by Brett Gifford
Stand-up paddleboards are popping up more and more. And while many of us have been the recipients of little more than a charitable smile and a hoot as a SUPer burns us from the outside, the Surfers' Environmental Alliance plans to give back a whole lot more with the 3rd Annual SEAPaddle NYC in Manhattan.
SEA is anticipating an armada of 100-150 stand-up paddlers, including pro surfers and celebrities, to take to the waters surrounding Manhattan, on August 24, in a 28-mile "feel good" endurance paddle around the island to raise money and awareness for autism and coastal preservation.
Over 80 SUPers participated in the SEAPaddle last year, including big names like Gerry Lopez, Joel Tudor, Darrick Doerner and Keith Malloy, raising more than $150,000 for the cause, and SEA is hoping to raise even more this year.
The event will kick-off with The White Water Evening on Saturday, August 22, featuring silent and live auctions of memorabilia, gear and one-of-a-kind experiences, like Darrick Doerner's Surf Education Adventures in Oahu. Funds raised from the events benefit autism awareness and support groups such as Surfers Healing, Autism Speaks, Autism Family Services of NJ and Autism NJ.
Though they emphasis that the SEAPaddle is not a race, the event is not for the faint of heart. Participants are required to have prior experience in endurance paddling events and must raise a minimum $1,000 to enter.