About a week ago I had the pleasure of visiting Canandaigua Sailboard, a watersports equipment and rental store located on the northern end of Canandaigua Lake. The shop (though I hesitate to use such an ordinary word, as it's more of a miniature surfer emporium) originally opened in 1982 as a windsurf rental facility. Since then, it has grown and redeveloped into an all-stop shop for anyone's gear and attire needs.
I spoke to Jenny, the assistant general manager, and she told me all about the vision of Canandaigua Sailboard and its aim to provide everyone with the opportunity to enjoy the unique waters of the finger lakes. For this reason, rentals are as big a factor in their business today as they were almost forty years ago. Just as important is CDGA SAIL's passion for the environment. Browsing through their racks of stylish attire and accessories, you'll notice environmentally-friendly components in all they offer -- and because they are partnered with Protect Our Winters and 1% For The Planet, you can feel good about the dollars you spend there. If you're particularly interested in helping the ecosystem around the finger lakes area, stop by and ask about their mission to eliminate Canandaigua's infamous cyanobacteria.
Perhaps the biggest thing that sets Canandaigua Sailboard ahead of the pack is the atmosphere. Of course, there's the aesthetic. Those of you familiar with Neon Wave will see the influence of the company's brand leadership in the shop's decor and sense of style. What really matters, though, is the sense of camaraderie between the staff and the customer. It's not often I walk into a store and get the sense that the employees and management are genuinely happy to be there. The staff are knowledgable and eager to welcome everyone into their community, whether you're a tourist looking to rent or a seasoned surfer ready to talk the newest gear.
You can find CDGA SAIL at 11 Lakeshore Drive in Canandaigua -- and I hope that you do, because it just might be a retail experience you've never had before.