Source: Pilot News
By Adam Freymiller, Correspondent
CULVER — Sir Isaac Newton once wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Generations later, we can literally now see further — through the emergence of standup paddleboarding. This aquatic phenomenon originated in Hawaii, was reintroduced to the modern sports world with the help of professional surfers such as Laird Hamilton, and has seen a rapid surge in popularity in the past few years, according to Culver Marina Vice President Gary Aker, Jr.
Some standup paddleboards on display at the Culver Marina. Photo: Frey Miller
The sport created a host of competitions, with the most recent International Surfing Association-affiliated world championship occurring in Peru between February 24 and March 2 earlier this year.
Why standup paddleboarding?
“Because it’s fun and great exercise — it’s a blast,” says Aker.
By his estimates, demand for standup paddleboards has required the supply of boards to double each year in the four years that the Marina has sold them, to the extent that they ran out of their paddleboarding inventory mid-summer last year.
Aker also explained that a number of customizable features on the end of each board make fishing possible. In addition, a number of conventional exercises can be performed on the board, which amplifies abdominal strength.
I was generously offered a chance to take the board out for a few minutes on Lake Maxinkuckee and was amazed by how easily the mechanics could be learned and improved upon, even by a landlover like myself.
Keeping balance was relatively simple on a wider board, and the paddle was extremely light, making changes in direction in a few strokes more feasible. It was an enjoyable half hour, and the view across the lake was picturesque.
For those interested in standup paddleboarding, the Lake Max Challenge will be held on Friday and Saturday June 28 and 29 at the Culver town beach, and will feature demonstrations and competitive races. More information can be found at www.lakemaxchallenge.com.
The Culver Marina will also be hosting a demonstration day Sunday, July 7, with a number of free events for the public to participate in.
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 100 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).