By Jamie Jiron
One of the (many) beauties of the ocean is its ability to put one’s mind at total tranquility; the relaxing sounds of waves soothe the internal soul. I am probably the furthest thing from a city person, yet I grew up around the city for my entire life. I learned to SUP down in the Outer Banks, and absolutely fell in love with it. I needed to SUP everyday for hours on end.
Unfortunately, being near D.C, it's not a place where you can just go wherever you would like, and managing my board through a small basement was no easy task. I was at least fortunate to not have to carry it up 4 flights of stairs like some of my comrades. I realized many people who are hopping into this sport too live in major cities being young professionals trying to make a start in life.
|photo: EM Hewitt|
Here are 5 new tools that have become slightly modified from their surfing counter-parts that make SUP in the big city as easy as a walk down the boardwalk:
1. SUP Racks - No matter what kind of place you are living in from penthouse apartment to a single room, you will absolutely need to store your board somewhere that takes up the least amount of space possible. This is why the SUP Ceiling rack works great in these cases. It will not take up any house space and honestly is a great conversation starter for guests. This rack can also store 3 different boards, saving a ton of space!
2. SUP Bag - This is a no brainer for most people who have their own board, but living in a highly congested area you are really going to want to keep your baby clean. Even looking for board bags that are previously used will work fine just make sure the dimensions are the same as your board to ensure the proper fit.
3. Wheels - The SUP Wheels Evolution provides the easiest way to transport your gear to the waterfront in the quickest of ways. Not only are you able to put the board at an angle that makes walking in crowded areas that much easier but you won’t have to deal with the typical guy running into the side of your board and dinging the rails. Avoid this conflict at all cost, remember we are aiming for stress relief here. There is no sense of you walking down the street slamming yourself into every pedestrian within a 10 foot radius of you.
4. SUP Car Rack - Not every city is one that is close enough to the water for their patrons to be able to just stroll down to, we understand. The Thule SUP Roof Rack is the easiest rack to put on and throw your board into. This rack makes getting your board on top of your car as easy as two straps and is stable enough to drive through any type of wind you may face. This is the rack that I have been using and absolutely love it!
5. Knowledge - It is very easy to just assume that SUP in the city is the same as the bay and ocean. The fact is that winds swirl in the city much differently due to the larger buildings and the wind is going to be changing directions. This means current and even some pretty nice down-wind paddles. However, just make sure to double check with someone how the currents where you are going are and double check once you get to the launch point.
Just because you have to be stuck in the confines of the concrete jungle, should never mean that you have to give up on your love for SUP. There are always new things that make owning your own board more convenient and storable. The Board Community is always going to be innovative and creative, I would love to hear of any others ways that you beat the city in order to SUP. Keep calm and paddle on!