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Standup paddleboarding making waves at Culver Marina

July 3, 2013

Some standup paddleboards on display at the Culver Marina.

CULVER — Sir Isaac Newton once wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Generations later, we can literally now see further — through the emergence of standup paddleboarding. This aquatic phenomenon originated in Hawaii, was reintroduced to the modern sports world with the help of professional surfers such as Laird Hamilton, and has seen a rapid surge in popularity in the past few years, according to Culver Marina Vice President Gary Aker, Jr.

The sport created a host of competitions, with the most recent International Surfing Association-affiliated world championship occurring in Peru between February 24 and March 2 earlier this year.
Why standup paddleboarding?

“Because it’s fun and great exercise — it’s a blast,” says Aker.
By his estimates, demand for standup paddleboards has required the supply of boards to double each year in the four years that the Marina has sold them, to the extent that they ran out of their paddleboarding inventory mid-summer last year.

Aker also explained that a number of customizable features on the end of each board make fishing possible. In addition, a number of conventional exercises can be performed on the board, which amplifies abdominal strength.

I was generously offered a chance to take the board out for a few minutes on Lake Maxinkuckee and was amazed by how easily the mechanics could be learned and improved upon, even by a landlover like myself.
Keeping balance was relatively simple on a wider board, and the paddle was extremely light, making changes in direction in a few strokes more feasible. It was an enjoyable half hour, and the view across the lake was picturesque.

For those interested in standup paddleboarding, the Lake Max Challenge will be held on Friday and Saturday June 28 and 29 at the Culver town beach, and will feature demonstrations and competitive races. More information can be found at www.lakemaxchallenge.com.

The Culver Marina will also be hosting a demonstration day Sunday, July 7, with a number of free events for the public to participate in.

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