Photos: Weather cooperates with MEC Paddlefest at Jericho Beach
Jericho Beach was the place to be for local paddlers on Saturday (July 7).
The sixth annual MEC Paddlefest showcased not only the types of gear people can use, but also efforts made by environmental groups to enhance the ocean environment.
Numerous organizations were on hand, ranging from Shark Truth, which tries to protect sharks from being eaten by human beings, to the B.C. Marine Trails Network Association. It's campaigning for a network of campsites for paddlers up the coast.
MEC's Douglas Acorn told the Straight that there were also opportunities to try products from different vendors and buy new and used gear. He noted that standup paddleboarding has become one of the most popular areas of interest.
"It's just exploding," Acorn said. "This was a sport that if you said five years ago 'standup paddleboarding', people wouldn't have any idea what you were talking about."
MEC's Douglas Acorn describes what's happening at Paddlefest.
Acorn added that standup paddleboarding, which involves using a paddle while on top of a board, is a great way to enhance fitness.
"It's a gateway into so many other paddling sports," he said. "If maybe you thought they were a little bit intimidating, there's an easy way to get into water sports and go from there."
Scott Robertson of Sundog in White Rock commented on the versatility of the sport, saying people are paddleboarding on rivers, lakes, and ocean water.
"There's paddling for fitness," he said. "There's racing. There's touring. You can ride rivers and shoot the rapids. You can surf on it. So it covers all aspects of water sports altogether and anybody can do this."
Scott Robertson says standup paddleboarding covers all aspects of water sports.
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