If you need some new gear before your next expedition or are looking to upgrade some old equipment, check out Mountain Air Sports. Located in downtown Santa Barbara, Mountain Air Sports is a locally owned business that opened its doors in 1980 after the success of their first store in San Louis Obispo.
Although the store sells everything needed for an upcoming adventure, the staff has years of secrets and knowledge that you can't put a price on that they are willing to share. "Every person that works here has extensive experience using the gear we sell," says Joey Duddridge, a long time manager at Mountain Air Sports. “Our employees are not sales people. They are here to provide information to our customers based on their experiences, and to provide options and ideas that will suit each customers best interests."
Duddridge reports that the best part of his job is when a customer he has helped comes back after they return from a trip or after trying their new tools out locally. "Hearing their stories when they get back, seeing the excitement and passion in their faces when they are preparing for their next big adventure is great."
Living in a place like Santa Barbara,there is no shortage of adventures to enjoy. "The accessibility of all the different areas of the outdoors and the people that live here are what make Santa Barbara great," says Duddrige."You can hike the mountains in the morning and go to the beach in the afternoon. I've even skied Mammoth in the morning and got in an evening surf session! We are so lucky to live in the middle of all these great resources. I love this place!"
Duddridge recommends Inspiration Point for an evening hike." It offers an amazing view and you don't need much time to do it. A quick hour and a half and you can get your fix. I also like climbing Gibraltar Rock . It's a great place to climb for all types of climbers and you cannot beat that view at sunset!"
Next time you need to get geared up for a ride, climb, paddle or trip to the slopes, think about supporting local businesses. "Mountain Air Sports is a local family owned business, a endangered species in this town," said Duddridge. "We ask that people think about the future of Santa Barbara and be thoughtful of the places they support. Go to your local bookstore, the farmers market, or the local surf shop if you want them to stay around. These places are what make Santa Barbara Santa Barbara; lets keep it that way. Keep it fun, keep it local, keep it Santa Barbara."
For more information on the store, head to: http://www.mountainairsports.com.
Photos: Courtesy of Mountain Air Sports