Boulder Boats: Fire and Water
To small business owners Stuart and Kristina Litjens, the decision to support a firefighter charity was deeply personal. While growing their business, Boulder Boats, over the past decade and a half, they have developed relationships with a community of firefighters and know the hardships they can go through.
“We have a lot of friends and customers who are firefighters and our community of boaters – and water sports specifically – is very tight knit,” Stuart says.
So when the San Bernardino Fire Department lost one of its own, John Ruppert, during the summer of 2016, the Litjens family wanted to help even more. Ruppert passed away in a freak accident while working on his house boat, leaving behind a wife and children.
“It was a story that hit close to home with us. We’ve got small children as well. We definitely feel for the families,” Stuart says, who knew Ruppert through their shared passion for wakeboarding.
Several firefighters including, John Roberts, Paul Nelson, Dane Jackson and Brett Davis introduced Stuart and his wife to the Widows & Orphans fund. They knew it would be the best way to help other families such as Ruppert’s through tough times.
Boulder Boats donates wakeboarding package:
For a special auction at the 2017 LAFD Invitational, the charity’s annual golf tournament, Boulder Boats is donating a day to remember: a half day watersports experience for up to five people at a lake near Visalia California. The group will spend four hours on a new wakeboard boat equipped with the latest gear and a wakeboarding instructor and captain.
“We will take a family out on the lake, we supply the boat, fuel, drinks, snacks and all the equipment and everything,” describes Stuart, who says the package is for anyone who might enjoy a day out in the sun with friends or family. “Whether they are experienced boaters or out for the first time, we’ll teach them what they need to know.”
The money raised by auctioning the wakeboarding package will go straight to Widows & Orphans and will go a long way toward helping those in need. The 2017 tournament is taking place September 25 at Mountain Gate Country Club in Los Angeles, California. The boating package alone is expected to bring in more than $1,000.
Boulder Boats is a full-service dealership in California, Nevada and Arizona.
Boulder Boats has locations in Henderson, Nevada and Mesa, Arizona and just opened up a third store in Visalia, California, between Fresno and Bakersfield.
“It’s kind of tucked out of the way, but it’s a nice little town,” Stuart explains. “We have a lot of really high-end, top-end boats, but we also have a large used market.”
The family-owned company has made a big impact in the water sports community since they opened in 2004, hosting the Western Regional Wakeboard Championship and the Malibu Rider Experience in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Stuart says all his stores are full service dealerships that specialize in helping boating enthusiasts and newbies. His sales associates are prepared to give advice to experienced boaters or those shopping for their first boat. And, they’ve even been known to help a new customer take their boat out on the water for the first time. That educational culture has created a loyal customer base.
“We have a lot of firefighter customers. It’s great because of their schedule and they’re active. A lot of firefighters love to be out on the water,” he says.
That’s one reason Stuart feels proud to donate a special day so a family can make memories to remember for years to come.
“That experience provides more value than a number on a page,” Stuart said. The fact the money will go to a great cause makes the deal even better.
Link to article - https://www.wodff.org/boulder-boats/
Boulder Boats Wins Malibu Boats President’s Award
Boulder Boats, with locations in Henderson, NV and Mesa, AZ took home the President’s Award at the annual dealer meeting in Miami, FL this month. Malibu’s highest annual honor, the President’s Award, recognizes the dealer who has exhibited an extraordinary commitment to Malibu and Axis Wake Research for the current model year and has shown consistent excellence in every aspect of its business.
Boulder Boats was also presented with the “Top 10 Dealer Award” for each line, both Malibu and Axis Wake Research. Additionally, Boulder Boats proudly accepted a Customer Service Award (CSI) for exceptional service after the sale.
The Boulder Boats team is incredibly proud and honored to receive such distinguished accolades. As a result, the team was asked to host a regional Malibu Rider Experience for the third consecutive year.
The Link to the Malibu Boats Press Release - https://t.e2ma.net/message/vxk4w/f53r4vc
Customer Interview- The Randall Family
Real Estate Appraiser/Investor
I couldn’t have asked for a better set of answers to kick off this new concept of customer interviews, but I knew when I asked Vance if he’d take the time to help me out, I would get quality answers. Hands down, the Randall family wins the title for total family passion. They have jumped in with both feet with being a part of the Boulder Boats family with help at events, competing in the surfing contests, etc.
Vance & his youngest daughter Kiera are actually featured in the 2016 Cobalt brochure & website- surfing being the new R5 WSS Surf edition boat.
Instagram - vancerandall
twitter - appraiseLV
Facebook - Vance Randall
Current Boats - 2015 Malibu Wakesetter 23 LSV and 75' Skipperliner Houseboat
Is this your first or what is your boat resume?
I was 12 when I got my first boat, it was a 10' fiberglass fishing boat that I bolted a 60HP Johnson outboard to and nearly ripped the back of the boat off because of the power. I could stand the boat up all the way to my fishing hole! lol
Since then I have owned an 18' Wellcraft, 19' Four Winns and most recently before my Malibu I had a 2013 Mastercraft X-25.
Who is in your lake crew? Describe a trip to the lake.
My lake crew consists of my wife Krystle, my son Haven and my two daughters Halle and Keira. I also spend a lot of lake time with my friend and boat partner Rob Sandoval.
Weekends on the lake are usually filled with family fun like swimming, relaxing, wakesurfing, wakeboarding, tubing, and cliff jumping. During the week I like to hit the lake either early in morning before I go to work or late afternoon to work on my surfing skills and to train my youngest daughter who is advancing rapidly in the sport of wakesurfing. Every summer we also get a crew together for 2-3 trips to Lake Powell to spend several days on the house boat. If you've never heard of or been to Lake Powell, I call it the 8th wonder of the world. It's paradise to me and my family and we usually never want to leave!
