Growing along with the sport of stand up paddling are the magazines and websites about SUP. Standup Paddle Magazine is the latest gorgeous new glossy in the line-up. A quarterly magazine, it's available at your local surf shop, Barnes and Noble or by subscription on StandUpPaddleMagazine.com .
We met Mike Muir at the Tahoe-Nalu SUP race in August as he was handing out copies of the second issue of the magazine. We read the publisher, Reid Inouye's column, Publisher's Note and think that Reid makes an interesting point about Standup. Here's an excerpt:
"SUP has split into three directions: flat-water, surf and open-ocean. For the flat-water paddler, all it took was the sun to come out and burn off the cloud cover and the harbors were filled with men and women working out and breaking some serious sweat."
We think that Reid is right -- flatwater is a serious form of stand up paddle boarding and a direction the sport is taking that will only grow. We live in a Northwest flat-water mecca of freshwater lakes and rivers in Bend, Oregon. People of all ages and fitness abilities are learning to SUP paddleboard, a key component to nurturing the sport. If women and kids like the sport, it'll REALLY grow!
And that is the kind of growth we support through our efforts. We encourage everyone to try the sport and we also encourage activities that aren't only about muscle and fitness; like down-river paddles that allow the weaker paddlers to socialize and share the adventure with strong paddlers (the river current helps!).
So -- all of you SUP event and race organizers, be sure to include race categories and prizes for all ages and both genders whenever possible in a race or promo event. When you're creating marketing and sales publicity, be sure to have visuals that include women, kids and older people as well as the usual photos of muscular guys with great tans. Inclusion will win the sport converts. Guaranteed!