Zoar Outdoor Hosts Day-Long Stand Up Paddleboarding Festival

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Zipline and whitewater outfitter Zoar Outdoor will be hosting a day-long Stand Up Paddleboarding event on Saturday, August 31st in downtown Turners Falls. Throughout the day the public can participate in hour-long stand up paddleboard (SUP) demos, SUP yoga, a presentation by Mike Simpson from SUP the Coast, and a film screening.

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On Saturday, August 31st, Massachusetts adventure outfitter Zoar Outdoor will be hosting a day-long SUP Demo Festival celebrating the increasingly popular sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPing). It’s the perfect opportunity for people to try out this new paddle sport, get advice from SUP experts, and check out a range of different boards.

The event will start at 8:30am at Unity Park in Turners Falls, on a field by the Connecticut River. Zoar Outdoor staff and industry experts Mike MacDonald from BIC Sport SUP and Mike Simpson from SUP the Coast will be on-site to facilitate hour-long demo sessions. The first of these sessions starts at 8:30, and the last starts at 3:30pm. During each of these hours, staff will help paddlers get outfitted and ready to go, and then paddlers can take their boards out on the river. It’s an easy sport to launch into: SUP boards come in different varieties, the most stable of which will have even the most anxious beginners standing up and getting around in no time at all. For those with more paddling experience, specialized SUP boards will provide a taste of all the versatility SUPing offers.

For those feeling more adventurous, the 10:30 and 1:30 session times will be devoted to SUP Yoga. Jody Fontaine, from Pure Yoga Wellness Studio in South Deerfield, will be present to lead the group in a yoga session set on the water. Participants will pick out their boards, get their gear together, then form a group out on the river where Fontaine will lead a basic yoga session. Previous yoga or paddling skills are not necessary, just a willingness to try something new!

At 5:30 in the afternoon, Mike Simpson will be at the Great Falls Discovery Center presenting his story of paddling from Key West, Florida, to Portland, Maine, as part of the SUP the Coast project. In 2011, Simpson set out with one of his paddling friends to travel up the East Coast. Along the way, they enjoyed many adventures, introduced people to the sport, and raised awareness for two great organizations: Wounded Warrior Project and SUP Cleanup. Following Simpson’s presentation, guests can stick around for a screening of A Stand Up Paddle Movie, which traces the history and growing popularity of SUPing in the United States.

Zoar Outdoor strongly encourages guests to sign up for Demo Sessions or SUP Yoga Sessions ahead of time by calling 1-800-532-7483, as limited spaces are available. Walk-ins will be accommodated the day of the event as space allows. All of the SUP Demo Festival events are free and open to the public. For more information visit zoaroutdoor.com/sup.htm or call 1-800-532-7483.

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Adriana Isaza
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