Like many people in the SUP industry, including a nice contingent of the Glide Family, I found myself heading to California the weekend of September 28-29, only I didn’t quite make it to Dana Point for the Battle of the Paddle. I only made it as far as Redding. Although I would have loved to be at the BOP, my wife and I were visiting some of our dear friends before they moved out to the east coast and we were also wanting to escape the record rainfall that has been hitting the Pacific Northwest.
As an SUP addict, wherever I go, I prefer to get on some local water for a paddle session or two. Not having ever paddled in Redding, I didn’t really know of where to go, but with the awesome Glide SUP network, I got connected with an awesome SUP business in Redding that helped me get on the water.
During my Eugene to Portland 164-mile SUP Expedition, I got connected with Phil Keester, owner and operator of WASSUP Board Sports in Redding. WASSUP is a brand new SUP Rental, Sales, Tours, etc, business that uses exclusively Glide Paddle Boards for it’s fleet. Phil just launched this business this summer and let me tell you, WASSUP is going to do some awesome things for Redding and northern California with our sport. He is already introducing locals to SUP through his Sundial Bridge River Tour on the Sacramento River, just a couple weeks ago helped put on the First California Paddle on Whiskeytown Lake, just east of Redding and has plans for a longer race down the Sacramento. His passion for the sport is undeniable and he is the type of person that makes me truly grateful to be with Glide and in the SUP industry altogether. Good People, doing awesome things.
My wife and I ended up taking her little car for the 5 hour drive down I-5, which meant loading up my Quest paddleboards was a out of the question, especially since we don’t have a rack….yet. I contacted Phil earlier in the week about the desire for a couple of paddleboards and ask him about places to paddle and boy did he deliver. On Saturday, we roll up to his mobile staging area and load up two 11′ Retros. He also hooked us up with the Malone Inflatable HandiRack, which made hauling the boards on the car simple. We headed out to Whiskeytown for a relaxing, fun day on the water. No agenda. No training. Just a day on the lake under the warm sun, all the while, the people back in Oregon were getting dumped on with monsoon type rain!
This was also my first time experience with the Retro and it is now just another reason why I am pumped to be with this company. It truly is the perfect all-around recreation paddleboard. It is super stable and of course with GSS technology it is super durable! It is also the first time Cecilia has put her feet on a board and immediately asked me when she can have her own. So it must be good! What excites me more than anything about the Retro is having a great board to introduce people to the sport, especially to those that may have life-challenging condition that make it difficult to do any activity, let alone standing on the water.
If you are ever in the Redding area, I encourage you to get in touch with Phil at WASSUP. He also has the Lochsa, Quest and the Bliss on hand for you and your SUP desires. So go on one of his tours, let him give you lessons, and join the SUP revolution in Northern California! Heck, maybe I will come down and join you.
Nathan Woods (@HeisNathan)