I’ll put it out there: I’m from Kansas. No coast in MILES…. I would flip through the surf magazines, watch self shot and badly copied VHS tapes brought back by my skater friends, and envy every bit of that golden lifestyle and fun…..
I get to hit the coast maybe one time a year. When I go, I rent gear, wetsuits, and even hire instructors. I’ve been on a surfboard (and then thrown right off). Read: it is a simple thing to prove I am not a surfer. I have witnesses. I have photos. I’ve come home tired, beat up and disappointed that I was too far from the ocean to practice….
But I’m not a stranger to the water. I grew up with trips to the lakes to camp, water ski, tube and just generally have a good time! These are some of my all time favorite memories. I love those $3 blow up rafts. I love jumping off things and trying to land on them. (Who doesn’t?) I like swimming pools and trying to do hand stands in them longer than my friends…. yes, even now…
In 2009, I made a trip to Captiva, Florida. While having dinner at a cool little Mexican place, the fella feeding us told us about the shop around the corner that rented jet ski’s and paddleboards…. I’d been thrown off countless jet ski’s but what the heck was a paddleboard?!?! I had to go look…
When I walked into YOLO Watersports and saw the giant ‘surf boards’, the paddles, the posters of men and women just standing on them in the open water, I was hooked. On what though? I didn’t really know.
So I asked. They explained. I didn’t have time to get in the water… So I came home and researched. That year I was lucky enough to visit both coasts twice. In one month. When a friend and I met up in San Diego a couple of weeks later, guess what we HAD to try!!!
Enter Vicki Carson of SUP Coronado.
She got us on the water within minutes and standing up soon after! Before we knew it, we had traveled clear out into the bay without either of us falling in! All the while, Vicki was educating us on how Stand Up Paddleboard was coming into it’s own. She explained the gear, the culture, the application, everything! I was hooked.
I returned to Texas still thinking of the SUP as a tool to strengthen my prone stroke and my sea legs to return to the coast…. to surf…
Vicki and I kept in contact discussing gear and application. The more I learned from her, the more I got caught up in SUP itself. I was on a mission.
Down side is there is only so much reading you can do about Paddleboard. Getting ON one is the real education for sure. Where was I going to find one in Dallas????
Walking into the movie theater on a random Sunday, something caught my attention in the window of Sun & Ski Sports…. Something BIG and familiar. There stood a SurfTech SUP. Right there. In all it’s glory. It was calling my name! I couldn’t sit still through the movie. To be honest, I can’t remember what we’d even gone to see….
Finally, the credits rolled. I all but ran next door to talk to the manager about that board.
For the next year, I took their demo boards out. I begged and bribed friends and teammates to ‘just try it, you’ll understand’….. and they did.
From there: SUPBigD was born. I had to bring Stand Up Paddleboard to Dallas….
Trial and error. Formal lessons and life lessons included…. HERE WE ARE!!!! And here we will stay!