Big standup paddleboard season planned
May 22, 2015
With rain predicted every day for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t quite feel like standup paddleboard season yet.
But, as the calendar approaches the end of May and flips over into June, several SUP events are planned for the beginning of summer.
Fortunately for Trent Hickman and Park City Stand Up Paddleboarding, the first event of the season will be held indoors. On Thursday, May 28, the Park City Film Series will be showing a special screening of "A Stand Up Paddle Movie" at The Prospector Theater at 2175 Sidewinder Drive.
"We wanted to do a film that showcases a bit about the history of the sport and covers a variety of the aspects of standup paddleboarding," Hickman said. "There are great movies out there that just focus on surfing or just focus on river riding, but "A Stand Up Paddle Movie" highlights a race in Tahoe, there’s footage from the Weber River here in Utah, there’s footage from surfing in Hawaii and there are interviews with legends like Laird Hamilton, Gerry Lopez and Candice Appleby — it’s an eclectic movie."
Hickman said he hopes the movie will get people excited to get out on the water and paddle this summer.
"Our thought process was that, when ski season comes around, we screen ski movies to get everyone excited," he said. "We want to screen a standup paddle movie to get everyone excited for on-water recreation."
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Tickets to the showing, which will take place at 7 p.m., are $5 and there will be prizes given away to attendees.
On May 30 and 31, Park City SUP will host a SUP Swap event at the ponds at Deer Valley.
"If you’re interested in buying equipment, we’re inviting people to come out who have used equipment they want to sell," Hickman said. "That should be a fun way to try out gear, too."
On June 6, the SUP competitions begin. For the fourth year, Park City SUP will host the Paddle Pedal Paddle, a grueling event styled similarly to a triathlon. Competitors will paddle five miles at the Jordanelle Reservoir, then bike 10 miles on a trail surrounding the reservoir, then hop back on their paddleboards and paddle another five miles. Hickman said the water levels should be better since the event will be held earlier this summer and he expects higher turnout than in years past.
"I’d be thrilled if we had 30-50 participants," he said. "I think this year we can achieve that. We’ve also yet to have a female athlete solo the course. I’m hoping we can set some history this season. Team efforts are great, too. There’s definitely a higher level of interest this year. June 6 should be a fun day. Hopefully people have stayed fit and are getting out and paddling a little bit beforehand — it’s a big day on the water and on the bicycle."
When the summer officially starts June 20, the Park City SUP Festival will hit the waters at the Jordanelle.
"Historically, we’ve titled the paddleboard race event the PC SUP Cup, but we’ve changed the name," Hickman said. "The backbone of the event is still the same, but we’re calling it the Park City SUP Festival. It’s running on the summer solstice, so it’s the longest day of the year and it’s also the projected high-water mark for the Jordanelle Reservoir."
Though the SUP Cup races will still be held, Hickman said there will be much more for attendees to experience.
"We want to bring everything about life in, on and around the water to the festival," he said. "We’re working with the MARC and trying to organize a beach volleyball contest. Park City Sailing Association will be out there offering free demos once the wind kicks up. In the morning, we’re hoping to do the largest free group yoga session in the history of Utah on the water. That’s going to be a BYOB event — bring your own board. Marine Products is again going to be bring out some boats and we’re going to have a SUP surf contest on Saturday and a traditional wake surf contest on Sunday. We’re also going to have food and music. Then, once the sun finally does set on the longest day of the year, we’re going to do some nighttime paddling in the bay on Saturday night."
The races will still be a featured part of the weekend, though, Hickman added.
"We still will have our youth races, our open races, our elite races and the coed tandem paddle race," he said. "We’ll do the doggie paddle parade. We’ve got a ton of exciting stuff happening. Albion Financial is sponsoring the Dash for the Cash again, so we’ll have that going on, too."
Park City SUP also offers SUP Fit classes and SUP yoga classes at the Deer Valley ponds daily at 10 a.m.
For more information on any of the Park City Stand Up Paddleboarding events this summer, visit http://www.parkcitysup.com .
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