Stand up paddle boarding in West Virginia is still in its infancy. Beginner classes are in high demand with many people now knowing what the sport is (where they didn’t 3-4 years ago) but not having access to boards and instruction. I have worked hard to bridge this gap with my new position as Executive Director of Active Southern West Virginia (Active SWV) and role as the volunteer American Canoe Association WV State Director (ACA WV).
In May of 2016, the first ACA WV instructor workshop was help through a grant awarded by the National Trails Foundation to facilitate free community programming on the banks of the New River at a sweet historic summer camp. Seven instructors participated in the workshop to go on to provide 10 three house SUP beginner courses to over 60 people for free.
Through a partnership between Active SWV and the Army Corps of Engineers at Summersville Lake, I was able to offer monthly demonstration days with area SUP businesses. This once a month event attracted between 30-50 participants.
By: Melanier Seiler
November 14, 2016