What’s one of your favorite things to do?
You’re reading Distressed Mullet; so my guess is, like me, you love to paddle…
…You love the glide.
You cherish your time on the water.
I bought my first SUP out of necessity
(summer of 2012).
My introduction to paddling came through the Marina Del Rey Outrigger Canoe Club (MDROCC) 2008.
Novice year introduced me to the idea of Ohana/Hui (family) and I was fortunate enough to help paddle boats to podium positions in all but one race that year.
Paddling, just like surfing, became part of me. I needed my time on the water. It brought balance to my sometimes chaotic mind.
It helps you clear your head. Relieves your stress. Puts things into perspective.
Fast forward to 2012, my second summer back in Ohio.
It felt unnatural to be away from the ocean.
A vacation was out of the question. It would be too difficult to return.
But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the thing I missed most was the STOKE.
You know that feeling you get when you glide…
…You drop in on a wave or catch a bump, and you feel as if you are one with the universe.
You feel a sense of freedom.
That’s what I wanted: Freedom. Stoke.
And I knew how to import it to Ohio.
At first, I searched for a one-man canoe. Google lead me to SUP. And I’m so very grateful for that.
A truck delivered my first touring board, paddle, PFD and leash a few weeks later.
Two months later, I became the first person to SUP surf a wave on Seneca Lake, Ohio.
And for the rest of the summer, and the following spring and summer, I put that board on the water every chance I could.
Stand Up Paddling Ruled My Life
My schedule revolved around the weather.
My productivity shot through the roof. (I wanted to get things done so that I could be on the water.)
My body leaned out. My skin darkened. My smile rarely faded.
Somewhere along the line, I connected Braly Joy on Facebook.
Braly (braw-lee) is the head of marketing for SIC Maui.
Have you seen SIC’s “Name this Board” contest on Facebook?
That’s where it all started; my love for the SIC Brand.
I wanted to name all of the boards “Mine” and be done with it; still do.
So, there I was; a total creeper on SIC’s Facebook page.
I’d log in and type SIC into the search bar…
…watch a video or check out today’s photo, and imagine myself paddling one of those boards.
My imagination got the best of me. I saw myself writing, planning content, and creating a SIC Newsletter in exchange for money and boards. So, I started messaging Braly.
*** side note; sending unsolicited advice to anyone is just annoying. I wouldn’t suggest this approach.***
I did it anyway.
And eventually, he cracked and invited me to spend the week in with some of the SIC Pros (Georges, Lina, Sonni) in Wrightsville Beach.
He had mentioned something about Brand Ambassador, but I didn’t know it meant.
A few days into the trip, they explained my role as an ambassador;
Spread the Stoke.
Kind of a no-brainer, since it’s what I do.
Everyone who knows me, knows about SUP (whether they want to or not).
I can’t help myself.
Life is better when you paddle.
Why would I keep that to myself?
Being a SIC Ambassador is so much more than “Spread the Stoke.”
All of a sudden, I’m part of something bigger than me; Hui.
Photo from SIC Maui
It’s an honor to be associated with people like Will Schmidt, Riggs, and other SIC Ambassadors.
And to have met and spent time with Sonni, Lina and Georges was epic. They are some of the coolest people I’ve met in a long time. I can’t wait to see them again.
But, if you think about it…
We’re all of us are part something bigger; part of a family.
We cherish our time on the water.
We see other paddlers and instantly form a bond.
We “get” each other.
We are Hui; you and I…
….these crazy little Mullets.
We share a common bond.
Love the Glide.
Spread the Stoke.
Learn more about Tim McAuley