Tag Archives: Water Sports

Not on the water yet? You should be!

As the lakes and rivers in our area continue to warm up with the great summer weather we’ve been having, you might find yourself dusting off your summer watersports gear for another fun season.  Today, I thought I’d share a few quick tips for prepping your equipment to ensure a great, hassle-free summer on the water.  Also, since we have so much amazing new gear here in our store, I figured I would give you all the details should you find yourself with skis or tubes or ropes that have seen one too many summers.

Before using waterskis, wakeboards, ropes, tubes, or any other watersport equipment, it’s important to clean and inspect them.  Bindings and boots should be checked to make sure the screws and bolts holding them to the ski or board are fastened securely, and the boards themselves should have no damage or cracks.  When checking the boots, also make sure the rubber, velcro, and lacing systems are in proper working order.  As boots age, they become more susceptible to rips and tears.  And remember: what was in good working order when you stored them the pervious season might not always fare well through the dry winter storage months, so taking the few minutes to double check your equipment always a safe bet.  Lastly, ropes, when either at the end of their life, or not stored properly, can become brittle and break under the high loads placed on them when towing skiers, boarders, or tubes.  A visual inspection of your rope is usually enough to reveal any fraying or dry rot that could result in a quick end to a day on the boat.

Hopefully your watersports gear is still in great working order and you can get out on the water soon!  If it has seen better days though, or it’s time for an upgrade, Shep’s is the place to come.  We stock a full range of waterskis, wakeboards, wakeskates, wakesurfs, tubes, and kneeboards from HO Sports and Hyperlite, as well as all the accessories you could ever need (from life jackets to ropes to repair parts).  And thanks to our great HO / Hyperlite rep Rick Skinner, our already experienced, highly-trained staff just received a special two hour training covering all the new gear and latest technologies on all things watersports.  Can we help with any questions you might have?  You bet we can!

Wake board packages from Hyperlite starting as low as $299.00!

Ski combos from HO priced to move at $179.99!

With sizes in stock able to fit infants to the Incredible Hulk (almost), we’ve got the life jacket you need to look cool and stay safe.  Prices start at $39.99.  

With specific ropes for waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing in stock, and prices as low as $15.99, it’s time to stop using that same old rope for everything.  You’ll get better performance and be safer in the process!

Need a tube?  We’ve got ’em!  From our $79.99 HO Sports Hornet to the four person Extreme XL, we’ve got loads of great choices to fit your budget and family size!

One last thing: now that you have that great new gear, you need to care for it.  Our post from earlier this year will tell you everything you need to know!

What Type of Dad is He? (More Gift Ideas Included!)

You’re the one who knows your dad, but we’re taking a shot at figuring them all out. The below text & images represent three types of dads. Because Father’s Day is THIS WEEKEND, you might want to pinpoint where your dad fits in, read the gift idea list & make some mental notes. After that, stop by to pick up something awesome for him.

Dad type 1: The Playful

Your dad might always be up for a game of catch, running with the dog, or a round of disc golf. If he’s the type who loves to get out and have a good time, he might fit into this category.

Gift ideas include:

Relaxed, comfortable clothing by Kavu, The North Face, Kuhl, Patagonia, Dakine
Casual kick-around sneakers (Helly Hansen shoes pictured here)
Disc golf discs or carry bag
Portable disc golf catcher
Games – backgammon, cribbage, mancala, dominos

 Dad type 2: The Outdoorsy

If dad stays out from dawn till dusk enjoying all that nature has to offer, he’s probably the outdoorsy type. Maybe he packs a bag and hikes, takes the kayak out, pedals the local bike trails. He just loves to be out and breathe in that fresh air.

Gift ideas include:

Performance lightweight, breathable, stretch apparel from Kuhl, Patagonia, The North Face
Stable, supportive footwear from Teva or Salomon
Pack to hold his gear from The North Face, Patagonia, Dakine
Oakley Sunglasses
Nalgene or Camelbak Waterbottle
Adjustable hiking poles
Camp gear

 

Dad type 3: The Adventurer

Is faster & more dangerous always better for dad? If he lives on the edge, you see it all over his face: he craves adventure. Feed his craving with some cool toys on Father’s Day.

Gift ideas include:

A bike. Yep, he probably wants new one.
A wakeboard, waterskis, wake surf, or wake skate from Hyperlite or HO
An HO neoprene vest or Accurate rope for behind the boat
Sun Bum sun protection (he’s going to need it)
Oakley Frogskins

Dad loved the handprint picture frames you gave him as a child (it’s probably sitting on his desk), but he’ll love quality gifts tailored to the things he loves to do. Show him how much you love him by making this Father’s Day something special.

Hey Mom! Let’s Go Outside and Play!

Mom probably likes flowers, perfume and candy.  But you know the gift she really wants  this Mother’s Day is time with you.  Remember when she taught you how to love playing outside?  This year, return the favor.  The Wausau, WI area is flush with great outdoor spots to enjoy.  See what mom needs to make her outdoor adventures complete (we can help if you need ideas ) and cap off a great gift with time together doing something you both love.

