Sender Gear – Focused on serving the youth and adult climbing markets.
Sharon: Our initial vision was to provide quality performance gear to kids. We found that as our young girls progressed in their climbing abilities, it was getting harder to find suitable shoes. This was especially true for our youngest daughter who started climbing when she was four years old. With such an early start to climbing, her technical ability eventually outmatched the performance of conventional children's climbing shoes.
Nick: By the age of seven she was allowed to a lead climb at our home gym. It was almost unheard of for a seven-year-old to be granted that privilege a couple of years ago. She was using kids' size 12 shoes and was quickly wearing them out she because she was climbing three days a week – she wanted to climb all the time. We tried to find some small technical shoes for her, but no one seemed to carry performance-oriented climbing shoes in her size. That’s when we got the idea for Sender Gear. We want to provide parents with the resources to make informed purchasing decisions as well as access to quality shoes and gear for kids and competitive youth climbers. Our plan is to be the first stop in a parent’s quest to get the right gear for their budding sender.
Sharon: And by default, because of the great suppliers/vendors we have on board, we also cater to the entire climbing community. We want to make sure that expecting mothers, kids of all ages, experienced climbers and even the family dog are covered!
Some of the many brands available at Sender Gear.
That was the year the gymnastics club built a small climbing wall. She spent most of that year watching the climbing instead of focusing on her lessons and the next year she switched to climbing while her sister was training in gymnastics. She spent two years there before the instructor told her that the facility was closing so he could spend more time with his growing family.
She was quite devastated, so we started searching online and found Climbers Rock in Burlington. When we walked in for the first time, it was like watching a kid during their first visit to Disney World. We signed her up for a program that day. And since we were there waiting for her, we booked a learn-to-climb lesson for ourselves. It was then we finally realized why she was so in love with this sport. We were hooked just as much as she was. After years of both of us playing and training in various higher impact sports, the effects were taking a negative toll on our bodies. We were ready to explore something that was a little less damaging and climbing seemed like a perfect fit.
Fast-forward six years and our entire family is now involved in climbing. It is a great way to spend time together while staying active and having fun.
Mateja and Dani are the two budding product testers for Sender Gear.
We found the level of trust we have formed with our kids is immeasurable. Our kids know without a doubt, that we will always keep them as safe as we can when we are on the other end of the rope.
Sharon: Parents can also get involved as volunteers with their local Provincial Sport Organization (PSO). The local PSO oversees many of the formal climbing competitions. These events not only allow kids to have fun, but also potentially represent our country on the world stage. There are many available volunteer support positions ranging from judging to score keeping. And as competitions continue to grow, the need for volunteers is even greater.
It’s this sense of community and support that we love about climbing.
The folks behind Sender Gear: Dani, Sharon, Mateja and Nick.
We specifically reached out to those brands that had small shoes sizes and kid’s shoes. We also contacted companies that offered harnesses and helmets for kids.
Sharon: We also plan to operate the store with several different product purchasing options. We have already started stocking certain goods to fulfill common orders. Other items are already here in Canada, so fulfillment is only a day or two away for us. We are developing a pre-order system for other items where we will have order cut-off dates as well as fulfillment and delivery schedules. Additionally we will offer custom orders so customers can cherry-pick our vendor catalogues.
Metaja and Nick debriefing after the comp. Photo: WK Photography
We are very fortunate that the reps for every brand we offer, are intimately familiar with their product lines. If we don’t know the answer to a customer's question, we know who does.
Sharon: A poorly fitted climbing shoe tarnishes not only us as a business, but the brands we represent.
Sharon: With our younger daughter Dani assisting with the reviews, we believe she can offer a focused insight. We will write the reviews with her reports embedded as images, quotes and other relevant review data. Additionally, we will have a parent's assessment of the product covering topics such as durability, cost and suitability.
Nick: Our first such review is already published: https://www.sendergear.com/blogs/news/mad-rock-lotus-review-by-our-kid-krusher-danimal
The family that belays together stays together!
Nick: We have also reached out to a few people we know and trust to not only provide blog content, but also relevant information. We plan to have a youth climbing coach’s perspective and a medical professional's insight. We have given them free rein to present the topics and information.