Business

Passions collide in a new stand up paddle board website

All dressed up and nowhere to paddle: web designer and SUP enthusiast Kathy Verigin will have to wait
All dressed up and nowhere to paddle: web designer and SUP enthusiast Kathy Verigin will have to wait 'til April to get out on the water.
— image credit: submitted photo

When Castlegar-based graphic designer Kathy Verigin discovered a new passion, it wasn’t enough to just pursue it; she had to share it. The result is a marriage of two passions — design and sport — in an easy-to-navigate, informative website all about stand up paddle boarding.

Verigin grew up in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, where water sports were part of childhood. She discovered stand up paddle boarding in Hawaii, when she rented a board and was instantly hooked.

“Nothing compares to riding the waves, or flat water paddling under a setting sun,” she says. “Stand up paddle boarding is glorious anywhere there’s water.”

From the beginning, stand up paddle boarding, or SUP, seemed like the perfect sport to Verigin: easy to learn, great for core fitness, a fun way to enjoy the outdoors, and with scope to challenge yourself as you learn. What Verigin discovered was that there wasn’t any one website with enough information needed to startup, maintain and explore this relatively new sport and all its distinct disciplines.

“What was missing was one go-to website to find out most everything you need to know about SUP,” she explains. “And as a digital designer for print media, designing a website for a sport I’m passionate about — and filling that gap — just made sense.”

Since stand up paddle boarding made its debut as a popular, accessible, easy-to-learn sport about a decade ago, the sport has grown exponentially, with SUP festivals and events worldwide. Verigin hopes that all kinds of people, of all ages and fitness levels, will give the sport she’s so passionate about a try.

“The website is set up to demystify SUP, so there aren’t any barriers for people wanting to get started,” she says. “It’s so simple and so much fun, and with the new website, it’s all there.”

Although Verigin’s home is Canada, the site’s scope is worldwide. The website covers gear, disciplines, news, special events, and safety, with links to how-to videos and other resources, as well as personal stories and photographs, at standuppaddleboardingguide.com.

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