Further Faster hasn’t been on the scene long, but it’s already part of the furniture for the Christchurch outdoors community.
Like a backcountry hut, it’s a place where like-minded enthusiasts meet, hang out, and discuss the great outdoors.
It’s co-founders Martin Walker, wife Julz and Dan Farber have worked hard to make Further Faster feel like a community hub, and it seems to have paid off.
Despite only opening in 2016, the store has beaten strong competition to win Independent Retailer of the Year.
It’s a store where staff members remember your name, there’s always an event in their calendar, and dogs are more than welcome.
The shop dog and mascot Badger is a particularly popular member of the team, and loves pats from customers.
At 5pm on Fridays, Walker and Farber host ‘Beer O’Clock’ reviews on Facebook live, reviewing craft beer and outdoor gear, and movie nights and talks are frequently held upstairs amongst the kayaks and packrafts.
If you pick your day right, you may even get fresh baking on your visit.
The store is a marriage of Farber’s old store Long Cloud Kayaks and Walker’s home-run online store and wholesale business.
The pair – who each have a long history in outdoor gear – decided to open a combined store, which they found on a random drive through the city.
Walker says the store’s homely touches and passionate, knowledgeable staff are a reason for its success.
“It’s a rare thing these days where big stores are taking over for whatever reason – I like to think we offer a better service and a more interesting array of products,” he said.
“And everybody here is actually going outside.”
Runner up: Living Simply