When we pulled out of Frisco Woods Campground on Sunday to head home, I asked the family who wanted to come back next year and the response from everyone was a resounding "ME!". If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is because they are a tough bunch to please.
The 1st Annual OBX Paddlepalooza was a great event and one that will grow year after year. Event co-organizer, Drew from Hatteras Island Boardsports, said it best - In a few years when this thing grows really big, we're going to look back on the 1st year and say we were there. Although this 1st year's turnout was small compared to other events that are already in their 2nd & 3rd years, we had a blast. This was an event the entire family can enjoy. The organizers are already thinking about next year's event. Starboard liked it so much, they are going to return and really want to help grow this thing. SUP is a great family oriented sport/activity and this event is an excellent example of a grassroots event designed with the family in mind. I would highly encourage you to attend next years' event and bring the whole family.
Frisco Woods Campground was a great venue for this event. It was easy camping in the cabins, which the family really liked. We had great weather - 10 degrees cooler than the sweltering heat back home. The soundfront beach was a kids playground and an excellent launching pad for the flat water SUP events. There were races in the morning and SUP games in the afternoon the whole family can participate in together. There were board and paddle demos. Frisco pier is just down the street and provided some fun mellow waves to play in. The swell forecast was very small but provided the perfect conditions for the beginners and just enough of a bump for the rest of us to have some mellow fun. Dawn and her kids surfed their very first SUP waves! Drew had our daughter on the front of his board and they were tandem surfing wave after wave. Saturday evening's BBQ was to die for and the evening entertainment band (The Dune Billies) kept the awesome tunes coming. Rob and I even got in a nice surprise slalom blasting windsurfing session in the sound when we arrived on Friday afternoon.
Special thanks to the event organizers and sponsors Wind-NC, Hatteras Island Boardsports, and Koru Village. Also big thanks to Starboard for their support and to Frisco Woods Campground for hosting the event.
Event Organizers Drew (Hatteras Island Boardsports), Andy (Wind-NC), and Joe (Spa Koru)
Waterturtle (far right) off to a great start in the Men's Unlimited race, led most of the race only to get beat at the very end by Starboard team rider and east coast rep, Mark Colino. Doh! I left it all out there and Mark did a great job of catching and passing me at the end.
Mark Colino/Starboard and I at the finish
A kids playground at Frisco Woods Campground
Our daughter McIntyre (look at that stroke!) and her friend Gabe in the kids' race
McIntyre coming to the finish in 1st place in the kids race
Rob stroking it at the end to finish 1st in the Men's Surf Class in another close race
Dawn coming to the finish in 2nd in the Womens Race
Kris finishing - 1st in the Womens race
Waterturtle and his boys...chips off the old block
The boys in a SUP tug of war
An event for the whole family
McIntyre doing the dizzy SUP race...5 spins around the paddle and then...
...do your best to run to your board and paddle around a mark and back. Here I am running sideways trying to find my board after a few spins.
Our 9 yr old in the freestyle spinny contest
Tandem SUP race...our 7 year old paddling with me on the board
This is the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge wildfire that has been burning for the past month. This photo was taken from the Oregon Inlet Bonner Bridge on the way in last Friday. Luckily, the smoke held off from Frisco on race day. But Sunday as we were leaving, it got very smoky and ash was falling out of the sky. As of this writing, the fire is 60% contained and hopefully they'll put it out for good soon.
Kris and Dawn and their gift certificate winnings
Killer sunset at the BBQ