Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stand-Up Paddling Festival in Saranac Lake This Weekend

Modern stand-up paddling (SUP) has become one of the fastest growing water sports. This weekend Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters is giving everyone an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about June 20-21 at the Lake Colby beach in Saranac Lake.

The history of SUP is long and convoluted with references found thousands of years ago of ancient cultures using boards and sticks to propel themselves through the water to fish or travel. The modern stand-up version is most often attributed to surfing because of the similar board shape. Around the Adirondacks, SUP is becoming a popular alternative to canoeing and kayaking.

According to Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters owner Stephen Doxon this year’s Adirondack SUP Festival will be offering all its past activities and events with a more organized demo opportunity. There is a $3/person demo fee for anyone wishing to tryout the various SUP boards. The fee is good for the whole weekend and will be credited back with any board purchase. Each event, such as the on-water clinics, dry-land clinics, guided tours, or SUP race, has a separate fee. People can either bring their own board for a lower entry or choose the option, which includes the SUP board and PDF.

“We are excited about the response we’ve gotten. It looks like it will be a good weekend,” says Doxon. “There is preregistration available online for all the activities, tours and races. There are opportunities for people to learn to paddle, yoga and choose the right board. There is even a special Kids SUP Session after school on Friday. What we’ve done is kept the instructional part the same and put more emphasis on the demo section.”

In addition to the series of activities, Saturday’s big event is the SUP race around Lake Colby. Doxon explains that the 6-mile Long Course is two laps around the perimeter of the lake while the Short Course is just the one 3-mile lap. There will be plenty of fun races like sprints, tandems and even SUP with the dog. The Saturday Festival culminates with a guided tour on Lake Colby to practice the day’s new skills.

Though not a formal part of the Adirondack SUP Festival there is a second guided SUP tour on Lower Saranac Lake from 9 am to noon on Sunday, June 22. Call Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters for availability at 518-891-7450. See you on the water!

Photo of children on SUP boards used with the permission of Diane Chase,

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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