SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
For Andy and Brian Manser, teaching others how to paddle and kayak comes naturally. The two brothers, who grew up on the Jersey Shore, have been enjoying outdoor water sports since they were little boys. They have grown up on the water surfing and paddle boarding. Andy, who teaches math at Manasquan Elementary School and Brian, a music teacher at Old Mill Elementary School, came up with the idea to start a new business in January 2013, just a few months after Hurricane Sandy struck the Jersey coastline. The new business would be called Paddle Out.
They had all the confidence in the world that the beach would be cleaned up for the summer season and the town worked tirelessly to get the boardwalk rebuilt and the area cleaned of debris. For many, beginning a new venture after one of the worst storms to hit the Jersey Shore would not be an ideal scenario. “We just never looked at it as a risk,” says Andy Manser. Some businesses in Manasquan had their doubts that the area would be ready for the busy summer tourist season. The Manser brothers were determined to open and be ready for the Memorial Day kick off season and spent all winter working on their new watersports business. Both brothers became certified WSUPA Stand Up Paddle Instructors. With the help and support of their father, Andy Sr., they worked as a family to get it done. The space they bought at 537 East Main Street in Manasquan had to be renovated due to the four and a half feet of water damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, the sheetrock walls had to replaced and painted, as well.
“Starting a new business is no easy task, but we were confident that we would be successful. We never had any doubt that the Manasquan beaches would not be ready for the summer season. The community has worked together to restore this area and show tourists and vacationers that we are strong and we are back in business,” comments Manser.
Paddle boarding has become very popular and is a water sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Paddle boarding is the closest thing to walking on water and people of all ages have taken private and group lessons. Their services include: guided tours through natural waterways, stand up paddle board lessons, and kayak/paddle board rentals. They teach everything about paddle boarding, which includes water entry and balance, basic strokes, efficient paddling techniques, proper stance and positioning on the board, getting familiar with the equipment, paddleboard control and safety while building confidence and having fun exploring the river.
“We are super busy and even my father is helping out. Our projections for the summer have been exceeded. We wanted to offer an adventure for people and have fun water sports like paddle boarding and kayaking be available to vacationers. Lots of people are thanking us for being open and my brother and I are proud that we took a risk and it is paying off.”
The Mansers are very happy that their new business has taken off and word has spread fast with good “word of mouth” buzz. In addition to customers raving about the new business, they effectively use social media platforms to promote their business and Tweet regularly.
To learn more about this business and others affected by the storm, please visit http://bit.ly/19EYgjm. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the WCEC’s “We’re Storming Back” Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Program provides free workshops, training, and resources to New Jersey businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy to help them to recover and thrive.
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Ashley Manz is the Business Content Producer for NewJerseyNewsroom.com and the WCEC.
About The WCEC: The WCEC, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation, is a U. S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center. The WCEC provides the tools for individuals to successfully own, operate and grow their small businesses, thereby investing financially, intellectually and emotionally in their communities. The WCEC provides more than 150 classes, seminars and individual consulting sessions each year for more than 5,000 participants. For more information please visit hwww.wcecnj.org/.