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  • Wed, May 03, 2023 8:30 AM | Kristin Thomas (Administrator)

    by Grant Cooper

    As humans, we are social creatures, and we thrive in communities. Our sense of belonging and connection to others plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. In modern times, the definition of community has expanded to include not just physical neighborhoods, but also the coming together of people based on shared interests, values, and goals.

    One of the fundamental values of a community is the desire to help others in need. This innate human instinct can be traced back to our evolutionary history, where cooperation and mutual aid were necessary for survival. Today, this instinct manifests in various forms, but visibly in acts of kindness and generosity throughout our paddle community.

    Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Southern Utah and participate in the Dig Paddlesports "Paddle Poker" community event.

    Each year Bill and Michelle Ennis, Owner / Operators of Dig Paddlesports in Hurricane, Utah, organize and run this event, which is a fun paddle around Quail Creek Lake to card stations, some of which are floating and some on shore, where you pick up a playing card to complete your hand. Each hand gets a donated spot prize based on make up of the hand, ie a pair, 2 pairs, Flush etc.  

    So a lot of fun for the paddlers of all skills and craft, in typically beautiful Southern Utah weather.

    You can see some images from the 2023 Paddle Poker here :-

    What makes this event special however, is this year, as in previous years, ALL monies raised (entries and silent auctions) was donated to a local family in need.

    This year all proceeds benefited a local family battling cancer. The recipient was Andon Mitchell from St George, Utah.

    Family members were also out at the event, and some even paddled. 

    So like many others in our wonderful paddling community, Bill and Michelle are taking their passion for paddling, rallying the community around this event and donating to a worthy cause in service of others. 

    The event was a success, and it not only raised much-needed funds to help Andon and his family, but also served as a reminder of the importance of community and our human desire to help others in need.

    If you would like to join a local community to make a positive impact, reach out to your local paddling communities at USA SUP. Here you will find resources to get you started.

    Or if you know of existing members, selflessly helping others in need through their passion for SUP, drop us a note at and let us know so we can give them a shout out.

  • Tue, February 28, 2023 10:16 AM | Kristin Thomas (Administrator)

    by Grant Cooper

    In modern sports psychology there is an assertion you should "enjoy the journey, the process and not focus just on the goal".

    It is of course based on sound principles, that the emotion of a single event / goal will flourish but then ebb and be gone within a moment while a journey provides a lifetime of lessons and learning, not only about life but you, yourself as well.

    However it is equally sound to argue that "if you don't know where you are going, you can never be lost".

    Eight, or maybe nine, years ago, every time I drove past a body of water, I would see people out enjoying themselves on paddleboards and a dream was born. I knew I wanted to do this, and could do this, so the journey began...

    Soon after, I had my first inflatable board and was off and running, or paddling, towards my dream.

    I very quickly learned about "enjoying the journey / process", as like many others my first attempts to paddle were very humbling..... and wet. But through this journey I have never lost sight of what it was I personally believed I could achieve. 

    I knew then, and still now know, that one day I could wear my country's colors, my national flag, and win a medal at a World Masters SUP Event.

    It will be, and is, hard work, but that dream and your "why" will fuel the flames of your efforts on your journeys path, and ultimately your growth as an athlete and person.

  • Wed, February 01, 2023 11:02 AM | Kristin Thomas (Administrator)

    14 Life Lessons My 14ft Race Board Taught Me

    by Kyle Kushner


    I like to go about a mile offshore and look back at the city. So quiet and peaceful from out there. It always recharges me with a  new perspective. Sometimes we must physically remove ourselves from the chaos and the noise to gain a new clear perspective. It helps give a new way of looking at any situation or circumstance.


    When I race, there’s always someone in front of me and behind me. It doesn’t matter where we are at any moment. What matters is that we know we are doing our best. ALWAYS do your best. Charge as hard as you can. Win or lose; knowing you did your best is all that matters.


