Paddleboard events for all levels of interest and skills will be coming to Lake Blue Ridge at Morganton Point, September 10th. The mountain venue offers those on the water great mountain views as they paddle and spectators on shore the chance to watch the unique sport at one of the most scenic spots on the lake.
This fast growing sport of SUP (Stand-up Paddle boarding) has caught on among all types of water lovers – from those who just want to get some exercise and enjoy nature in a low impact activity to those who seek the challenge of racing the boards or even running whitewater.
Chris Tilghman, owner of Surf Blue Ridge SUP, said while featuring pro-level racers, the SUP Splash Race Day is really about introducing the sport to those who have never done it or barely done it.
“The free board demos, clinics and recreation races that day are a great way to try out the sport,” Tilghman said.
On September 10th those interested can demo different SUP boards from several companies with staff from Surf Blue Ridge and other SUP companies on hand to offer tips including a free on-the-water clinic, which will be lead by the SUP Splash series leader Wes Stolp.
The races that day range from an elite division with professional SUP paddlers to a fun recreational race, which is more about trying something new than speed. There is also a four mile open division where those who fall somewhere between the first-timers and the pro’s can compete. The races will conclude with a half-mile kids event.
The race kicks off with registration Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. at Morganton Point Recreation Area, maintained by the National Forest Service. Races start at 10 a.m. The kids race is free, all others have a $50 registration fee.
Besides the races, two paddleboard yoga session are planned (class size are limited, $15 per session).Doing yoga on the board may seem a novelty, but has become a trend, mixing the on-the-water experience with the relaxation of yoga class.
Spectators or those interested in the demos and clinics can show up any time. There is no fee to watch or demo. No alcohol is permitted as Morganton Point by the National Forest Service rules.
A white water outing for SUP’ers may be held Sunday depending on the water levels of nearby rivers.