Attention, beach babes (and bums): If you’re already hip to the stand-up paddleboard craze, Saturday’s your chance to show us your skills.
For the first time ever, Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak in the town of Empire (located in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) will host a stand-up paddleboard race for stand-up paddleboarders of all ages and abilities. The event will feature a two-mile "fun paddle" along the Lake Michigan shoreline between Empire Beach and the Empire Bluff overlook, and a seven-mile open-class paddle race between Empire Beach and the Sleeping Bear Dunes overlook.
If you’re thinking, "stand-up paddle-whaa?," don’t worry: "In the grand scheme of things, stand-up paddleboarding is still pretty darn new," says Beryl Skrocki, who co-owns Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak, with her husband, Frank. The emerging watersport’s roots go back to surfing’s earliest days, originally born when surf instructors would stand on their boards to have a better view from which to teach their students. Today’s paddleboarders use boards made specifically for stand-up paddleboarding—these boards are longer and wider than traditional surfboards—and the boarders propel themselves forward with a long paddle, catching waves and surfing along the way. In recent years, the sport has experienced a surge in popularity thanks to surf gods like Laird Hamilton hailing the past time as a killer workout in addition to being a sweet watersport.
If you’re ready for serious stand-up action, head down to Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. this Friday (August 28) to register for the race. Registration is $20 and includes a grab bag with a water bottle, sunscreen, energy bars and a voucher for a catered lunch at the Empire Beach pavilion. The races will take place on Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m., with an after-party at Joe’s Friendly Tavern and a movie at dusk. For more information, contact Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak at 231-326-9283 or sbsurfandkayak.com.
Click on the 2009 Leelanau Vacation Guide
Find ideas, tips and hundreds of links to fun, food, activities and recreation to pack around Sleeping Bear’s paddleboard race!
Quick Links to More Fun in Leelanau County!
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