    On a race board in the ocean, this is imperative for obvious reasons but in daily life; we must constantly remind ourselves. Work, relationships, health, and family can all be so overwhelming. Always give what you can but make room for what you need. Take an assessment. What have you been neglecting? What needs some attention, and what needs less?


    My leash has saved my life a few times. They can be a pain, but I was sure happy I had one when I needed it. Value your friends and all your loved ones. They can be such a lifeline at times when we need help. Let them know when you need them and show them you care.


    It’s usually best to plan your route when paddling and when navigating life. Have purpose and intent on where you are headed. Define for yourself where you’d like to go and why, then, again, do your best to get there.


    Sometimes it is actually good to stop charging too hard on and off the water. We must stop and smell the roses (or sometimes the pelican poop, haha). There is beauty all around. If we move too fast, we might miss it. Find an appreciation in all the little things you usually take for granted. 


    When I find the tide’s flow direction, I go faster and with more ease. Resisting flow causes conflict. Be willing to have acceptance for how things are going, good or bad. Don’t resist. Find the momentum and go with it. Life has funny ways of letting us know it’s time for a change. When we don’t fight it, we give way to new opportunities.

    8. EYES UP!

    When paddling, always keep your eyes up. We lose sight of what’s in front of us when looking down. This is dangerous on the water, and it’s counterproductive in life. With your eyes up, you’ll make informed decisions and see the obstacles that may be in front of you.

    9. HYDRATE

    Always stay hydrated when paddling so your body and mind stay optimized for performance. Hydrate your body and mind regularly with exercise (and water, of course) to remain optimized in life. You’ll feel better, sleep better, and perform better.


    Certain conditions on the water call for truly being aware of one’s level of ability and skill. It can actually be a matter of life or death. In daily life, we must work on having self-awareness for different reasons, but they are equally as important. Be conscious of yourself and your actions. Have an awareness of yourself to be more thoughtful and less reactive. When we make rash or impulsive decisions, we lack the self-awareness that might otherwise tell us to choose more wisely.


    Just wear sunscreen. That’s it. 


    Rest and sleep are so vital for racing and for performing in life. Always prioritize rest and sleep. You’ll never be at your best without it. You’ll also live a longer, healthier life, so get plenty of sleep.

    13. HAVE FUN

    Yes, races are competitive and can get serious, but at the end of the day, it’s just a race. You can’t win them all, so lighten up, have fun, and enjoy life. You don’t have to be so serious all of the time. Everything’s not a competition, and remember, we’re all on our own paths.


    When the storm clouds roll in, and the wind picks up, pushing you out to sea, you can never give up.

    When you lose your job, or your business, or your home burns down, or the person you love says they don’t love you anymore, or you lose a friend, or you lose a family member, or your bank account goes negative, or your car won’t start, or your child pushes you away, or that bully embarrasses you, or the doctor says it’s not good, or you feel completely alone, or you have no more energy left, or you feel like you can’t get out of bed, or you feel worthless, or you feel like your world is imploding, or you feel like you can’t go on, NEVER NEVER EVER GIVE UP.

    Remember life is always flowing with the tide, and the tides are always changing.

    Don’t resist, just flow and know it’s always only just a moment.

    Moments change, and they pass.

    Life will go in so many directions that we cannot control.

    But, if we flow and never give up, we’ll always inevitably find our way back to the shore.

    Be well and live well my friends,

    Kyle G. Kushner

    Kyle is a web designer and owner of KGK Digital.

    ( He recently built a site for PRO SUP SHOP - check it out! )

  • Wed, February 01, 2023 7:13 AM | Kristin Thomas (Administrator)

    Paddleboarding alone,

    On calm blue waters I roam,

    Nature's symphony surrounds,

    Peaceful mind, my soul astounds.

    Breathing deep, I close my eyes,

    The sun, a gentle warm surprise,

    Wind whispers secrets on my face,

    A smile, I cannot replace.

    With each stroke, I feel alive,

    Free from worries, free from strife,

    Just me, the board and the sea,

    A moment of pure serenity.

    Dan Smith is a race director & owner of Paddling Paradise in Palm Bay, Florida

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