SUP surge

Thou­sands line up for board lessons

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

Pil­bara res­i­dents are rid­ing the stand-up pad­dle board­ing tide, mak­ing use of perfect con­di­tions for the trendy wa­ter sport.

More than 3000 peo­ple have learnt to SUP with Cracker Jack Pad­dle Sports since owner Ja­clyn Ni­choll started op­er­at­ing in 2015.

North West Board­rid­ers has also been go­ing strong, with about 50 mem­bers join­ing since the club started in March.

“Orig­i­nally, I planned to have a cou­ple of boards and kayaks, but it just took off straight away,” she said.

“From those want­ing to get out on week­ends to tour groups, com­mu­nity groups, youth pro­grams and school groups, the com­mu­nity re­ally em­braced it.

“With our clear wa­ter and amaz­ing ma­rine life, you just get to see so much stand­ing up, and you only have to be a cou­ple of me­tres off the shore.”

Ms Ni­choll said her af­fil­i­a­tion with the Stand Up Surf Shop had en­abled res­i­dents to ac­cess high­qual­ity equip­ment and her­self to gain busi­ness ad­vice.

Stand Up Surf Shop owner Cameron McKay said the com­bi­na­tion of warm weather, an out­doors life­style and lack of sur­fa­ble waves had con­trib­uted to pad­dle board­ing’s suc­cess in gain­ing a foothold in the North West.

“I guess the ver­sa­til­ity is another rea­son why it has been so suc­cess­ful around the world,” he said.

“You can do your cruis­ing, yoga, fish­ing and the fit­ness as­pect of it as well if you want.”

The surf shop team will be in Kar­ratha for the long weekend, of­fer­ing free demon­stra­tion boards for peo­ple to try, and run­ning clin­ics for those who al­ready have boards.

Mr McKay said the shop’s North West trip, which has seen him visit Carnar­von, Broome, Port Hed­land and Ex­mouth, had gen­er­ated plenty of in­ter­est.

Ms Ni­choll said it was an hon­our to have Mr McKay, one of the State’s best pad­dlers, run­ning clin­ics for the weekend.

Picture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Cracker Jack Pad­dle Sports owner Ja­clyn Ni­choll, right, with grom­mets Abbey Cawthray, 9, Jai Dyson, 10, and Oliver Karolyi.

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