Stand up paddleboarding (SUP), is the fastest growing water sport in the country, and now it is coming to Westmoreland State Park!
Ken Benson (above), says from firsthand experience...it's fun!
Stand up paddleboarding (SUP), is the fastest growing water sport in the country
The progressive and creative thinking staff at Westmoreland State Park is bringing this outstanding recreational opportunity to visitors in 2013.
SUP is a combination of surfing and stand up kayaking. The sport is an ancient form of surfing with a Hawaiian heritage. The popularity of the modern sport began in the early 1960’s, the beach boys would stand on their long boards and paddle out with outrigger paddles to take pictures of the tourists learning to surf. It also became popular with surfing instructors as a way to manage their large groups of students, as standing on the board gave them a higher viewpoint with increased visibility. The sport benefits athletes with a strong core workout and unlike surfing; paddleboarding is very easy to learn. Within one hour you can become very comfortable in the water and on your board. SUP is also more popular with women because of their lower center of gravity, often making them more skilled than men.
Park Manager Ken Benson and I, want to be leaders among Virginia State Parks by offering affordable, new and cutting edge recreational opportunities to our guests. We keep up with the latest news and trends in the industry and have began to see articles on SUP and the movement from west coast to east coast.
The use of SUPs on east coast rivers have grown tremendously and we thought it would be great to introduce people to the basics. The Potomac River at Westmoreland offers a great venue and the park looks to capitalize and expand on an already successful kayak program.
This fall, several staff members will take a certification course to become SUP instructors and then the details for programming in 2013 will be laid out and publicized. Westmoreland currently has 5 SUPs in inventory and will be ready to go with a basic instructional program for the novice. Once certified, the instructors will also help other parks in the system who wants to initiate similar programming.
So, that's waSUP at Westmoreland.
Find out about other water sports and recreational activities offered at Westmoreland State Park here.
Drive Time to Westmoreland State Park: Northern Virginia and Washington D. C., two hours; Richmond, one and a half hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, two and a half hours; Roanoke, five and a half hours