I recently came across this old photo of me and my surfing buddy Karen. We were probably 15 or 16 at the time – wasn’t I cute back then! Obviously no surf that day, so we were coming in early. I used to spend 7-8 hours a day out on the water in Ogunquit, Maine when there were any kind of waves – only stopping for lunch and hot coffee to soothe my chattering teeth and blue lips, then going back out until my family stood on shore and waved me in because they wanted to go home. Now, almost 45 years later, I still don’t want to get off that board. Can’t wait for summer! Karen, Brenda, Margi, Becky, Violet, fellow SUP Gals and all lovers of being on the water, do you feel me?
I can only remember one bad experience on the water as a surfer. It was November and a hurricane had passed by leaving awesome waves in its wake. I begged my father (I didn’t yet have a driver’s license) to take me surfing. He took me to Safety Beach in Nahant and stayed in the car, watching me with binoculars.
Surf was running 10-12 feet; my norm was 3-5 on a good day. It took me a long time to make it out beyond the breakers. He says I was half way to Egg Rock (probably 1/2 a mile out). By the time I got out, I was exhausted and had to sit out the incoming set of monsters while I caught my breath, plus I was scared shitless, never having been out in surf that big before. Three or four big swells raised me high to their crest and then down into their trough. Then I made the near fatal mistake of turning my back to the sea. The next wave was huge, and when I looked back, it was preparing to break over me. There was nothing I could do. It crashed and sent me flying from my board, and sent my board careening to shore without me (they didn’t have tethers back in those days). After that, every wave crashed on me, pushing me far below the surface in a maelstrom of swirling water. I would reach the surface just in time to grab a breath of air, before the next wave crashed, pushing me into the depths. I was certain I would drown that day. Thank God it was cold so I was wearing a full wetsuit or I certainly would have. At the same time, the current was pushing me further down shore from where I had gone in.
I eventually made it to shore, collapsing exhausted at the water’s edge where my Dad arrived to help me back to the car.
That experience gave me the greatest respect for the ocean, which I still love passionately, but with the healthy modicum of fear, that we all should have.
As a start to a series highlighting local shops in Manchester, Christian del Rosario at Surfari agreed to be the first victim!
I have wondered for some time, how is it a surf shop can survive in New England, let alone Manchester by the Sea. What I have been learning is the incredible appeal of SUP or Stand Up Paddle boarding. As Christian says paddle boards have become the bicycles of water enthusiasts who can purchase racing models, cruising models and boards built for beginners. Manchester with it’s relatively flat waters, islands to visit and proximity to lakes has been perfect. The chances to exercise, explore hard to reach places, enjoy touring and for some explore yoga on a board and even fish are all around Manchester. Taken to the extreme there are organized races and SUP has even started to appear in rivers running rapids!
The surf market is also strong in the area and Christian says that the season is getting underway now. Storm waves that surfers pray for are stronger in the winter months and the season really extends from October to April.
Surfari sells surf boards, paddle boards, shoes, clothing, beach wear, water sport accessories, sunglasses and gifts. Many items are perfect as boating accessories as well. Boards can be rented and lessons can be scheduled. They have sun shirts (AKA “Rash guards” for those on boards), and other sun protection items. They also have cold weather equipment for those surfers braving the ocean at this time of year.
In addition to lessons and working with the Manchester Parks and Recreation department, Surfari provides programs for adults and children from May to October. Anyone, not just Manchester residents, can participate in these programs so there are many ways to learn and enjoy SUP boarding.
Christian, his wife Nicole and two daughters have returned to Christian’s home town of Manchester after 13 years away. He has specialized in surfing and paddle boards and most recently was in Nantucket where he sold boards and provided lessons. Opening a retail store in Manchester looked like a great opportunity to expand from selling boards to clothing, accessories and all the other items they now sell.
Surfari is located at 26 Central Street in Manchester. Their website is http://www.standuppaddlesurfari.com . Stop in and say “Hi” to Christian and Nicole.
