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SUP’s Up in the Midwest!

Posted by Valerie Hein Hamstra on 5/26/2015 to SUP Stand Up Paddling
Written Kate Westphal

My interest in Stand-Up Paddling (SUP) stems from a curiosity I always had as a child about another sport, surfing. I grew up in Port Washington, an old fishing town located on Lake Michigan just north of Milwaukee. As a child I quickly became fascinated with Great Lakes surfing. Long story short, I never caught a wave, but the California state of mind never left me. So when SUP started to gain popularity in the Midwest I found another opportunity to become the surf bum of my dreams!

My first experience with SUP was this past spring and I was surprised at how easy it was. Since then I’ve fallen in love with the sport. From battling the chop on Lake Monona, to scooping up baby turtles with my paddle, to traveling a couple hundred miles with two boards atop my jeep, SUP became a new passion of mine.

Stand-Up Paddling satisfies both my body and soul by providing a head-to-toe workout and a way to explore nature. My favorite part is the birds-eye view I gain looking down into underwater worlds. My journey into SUP is far from over. I look forward to learning new skills and finding new adventures. This summer, I plan on trying river SUPing, including an overnight trip on the Wisconsin. And who knows, this Midwest (surfer) girl may catch a wave yet.

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