Where do we get our love of water? Who or what inspired you to live life beyond land, to take up a passion like stand up paddling, wing foiling, or surfing, or however your particular brand of stoke manifests itself out there? Did you inherit a love of water from someone in your family? Was it a legacy passed down through friends or acquaintances? Did you see a photo that captured your imagination and made you say, “I want to try that”?
When I first began paddling, I knew I’d hit onto something grand, something I loved and that loved me back. But I wasn’t planning on being taken broadside by the passion where I would be paddling 12 months out of the year, through frigid northeast winters, snow and rain, swell and sun, icy cold and blazing heat. Nope. Never saw that coming.
What I did see was… an ad. A unique advertisement that caught my attention. An ad, as fate would have it, in Standup Journal, a magazine I knew very little about at the time. In that ad is the profile picture of a woman, hair tied back, sitting in her truck, looking through the windshield where rain is beating down. She is dressed in a parka with a pensive look on her face. The ad is in black and white. It reads:
“Typical Training Day. Water Temp 49 F / Air Temp: 39 F / Conditions: Raining
Your competition is training too. Only they're paddling somewhere warm and sunny. You chose to live in the Pacific Northwest.
Is it really worth it? You bet it is.”
And I was hooked. Hook, line and sinker. I wanted to be that badass woman sitting in her pickup truck, preparing to get out and paddle regardless of the weather. I bought that magazine and I really bought into that ad. I believe it changed my trajectory. A framed copy now hangs on the wall of my office. It continues to inspire me, to press on… regardless.
This SPRING22 issue of Standup Journal is dedicated to the purveyors of passion, the stoke givers and the teachers who bring us to the water and change our existence. Aloha, to you, dear reader. And aloha to all those who came before who carried the passion in order to ignite it in our hearts. Lucky are we.
The SPRING22 issue of Standup Journal highlights an incredibly talented team of photographers, writers, creative designers, artists and athletes. From the iridescent images supplied by photographer Jimmy Martinello on his dream trip to Iceland, to the humorous and hard working history of the Decker clan, running HISS watersports in Cape Hatteras, we see the personalities and the legacy in a water sportsman's history. That flare of reaching into the past to showcase the present is also highlighted in Chelsea Terris Scott’s article, “Always Get In: A Love Story” as she probes the deep to discover why her love of water runs so deliberately through her veins, instilled in her by her grandmother, Mo. How do we pass on our passion for water?
Indeed, we see that thrill again in Australia’s Longboard SUP Revolution where Aussie Mike Jenkins takes us on a journey through the legends of the style of SUP that is making a stand in the competitions across the continent. Mike shows us how stories, shared waves and laughter bring the community together again and again to celebrate this newest innovation to our watersports heritage. Also, waterman legend Chuck Patterson offers his story on his longtime relationship with mentor and friend Robbie Naish, as the two show their antics in wing foiling from a recent trip to Maui.
Finally we witness moments of greatness, and the agony of defeat in a close look at 2021’s Carolina Cup. We hear the passion from April Zilg when she closes in on her moment of glory to win the Graveyard course after 10 years trying. Alongside her story is that of newcomer SUP racer Nehal Hakim, who gets real about her first CC attempt where the king tide current and raging winds made it impossible for her to complete the 6-mile Money Island course. Both tales tell of the passion and commitment of SUP racing, the triumphs and the falls, and how it is the community that draws us back again and again to witness something new about ourselves in this great schoolyard of water.
Finally, we hear from SUP surfing’s spirit animal Bernd Roediger on his views on camaraderie and surfing. We spotlight surf artist Drew Brophy, who is recovering from a hard case of COVID pneumonia that locked him down in ICU for over 68 days. Drew’s art has so much magic and energy in it, it fairly leaps off the page. And thank heavens, we have our serial writer Steve West who leaves us laughing (again) with his wry observations in the beach parking lot and perspective from a long history of surfing.
Welcome to SPRING22. May we remember our purveyors of passion, and be grateful for the life they have given us: to be forever connected to the great bodies of water. Mahalo.