According to Nate Williams of Zim Sailing, the minute people see someone standing on the water on a Stand-Up Paddleboard, they immediately say, “I have to try that!” Williams would know; he is one of the companies coming to the Providence Boat Show with Stand-Up Paddleboards, or SUPs, and he understands why this type of boating is the fastest growing form of outdoor recreation.
Williams got hooked on the sport after trying it and taking a clinic to learn more about technique. His company Zim Sailing now carries SUPs made by BIC. Zim and several other companies will be at the Providence show to display a diverse fleet of boards. Providence Boat Show attendees can see these novel watercraft, talk to experts, and even watch SUP demos at the indoor pool.
SUPs are longer, wider and more stable than surfboards. According to Guy Gauvin of East Coast Paddle Sports, who is coming to the show with a large collection of boards, stand-up paddleboarding requires only “a little water and a little skill.”
Gauvin started his company in 2014 as a mobile trailer taking rental boards to different locales in Rhode Island. Demand grew so quickly, so he has opened rental and retail locations in East Greenwich and Wakefield.
Keeping pace with this new sport’s growth are different ways to use these boards. SUP Yoga and SUP Fishing—both of which will be demonstrated at the Providence Boat Show’s indoor pool—are quickly gaining popularity.
At the boat show you’ll also see a brand-new “peddleboard” called the Hobie Mirage Eclipse, represented
by Megrew’s Boats. This board with peddles and a handlebar for balance and steering gives you an elliptical-like workout while you enjoy sun and sea and coastal scenery.
According to Gauvin, good entry-level SUPs can run as little as $600, so this is an affordable way to enjoy the water. There are a wide range of boards—from inflatable models you can stow on a boat and inflate when you want to paddle, to the BIC boards that have the light weight of fiberglass with a protective plastic coating, to boards you can outfit for fishing, to higher end boards for those who want speed and performance.
Make sure you check out the fleet of SUPs at the Providence Boat Show by watching demos at the indoor
pool and stopping by the booths of East Coast Paddle Sports, Lakeview Marine, Megrew’s Boats, and Zim
Don’t forget to ask these companies about any special offers they are running at the show. You may just find yourself leaving the show as the owner of a new boat!