Sunday, July 6, 2014

Vermont SUPsets

Of all the reasons Stand Up Paddling makes so much sense in Vermont — our abundant waterways, our human-powered ethos, our board-riding culture — the quality of Lake Champlain sunsets is the most vivid.

Something just feels right about standing up for the setting sun — paddle idle at your hip, facing west. It's a like salute to the cosmos.

I’m grateful that when those oranges and pinks start to mix before dusk that it’s all happening over an Adirondack backdrop. And if you’re out far enough on the lake, the dark purple of night that hangs over the Green Mountains becomes visible to the East, with a rising moon floating above the ridgelines.

The SUP media landscape (yes, there is such a thing) is obsessed with silhouetted SUP'ers standing in front of the setting sun. I suppose it derives from paddleboarding's surfing roots (this iconic "Endless Summer" movie poster is exhibit A).

But I’ll put our SUP sunsets up against any West Coast or Pacific island backdrop.

If there was any doubt that Vermonters belong on paddleboards, there is always affirmation at about 8 p.m. in the middle of Lake Champlain on a calm day in July.

 Paddle on!