What is in your board racks? What watersports is your crew doing?
I'm running a quad rack setup right now and that means 12 slots for boards, so this list is long, lol. In these racks you will find: 2 Victoria Wake skim boards, PCX Factor and the Project V, Phase 5 Scamp skim board, Inland Surfer Sean Cummings Pro Model skim board, Inland Surfer Ooze skim board, Inland Surfer Flyboy surf board, CWB Hybrid board, Liquid Force Watson Pro model wakeboard and Liquid Force kids wakeboard. I think it's important to have something for everyone on the boat. I enjoy teaching new people, young and old to wakesurf/wakeboard so having different boards for every type of rider is key.
Wakesurfing is taking over all water sports right now. As you know even all the boat manufacturers are wakesurf driven right now. I think the sport is growing rapidly for a couple reasons: 1 because every age, shape, and size can do it and 2 it's a much lower impact sport. We spend most of our time at the lake wakesurfing.
5 songs typically heard on your boat?
Right now pretty much everything EDM, if it's played on XM's BPM station then you'll hear it on my boat!
How many hours on your boat?
It's around 300 but I don't like keeping track.
Editor’s note- pretty impressive for a 2015 that is not even 2 years old!
What are your top 3-4 favorite features of your 23 LSV?
Top feature is definitely the integrated surf system, which consists of the ballasts, the surf gates and the power wedge. After that I would say the helm, what other wakeboard/wakesurf boat can you find a giant touch screen that controls everything? It’s like an airplane cockpit! I love it. Next I would say the surf band. No other manufacturer gives the rider the ability to control the surf wave from the water.
Vance, I know you have a boat partner and you guys are on your second boat, how has that worked out?
My current boat partner as mentioned earlier is Rob Sandoval. It's worked out great. He's a good friend of mine and always willing to help out whenever needed. If you are interested in partnering up with a new boat,(which many people do) it’s important to find someone who not only has experience with boats, but who cares about and treats the boat as good or better than you. He's the best partner for sure.
I heard a story that you just had to buy another boat just to secure a good parking spot. Where is this place that you keep the boat & does your wife EVER question all the new cars, Air Jordans, etc?
Haha, funny story, not too many people would buy a boat just to get the covered slip and hoist. People don't realize that you can end up waiting for 3-4 years to obtain a covered slip at Las Vegas Boat Harbor. The only way to get a covered slip is to wait it out on the list or buy someone's boat that doesn't want the slip anymore. So I started scouring craigslist and other resources on an ongoing basis until I found the right deal. This guy was selling his 30' Carver cabin cruiser with the hydo-hoist and wasn't going to use the slip anymore. I jumped on the deal, then sold the boat a week later and kept the hoist and slip. It's amazing what you're willing to do to get more time on the lake! As for the cars and Jordan shoes, I might have a little problem with that, but my wife married me full knowing that I had an addiction to cars- the faster the better. She still rolls her eyes every time a new Jordan box shows up on the porch though, so I started shipping them to my office, lol. I didn't have a lot of money growing up so new shoes were not always an option, but I never forgot the feeling I had when putting on a brand new pair of shoes. So when I was able, I started buying Jordan's and Kobe's nearly every week until I amassed around 50-60 pair. My son is 16 now and wears only a half size smaller than me, let’s just say he doesn't have to worry about shoes. And my wife understands, since she has her own addiction to Lululemon
What has been the best part of your Boulder Boats experience?
By far the family feel Boulder Boats provides, they don't just sell you a boat and kick you out the door. They keep everyone, who wants, involved in the lake and boating community. They have customer appreciation events as well as cool events like Wake the World where customers and boat owners can volunteer their time and boats to provide St Jude's underprivileged kids the opportunity to have a day on the lake in some amazing boats. Their service has been top notch as well.
What kind of good advice you can give someone looking for a boat or wanting to get into boating?
Start out slow at first, don’t just buy a new boat and the next day hit the water. Lots of things can go wrong if you don't have boating experience. I also recommend finding a friend that can help you launch, recover, and boat around the lake for your first few times. Why go through all the mistakes yourself when you can avoid most of them by getting help from the guys who have made several mistakes.
If you were stranded with someone on the Boulder Boats crew for 4 hours on the lake, who would it be & why?
Dan Lee of course! You know how to have a good time at the lake and I'm pretty sure that wouldn't change even if we were stuck in a 9 foot row boat.
Editor’s note- I am the one who asked the questions so he may feel like I would be offended if he picked anyone else, but I have been able to spend about a half dozen times on the water with Vance & his family which always has resulted in a good time. I also did get to call him out for not wanting to put on a wakeboard since he claimed he was “too old” and I reminded him that I was a year older than him after taking a sunset wakeboarding set where I had one of the best runs I can remember.
Any time on the boat for watersports camps, clinics, coaching or time with pro riders?
Over the last two summers I have had pro wakeboarder and pro wake surfer Noah Flegel on the boat to teach and ride as well as pro wake surfer Vanessa Vincent and 7x world wake surf champion Bri Chmel. Having these pros on the boat gave me the pointers and tip I need to be a good teacher and respect the work that it takes to reach your potential as a rider.
My passion is teaching, I love it and am always willing to teach new riders. I would love to start a wake surf school out here where people that are just getting into the sport can get a good head start and avoid the frustrations that come with teaching their kids and themselves to surf.