Stand up paddleboarding in West Virginia is still in its infancy. Beginner classes are in high demand. Previously, people did not know that SUP was a sport. Now that the knowledge is out there, people need access to boards and instruction.
In May of 2016, the first ACA WV instructor workshop was awarded a grant from the National Trails Foundation to facilitate free community programming on the banks of the New River at a historic summer camp. Seven instructors participated in the workshop. From these seven instructors, West Virginia has now seen 10 SUP beginner courses, with over 60 people participating 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 local SUP businesses. This is an effort fueled by my passion for paddling, as well as my love for the state of West Virginia.
Melanie Seiler is a team rider for Hala Gear.