Editor’s Note: Seacoast Paddleboard Club’s Paddler Profile Series highlights the different personalities that make our paddling community so great! If you would like to be featured, please complete this profile.
Where Are You From (Hometown)?
Stratham, New Hampshire
How long have you been paddling? How did you get started?
I have been paddling maybe 5 or 6 years. SPC founder Chris Carragher is a good friend and I wanted to make the round trip paddle to the Shoals to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire as a participant in the IOS Invitational.
Where is Your Favorite Place to Paddle and Why?
Different moods for different places.
You can’t beat being 3 miles out in the ocean with dolphin and seals swimming feet from your board.
A quiet solo sunrise paddle on Winni offers some much needed reflection.
I also enjoy the easy in on the river in Stratham. Paddling under the railroad trestle and into Great Bay. ( keep an eye on the tide charts or you could end up waiting it out on the mud )
All great self reflection time on the water, whether solo or training with a group.
Describe your favorite paddle boarding memory.
I would have to say my first IOS challenge. I did it! It was 5 hours on the open ocean, with fog and swells. But what a sunrise!
My legs were jello and my knees were sore and chafed from kneeling much of the return trip. However, the sense of accomplishment completing this first paddle is beyond words. It is amazing to see people’s faces when you tell them you have paddled out to the Isles of Shoals and back.
Do you have a favorite board? What is it and why do you love it?
I currently have a Pau Hana Cadence. Built for speed and not stability. Cuts through the water like a razor blade, but not great for a long distance open water paddle. I like the versatility of the Pau Hana Endurance. It provides great stability and a nice place to catch some on water rays.
I think my next board will be the eco-friendly NSP Cocomat. I have borrowed Chris’s (Diane’s) a couple of times and feel more stable on it, while it still allows for some good endurance on longer ocean paddles.
Do you have a favorite paddle board event? What is it and why is it your favorite?
I’d have to say the IOS Invitational. It got me into paddling and is for a great cause. It also gives you some nice bragging rights at the beach!
If you could take a paddling trip anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
Everywhere south of the border. There is so much to explore and learn inland, coastal and on the ocean. A paddle board is a great way to explore water ways that may not be accessible by other means.
Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you started? If so, why?
I have only owned the Endurance, but continue to borrow and sample other boards to find the one that will call me to the water the most.
Do you have any advice to new paddlers?
Just get on the water and paddle! I need to do more. If you are blessed to live near the water, get in it or on it. It does the mind and body good.
What do you like most about SPC?
The camaraderie and support from fellow members. The Club is so inclusive of fellow paddlers regardless of of your skill level or goals. In jest, we are a “Tanning Club with a Paddle Problem!”
How do you get involved with the community? What charities or causes do you support? Do You belong to a non-profit group?
I have served on several area boards (pun intended) and am currently the President of the Portsmouth Rotary Club.
I also like to participate in beach cleanups and volunteer at soup kitchens and help in any way I am able.
I have participated in two international mission trips in the last 3 years (Bangladesh & Colombia) and hope to continue this work in the future.
What is your favorite non-paddle thing to do?
Sit by the ocean and listen to the surf while absorbing the energy of the sun.