I was looking through some lobstering images on the web and came across these images of someone lobstering on a SUP. I was really surprised to see that these were taken off of Cape Ann, when I clicked through and read the post!
His comment: “This is harder in winter.”
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Dominic at Cape Ann S.U.P. at Pavilion beach is ready for the summer.
TRY SUPYoga, this summer.
FOB Evelyn was at every GMG event, Mug Ups, Our Show at Cape Ann Giclee, All the Gallery openings. Always with a huge infectious smile. The kind of smile that people from out of town get when they move to Gloucester and throw themselves into the community and “Get What Gloucester Is All About”
So sad to see such a positive spirit leave the GMG family. She will be missed.
EJ writes September 4th, 2012-
It is a total blast, but also a really great low impact workout and a beautiful, peaceful way to explore the harbor and environs. I got to do my first exploration of Ten Pound Island and Evelyn and I accompanied The Bounty out of the inner harbor yesterday morning.
My friends are Evelyn Howe and Becky Bernie of Magnolia and East Gloucester. Today was Becky’s first time and yesterday was Evelyn’s, and we paddled from Oak’s Cove over to Joey’s dock and back to Madfish Wharf in under an hour.
EJ Writes –
It was a great final Mug Up on Rocky Neck Sunday. Although we didn’t do food competitions this year like last, only the blueberry bake one, I have to say that Evelyn Howe won the best contribution to a Mug Up this season with her pumpkin cheesecake with praline topping – which topped Ann Kennedy’s candied bacon with chocolate sauce, which came in really close to Gigi Mederos’ pickled zucchini which doesn’t sound like much, but was tastebud tantalizing. Many people brought wonderful additions to the Mug Up fare this season, but these three homemade contributions were spectacular. Thanks Evelyn, Ann and Gigi.
Joe Silva 2011 Greasy Pole Champion takes on a new challenge with Tyler in Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Joe just returned from Hollywood from a shoot, pending official details.
Tyler was inspired by Pennsylvania woman who always wanted to try Paddle boarding, but thought she was limited, because of her handicap.
Amanda Madeira forwards-
Barry Cuda writes-
Hiya Joey. I’m looking for a post in the community listings for this great cause.
Hawc is a vital organization that has been in our town for years. As a father of three daughters myself, I can’t say enough of what Hawc can provide when their services are needed. This is the 20th anniversary of the Walk for Hawc fundraiser and this year they have a added a 5 mile run to spice things up.
It will be my 4th year walking and each year I see more Gloucester faces. I hope with Pride Stride at a different date, that we see even more faces from cape Ann in the crowd. Thanks for what you do!
Built right here on Cape Ann!!!!!!
The NightSUP was designed by Tyler, Dominic and Sylvie from Cape Ann SUP.
We showed our designs to Keith Natti over at Twin Lights Glassing. He scratched his head and looked at us like we were crazy….but in the end, so was he. Keith’s attention to detail has made this project even better than any of us hoped. We’ve tested these boards in lots of conditions and we’ve even had Harbor Seals use the light from the boards to hunt the fish below us.
So before the barage of Shark comments, We just want to say this: If YOU are the largest predator in your’ waters, then you need a SUP with LEDs. You will see your’ own waterways and wildlife in a brand new and magical way.
Double Waterproof LEDs and a rechargable batteries are the recipe for a whole new way to view nature and Paddleboard more safely at night time. This is the custom creation of a surf punk and a sup kook who put aside the chatter to come up with something RAD.
August 13, 2011 – Our four month old Shiba Inu puppy, Truckee, learns to Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) along the Mill River in Gloucester, MA. Truckee weighs about 15 lbs soaking wet…but she didn’t fall in once! Filmed with my GroPro HD camera. Song: The Kooks – “See the Sun”
Check out CapeAnnSUP
I wonder if any of these folks will be participating in Saturday’s Blackburn Challenge
Video Taken By Ed Collard