New Name II

Last night I told my wife, Donna, about the name change and she reminded me that I would lose a fairly wide spectrum of readers if I limit WHAT SUP to Surf.  While I love to surf, I’ve also loved paddling through the South Florida mangroves; around the harbor by Jeff Clark’s Paddle Surfthrough the Marina at 101 Surf Sports, along the kelp beds off New Brighton Beach, and down a river in search of Manatees.

From a relationship point of view, paddling promotes connection.  We strap the boards on the roof and hit the road.  We plan a day around getting in the water, exploring new locations, getting great gobs of time out in nature, and after exercising all those muscles we get a nice meal out.  It’s been pretty romantic at times.

Plus there’s such a huge variety of topics to discuss like board selection, sites to SUP, fitness, diet, technique and SUP shops.  I did a whole post on SOPOSUP, a cool little shop in Portland, Maine.  We never got in the water, but being with the owner, reviewing his blog, and checking out the local surf, which was flat, was just fabulous.

I remember the first blog post like it was yesterday.  It was from this past mother’s day when I sat on the sidelines with a bit of a cold.  It was Donna who wanted to paddleboard.  It was Donna to get in the water first.  It was Donna who inspired me to give it a try.

She’s even asked about paddling at night.  Here’s what it might look like from a pin I found.

Stand Up Paddleboarding for Life will still include SUP Surfing, where my little wave passion ignites in cool water.

New Name

Blogging 101 taught me that the name of the site and the site’s URL don’t have to match.  That was great news.  “WHAT SUP?” was my first choice for a URL when I started shopping for a name, but it was taken in all its forms.  So I stuck with SUP Days, The Stand Up Paddleboarding Life, which really didn’t communicate my intent.  So what is my intent?

Stand Up Paddleboard Surfing for Life is more like it.  Not just for the rest of my life, but for life now, today, in this moment.  I see the world differently when there’s surfing in my life.  The pure joy of standing on moving water; the sound of a wave breaking around me while balancing on a board, is transcendent.

Once again, I’m getting into shape, working on my balance, keeping an eye on the weather, the surf, and my time.  This evening I took a walk to the beach and got a shot of some rocks and watched waves.

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It was chilly and windy and not right for me.  The sun set and left a trail of light on the incoming tide.  There might even be good SUP Surfing conditions tomorrow, or the day after.

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Standup in Iceland

While reviewing the October issue of STANDUP PADDLE MAGAZINE I came across an article that started out interesting and then stopped me dead in my tracks.  A European crew had taken surf boards, paddle boards, and kite boards to Iceland, along with VERY THICK wet suits, in search of cool places to paddle and surf.  Sort of a search for the endless winter.

I was familiar with the terrain having spent a year there with the Air Force in 1968.  I was stationed on the south east side of the island.  I worked in a power plant supplying the only power the site had.  We called the place, Hofn-by-the-sea.  Just before I returned state side, a surfer from California showed up with board and wet suit.  Both board and wet suit were locked up by the base administration so he’d still be alive for his year of duty.  Here’s a photo of the installation shot from one of the Air Force jets.

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The STANDUP PADDLE MAGAZINE article was well written, and had photos of surfing and paddle boarding with icebergs in the water. One full-page spread showed a black and white image of a standup paddleboarder riding a left with an extremely rugged rocky backdrop. The caption read, “Franz does a bottom turn. Hofn gives the word ‘solitary’ and entirely new meaning.” I had the same experience there though I never put my toes in the water.

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This shot below is from the north side of the air base where I worked. The base, as I knew it, closed in 1992. It’s now a civilian-run air traffic control station.
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