By PHOEBE PRETTYMAN
When it is time to put down the mobile devices and head outside, be sure to stop by Harbor Outfitters for all outdoor activity needs.
From board rentals to water sports supplies, this one-stop-shop has it all.
Owners Chuck and Tricia Piola started the business in 2002 with the mission of encouraging people to go outside and enjoy what the Jersey Shore has to offer.
“I have always been into water sports,” Chuck explained.
Before becoming a business owner, he was a whitewater photographer in Colorado. After meeting, and later marrying his wife Tricia, he shared his passion for water sports and together they turned it into a business.
Their roots trace back to Ocean City at a business called TI Kayaks. After an amicable split, the couple focused on their store in Stone Harbor, and thus created Harbor Outfitters.
The company’s mission statement is to “Help people have fun on vacation,” Chuck said.
The goal of Harbor Outfitters is to provide the supplies and resources to go outside and try new things. The option to take lessons or just rent makes it accessible for all ages and levels. They also give surf and paddleboard lessons.
In addition, Harbor Outfitters offers paddleboard yoga, surf camp, and a paddleboard yoga retreat. They also can accommodate a large group for events and birthday parties.
Once you get the hang of paddling, there are tours you can embark on. Paddleboard tours along the back bay of Sea Isle City, kayak eco tours, moonlight paddleboard tours and dolphin sighting tours are among the options.
There are even some activities geared towards the younger ones in the group.
For example, they offer surf camp, stand up paddleboard camp, and mermaid camp. All activities are recommended for kids between the ages of 9 to 15 years old and take place at Fish Alley in Sea Isle City.
When it comes to lessons, tours, and camps, Harbor Outfitters “Sends everyone to the waterfront store from the others,” explained Tricia.
The bayfront store is located in Fish Alley at 329 43rd Place in Sea Isle.
At that location, trained staff and instructors spend their days out on the water instructing water sport enthusiasts.
All staff members are CPR and First Aid certified and instructors are Stand Strong and WPA certified.
The oceanfront location is located on the Promenade at 3500 Boardwalk in Sea Isle. On the beach in front of this store there are staff and instructors with kayaks and boards to rent. This is also where they do their surf lessons.
With locations in Ocean City, Sea Isle, Stone Harbor and Ocean View, the store is just around the corner for many for beach or water sport supplies. They also offer free delivery for all rentals, including the Downbeach area.
That means all of the outdoor activity needs are only a phone call away.
The new location in Ocean View has given Harbor Outfitters the ability to hold more stock and offer more out of this location.
“This is our hub,” Chuck said when talking about the new addition.
Chuck explained how it is in the middle of all the other locations, which makes everything easier and more efficient.
The new store has allowed them to expand on all fronts, including their electric car rental dealership. They offer a plethora of street legal golf carts with the capacity to hold two to eight passengers. Their free delivery extends to the golf carts as well, so they will bring it to you.
At five different locations, Harbor Outfitters is a great and accessible place to shop for anything needed for outdoor activities and water sports. Especially when it is time to get outside, try something new, and enjoy the beautiful Jersey Shore.