You have to use your core strength while paddling. … I started above the dam and went to St. Charles and back. The water does not have a lot of current; it’s pretty still. It was fun.”

Traven said on July 4 she will be offering yoga classes on paddle boards at Island Park in Geneva, but with the boards tethered so they don’t flow down river. Participants can sign up on the Mill Race Cyclery website, millrace.com, she said. Bridgett Syzdek of St. Charles is scheduled to teach yoga on the paddle boards, Traven said.