• The Vanilla Gorilla

A Paddler's Valentines

Seen by many as a some-what commercial holiday, here are a few options to ditch the regular gifts and dates and make it a little more organic and paddle-friendly.

Go for a romantic paddle (or teach your partner how)

This couldn’t possibly end badly! The weather is supposed to make an upswing on Friday, so wherever you are, there is a possibility that you may have the chance to enjoy some time on the water with your sweetie. If you both already paddle, choose a quiet venue like a river or marsh, and enjoy a long, relaxing, paddle. If your partner doesn’t paddle yet, suit him or her up for an outing. Patience is key when teaching your loved one to SUP. Stay positive and never sound condescending. Better yet, maybe just get them a gift certificate for some lessons.

Go Stand up paddle surfing and catch some party waves together

Nothing screams romance like coasting towards the shore together on the same wave. This Valentine’s Day outing is geared towards paddlers that have a little bit of experience. If you’re both new to SUP surfing, it could be a great learning experience while the waves aren’t crowded, and a good time to bond as you share the adventure. Stand up paddling isn’t usually a team sport or one that requires working together, but you can make it more collaborative by helping each other call waves, trying to catch the same wave, and talking about the experience.

Go SUP & gear shopping

📷If the weather still has you down, head to your local shop. Not only is this a great way to grab each other a Valentine’s Day gift that doesn’t stink, but you’ll probably get some amazing deals too! Because it’s the off-season and the shops aren’t booming with lessons, tours, rentals, and sales. You can talk shop, look at a few dream boards, grab some neat paddle accessories for the upcoming season, and support your local SUP retailer in the slow season!

Sign up and start training for a SUP race together

Pick out a race in the upcoming season that appeals to both of you. It can be a destination paddle to somewhere warm and exotic, a new venue, or even your own hometown. Some races like the Carolina Cup, the Holland 11-cities and the Wrightsville Beach Biathlon have a relay option! You can split the race up and work as a team. Alternatively, you can both enter the same race or different races held at the same event. It is just as rewarding to paddle with your partner in a race as paddling a different race, plus if you paddle different races you get to watch and cheer each other on.

Buy some stand up paddleboard beer and relax to a SUP movie

📷I’ll never forget the first time I saw it: Kona’s Koko Brown. I was in the grocery aisle and I screamed, “HELL YES! IT has a PADDLEBOARDER ON IT!” An alarmed old lady scurried away as a few men looked at me as if I had lost my mind. There is no better way that I can think of to spend Valentine’s Day than freaking out people in a grocery store… err… I mean relaxing in the comfort of my own home with a cold Koko Brown and a good movie. Maybe even a SUP themed movie! Be sure to grab the beer soon, it is a seasonal, limited release, which makes it even more special! This is way better than chocolates!

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