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A First Timers Perspective of Social SUP

Updated: Jan 9, 2018

I enjoyed reading the following first-timer's perspective of our rag-tag group of SUPers!! From Lumina News, Wrightsville Beach, NC: 

SUP Social Club

by Jamie Lynn Miller

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Paddlers fight a headwind in the Intracoastal Waterway as they head toward Motts Channel on Wednesday evening, Aug. 15

Invariably, any sweeping life change, like moving to a new place where you don’t know anyone, necessitates a lot of alone time. I moved from Aspen, Colo. to Wilmington about a month ago. Used to the camaraderie of skiing and climbing, I’ve been missing an outdoor peer group.

While riding my bike during an impending rain storm, I discovered Wrightsville Avenue became Airlie Road. I passed by Carolina Paddleboard Company and stopped to meet April Zilg, all-around social ambassador for the standup paddleboard sport. She encouraged me to come back for a group outing on a less stormy evening: "Just register online, through Distressed Mullet or Carolina Paddleboard Co. meetups," Zilg said.

Happy to belong to any group called Distressed Mullet, I browsed the member profiles. There is a massage therapist and an aspiring SUPer; a surfer and fisherman who started paddling just to be out on the water and to get some exercise; one who moved back to Wilmington after "five years of suffering three hours from the coast;" and I simply introduced myself as new to the area, in search of exercise, sun and refreshment, in no particular order.

Unfortunately, my first meetup was during rather windy conditions. I felt like I was paddling a stationary bike until I finally started to move. Backwards.

Three guys in a speedboat slowed down and yelled: "Hey, you want a tow?"

No, I’ll figure it out. But thanks! Ten minutes later, I’m blowing the wrong way, and sideways. "Ma’am, are you OK?"