What started as an ancient Polynesian sport, SUP has now become a full fledged movement that is taking over waterways around the world.
Most people that I take out say “Wow, I’ve never been this far out in the ocean!” During a sunset paddle, clusters of people were taking pictures from Heisler Park and Stephen said, “This is so cool being on the other side of things.” He was of course remarking that it was just us on the water while the sun slowly dropped behind Catalina. No other people around and no man-structures or buildings were between us and the horizon. It’s a magical and humbling experience to sit on a board in the middle of the ocean and see how beautiful mother nature is. If you ever need some clarity or stress-relief, sunset is the time to do it.
Another reason my job is so rewarding is that I get to see people overcome their fears. Many people are a bit apprehensive as they look out to the ocean and see the board that they will be standing on. I assure them that once we get out far enough to the smooth water, they will have no trouble and end up loving it. One of the girls that first started taking my SUP Class was very nervous, but once we came back from the session and landed back onto the sand, she was hooked. She’s now been coming almost every day and has lost 12 pounds in the process. Alyssa doesn’t care if it’s raining or the water is rough, she stands up the whole time and is loving every second of it. The weight loss is just an added bonus to the new hobby that she has encountered.
ESPN focuses on the emerging race world in the article, but what I think is far more important is the opportunity that almost anyone can participate in this sport. The ocean once only welcomed surfers and people with a boat, now with stand up paddling, everyone has the ability to paddle into the sunset…