Estero River Outfitters: Southwest Florida’s Premier Paddle Shop

SUSAN KOSCHALK May 22, 2024

Estero River Outfitters, the largest dealer of kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes in Southwest Florida, offers a unique shopping experience where customers can test boats and paddles before purchasing, launching directly from their dock on the scenic Estero River.

Specializing not only in paddling equipment but also in fishing gear, Estero River Outfitters provides a comprehensive range of bait and tackle for both fresh and saltwater fishing. They offer everything from boats and paddles to PFDs and more, catering to all the needs of avid kayak anglers.

In a recent interview, Justin Stuller, one of the owners, shared insights into the history and operations of this family business, which began in 1977 as a bait shop and canoe rental service. Justin, along with his two younger brothers, represents the second generation of Stullers managing the business. Their parents, originally from Pennsylvania and Maryland, moved to Florida seeking a quieter life away from their corporate careers. They discovered the Estero River and played a significant role in having it designated as a Florida State Canoe Trail. See Estero River Map HERE.

Through the years, Estero River Outfitters has grown to stock over a thousand kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. They offer rentals, sales, classes, and lessons, continually inspiring and educating people about the joys of paddling. Justin, a licensed captain, also leads guided kayak and paddleboat fishing trips, sharing his passion for fishing with the community.

Estero River Outfitters prides itself on excellent customer service and high-quality products, steering clear of lower-quality box store items. The shop’s knowledgeable staff is always ready to assist customers, ensuring they have the right gear for their adventures. The team is also adept at repairs, often fixing equipment that others might discard.

In addition to their extensive retail offerings, Estero River Outfitters emphasizes rentals as a primary part of their business. They encourage people to try out different boats and paddles, offering free demos seven days a week. This hands-on approach helps newcomers and experienced paddlers alike discover the best equipment for their needs.

Located in a seasonally diverse area of Florida, Estero River Outfitters serves a wide range of customers, from locals to seasonal residents and international visitors. Their location on the Estero River provides easy access to the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, a pristine area teeming with wildlife.

Justin highlighted the unique water quality of the Estero River, which is fed by consistent springs, ensuring clear and clean conditions. This makes it a perfect paddling destination, even when other areas face water quality issues.

Estero River Outfitters also offers a variety of classes and guided tours, tailored to the needs and interests of their customers. From basic paddling techniques to specialized kayak fishing lessons, they provide personalized instruction to enhance the paddling experience.

Expanding their reach, Estero River Outfitters recently purchased property in Matlacha, where they plan to establish a rental and demo center. This new location will also offer guided fishing trips, further extending their commitment to outdoor adventures.

Estero River Outfitters proudly carries Aqua Bound paddles, known for their durability and user-friendly design. The Sting Ray paddle, in particular, remains a favorite among renters.

Justin invites anyone visiting the area to stop by Estero River Outfitters, even if they don’t have time to paddle. The shop offers a chance to see big fish off the dock, explore the bait shop, and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere.

For more information, visit their website and explore their flipping book for an overview of the community and available floor plans.

Estero River Outfitters: “Our goal is to connect you with the outdoor experience we live every day and make sure you have all of the latest and greatest gear to give you the best experience possible. We still believe in the value of brick-and-mortar and one-on-one service. See you on the river soon!”


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