A number of years ago, our friend Casey at SUP Gladiator posted about SUP as being the Gateway drug to other watersports. Can you say SUP Prophet? We think so.
This week, there are two OC videos on Distressed Mullet, both from OC-legend, Kai Bartlett. The first is an interview where Kai talks about canoe designs and reacts to the growth of outrigger canoeing on the East Coast. The second is Kai on an OC-1 on a downwind Maliko Run. Why OC? Because it’s exploding. And it’s all part of the rapidly-expanding, self-propelled water family that sees no boundaries. They’ll try anything.
In the past 6 months, the East Coast has seen over 30 new OC-1s hit the water. In Wrightsville Beach, NC alone, three OC-6s have found a new homes—2 Bradleys and 1 Puakea Unlimited.
Add that to the growth of prone paddleboarding and a potential resurgence in surfskis, and you can’t help but scratch your head when you think about SUP. What the heck is this sport all about?
It’s about water access and enjoyment. Fitness and family. Its inclusivity has brought people to the water (some back to the water). It’s forged connections and sparked a whole new wave of watersports growth and activity.
The sponsor of this week’s CHUM newsletter, Carolina Paddleboard Company has even found a way for people to finance new OC-1s and OC-2s. For families looking for a sport to enjoy together, an OC-2 is a great option. With companies like CPC investing in the sports, access is getting easier and easier. With every new design, used options reach the shores. With used options come even more access.
Multi-water-sports athletes. Endurance challenges. It’s happening. This is changing the “growth of SUP” narrative to be more inclusive of cross-training in different water crafts and water sports. It’s no longer just about the growth of SUP in the interior. It’s now about the growth of all paddleboarding and canoeing. Clinics will follow. So will race categories. Even race courses will need to adapt. I hope people are paying attention because 2016 is going to be fun. This could quite possibly be the most exciting time yet in this sport. Water people are good people. And I sincerely believe that the more people who get into these self-propelled watersports, the better this world will be.
Thank you again for your support—readers and advertisers alike. Have a great weekend and paddle if you can.
With sincere gratitude,