Go behind the scenes with Josh Cantor at Southern California’s premier wakeboard shop, Wakesports, now worldwide online.
1. When did you start your business? 2000 We didn’t think the last millennium could handle wakesports so we waited till 2000 to get going
2. Do you consider the location of your shop a key factor to the business’ success? Yes, we have 3 shops that cover southern California. One in Orange by Disneyland, one in San Diego, and one at the Carlsbad Lagoon where wakeboarding was invented. It doesn’t get more core than that. We are at the epicenter of wakeboarding then and now.
3. What product/boat is selling best these days? What products do you carry? All things wakeboarding and waterskiing. We don’t sell boats, skateboards, snowboards. We ONLY sell the toys for behind the boat. This gives us a focus and knowledge that really no one else has. We don’t transition to something else in the winter, we just throw on dry suits and keep on riding.
4. Where do you see your shop in 5-10 years from now? Same place they are now…on the front lines. We just showed up fashionably late to this thing called the Internet. So we are going to give that a go with the same focus we have given our shops. We are different from the other big sites because we are still just an old school wakeboard shop. So if customers want some help with their purchase they don’t get a customer service guy with us. They get the same shop guys that help our customers that walk through our doors.
5. Who is your average buyer? Not kooks. The only real competition we have here in Southern California are the big corporate stores: Costco, Big 5 etc. and then a few boat dealers that don’t really care about the board you are riding as long as you buy their boat.
6. What is the dumbest question a customer has ever asked? Will you exchange this board for me that is completely wrong for me that I bought on eBay? (my answer was no, its time you pay stupid tax for not supporting your local shop)
7. What is the craziest return a customer has ever tried to make? Same kind of deal– one that he bought from someone else. Because if they bought it from us they would receive the Wakesports guarantee and we would make sure they are happy with it. If they weren’t happy, we would take it back no problems and get them something they were stoked on. But if they buy it from Joe Schmo on the Internet, then again it is time for them to learn a lesson the hard way.
8. Does your store support any local athletes or have a team? Yes we support a lot of the local athletes. As well as the local college teams, and clubs. We don’t pay anyone to ride for us. If they like what we are about we always welcome the love. We don’t believe in paying for some fake endorsements. That being said a couple guys we are super proud of are Eddie and Jacob Valdez. We have supported those guys since they were 7 and 11 riding in our contests and both those kids are better people than they are riders, and if you have seen them ride you know they are amazing riders.
9. How many days a week do you ride now compared to before you owned a shop? I ride more now than ever. Seeing how I live at the Carlsbad Lagoon where we have our wakeboard shop and school. I ride a couple times a week. Not as aggressively as I did when I was younger. More now to see how each board and boot rides and feels, so I can make sure my customers get on the right stuff for them
10. Who is your favorite wakeboarder/wakeskater and why? That’s tough because I have a few. So I will give you my top 5 in no particular order. Eddie and Jacob Valdez, Ben Greenwood, Keith Lyman and Shane. Man I could give you another 5 or 10. I get to ride with most of the pros when they come through the Carlsbad Lagoon so its really tough to narrow it down. I enjoy watching them all.
11. Every store has to deal with shoplifting. What is your most memorable experience and what is your shoplifting policy? Don’t Steal that’s our policy. We are here to provide fun. If you have to steal fun you are a prick and should probably find another sport.
12. Tell us one of the craziest shop stories you can remember? Heck No!!! What happens when you party with Wakesports stays with Wakesports! I could put this entire industry on blast right now but that just would not be cool. I will save those stories for our Christmas Party.
13. Does your store carry any products that make it unique to other wake shops in your area? What other Wake Shops in our area? We are Southern California Wakeboarding. If we don’t carry it you don’t want it.
14. How significant is the benefit to you that your store could be featured in TransWorld WAKEBOARDING? It is huge!! With the launch of our e-commerce website how else will people find out about us? We are not the most internet savvy, or have the biggest budget. We are a core wakeboarding shop that wants to stoke people out on wakeboarding. We will give you the best price but that is not what we are all about. We are all about supporting your local pro shop but if you don’t have one near you we would love to be your new local pro shop via the web.