Robin Hood Watersports was established in April 1981 by Bob & Barbara Findlow, both passionate BSAC Advanced Diving Instructors.
Initially offering Scuba equipment to the local community, the store was located in a small garage extension at the side of their home. The 'Robin Hood' brand actually relates to the name of the cottage where the shop was formed, although we regularly hear assumptions that we are Nottingham based.
As the store and participation in water sports grew the garage could no longer cope with the range of equipment and so Robin Hood Watersports moved location in 1984, expanding ta a larger unit on our current site. While the extra space was gratefully received the store was burgled within four days, with 90% of the stock taken. The remaining 10% left was all from a single brand we no longer stock. The burglars didn't even want it!
Bob and Barbara's son, Rick, had been working for the shop part-time whilst at university and decided to become full-time in 1985. As a keen windsurfer, Rick brought a fresh passion to the store, resulting in an expansion into other sports. Later, their daughter Sally also joined the business.
As well as being a retail business the store diversified into teaching scuba, opening a BSAC dive school as well as later becoming a five star accredited PADI training centre. With the range of drysuits on the market not necessarily fulfilling the need of enthusiast divers our team also began manufacturing the famous ROHO brand suits. This was a massively enjoyable and productive time in the business, with the family living the dream, working hard and being absolutely immersed in the sports, both around the UK and internationally when on holiday.
As the business grew further the store was once again bursting at the seams, having substantially outgrown the original showroom, workshop and outbuildings. It was a big step and somewhat overwhelming to take the plunge and use all available capital, as well as substantial support from the banks, to construct a bespoke facility with 5000sq foot of showroom to do justice to the extensive range of sports equipment now stocked. In addition, to support diver training and customer service this included a deep diver training pool, engineering workshop, manufacturing area, plus a storage area for stock.
We now carry all the major brands across our range of sports and aim to offer the excellent customer service you expect from a traditional retail store while ensuring our pricing is not beaten online. All the sales staff specialise and participate in our sports. Their passion, knowledge and enthusiasm is our greatest asset and should give you confidence in their recommendations.