Gift ideas (with each photo) and a list of nearby campgrounds, boat launches, hiking and bike trails, disc golf courses and tennis courts is just a click away.  But click quick, then get outside!  Happy Mother’s Day mom, from all of us at Shepherd & Schaller 🙂

 

 

Summer Fun Checklist

What are your plans for the 4th of July? Ready to enjoy a day of grilling out, playing on the beach, hitting the water and get up on those waterskis? If you’re celebrating in any of these ways, take note. Below is a gear checklist and a little eye candy. Shep’s has everything on the list. (The only other stop you’ll have to make? Grocery store for hot dogs!)

If you’re spending any time outside, you’ll definitely need these things:
Sunscreens (Banana scented….. 🙂 )
Sunglasses (Oakley, Native, Chili’s)
Bug Spray
CamelBak bottle

Packing a Picnic?
Toys; foam guns, hacky sacks, paddle ball
Frisbees & Discs
Sun Dress & Accessories (PrAna & Patagonia have looks you’ll love.)
Button Ups & Shorts (Guys- same thing for you!)
Flip Flops (Ever worn Teva’s? Now’s the time.)
Bag from Sherpani


Going Boating?
Tube (One rider or four? That’ll help you choose the tube!)
Wakeboard/Waterski/Kneeboard/Wake Surf/Wakeskate (Hyperlite & H.O. take the cake)
Ropes
Vest (Nylon or Neoprene available for the family)
Towel
Swim Suit (Kids, men’s & women’s suits in stock)

Hitting the Beach?
Swim Suit (Choose your cut & your pattern from Patagonia or PrAna!)
Sun Hat
Sunglasses (patterned, sporty, and everything in-between.)
Towel
Sunscreen & Aloe (Did we mention how great SunBum smells??)

Love to Hike?
Backpacks (from The North Face, Burton, Dakine)
Salomon Trail Shoes
Smartwool Socks (they’re a necessity.)
CamelBak bottles
Bug Spray (yes, more!)
Headlamp

This is just a summary. You’ll find accessories and extras that will help make your summer outings the very best they can be. Stop in at Shep’s and let our experts set you up with the gear you need.

What’s SUP?

SUPs – Getting Started

What It Is

Maybe you’ve been hearing about SUPs, (Stand Up Paddle Boards)… they’re gaining popularity quickly. There are a number of reasons for the widespread interest, one main one being versatility in the sport. Kids, parents, athletes and relaxed beach-goers alike find a good time atop a SUP.  

Whether your trip out paddling is a time for relaxing, full of adventure, or a great workout depends on where you go and what you’re setting out for. You control your experience (well, unless you’re on raging waters). You put into it what you want, and sometimes a smooth, relaxing venture is just what you need other times it’s all about trying something new, like Yoga on your SUP.  Where can you take your SUP out in Central Wisconsin?  Anywhere there’s water! (public access allowed of course.)  Try Lake Wausau on the Wisconsin River, the Rib River or even Manmade Lake at Sunnyvale Park in Wausau, or one of hundreds of lakes nearby.

What You Need

Get this: you need a SUP and a paddle!  Besides that, we suggest playing it safe and always wearing a PFD. We also know the benefits to wearing the right clothing, so we like to recommend swimwear (for days on the water when you’re participating in all sorts of water activities), wet suits when the air or water is cold, or fast drying, wicking performance wear to keep you cool and dry. Sun protection is a biggie too.

After gathering those things, all you need is to get going!

How You Do It

Carry the SUP under your arm or on top of your head and make your way to the water. Starting in shallow water makes stepping onto the board a breeze, but starting kneeling or by sitting then standing works too.

Look for the balance point, and plant your feet there. You don’t want the tail underwater, and you don’t want the nose up in the air. You’ll find a spot that allows your board to stay level. 

Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, centered on the board. Be conscious about keeping your knees soft and back straight and use your hips to keep you centered. Tipping your head or shoulders dramatically will throw you off balance! Ground yourself with your hips.

Hold your adjusted paddle on one side, with your right hand on top when the paddle is on your left side, and vice versa. Be sure the blade of the paddle is all the way under water, and twist with your core to push the paddle back. Keep your strokes small until you’re comfortable. Repeat. And repeat. Change sides after every few strokes to keep yourself heading straight ahead. (You just learned the side stroke.)

You can backpaddle to turn your board, by paddling from the tail of the board to the tip. Stepping back on the board or leaning to the inside of the board will help your board pivot more, making your turn easier and faster.

These are the basics. After you get a hold of these techniques, you’ll have a feel for the board and can manage more water conditions.

What Shep’s Offers 

We’ve done our part to have all that you need to get into the sport. We have two boards to choose from, adjustable paddles, life vests, apparel, and yes, even sun screen and sun glasses!

Conquest GURU Inflatable SUP, Backpack & Pump ($799)

California Board Company 10 SIX SUP, paddle & roof rack kit (Shep’s Price $599)