How I got into stand up paddleboarding started with my passion and love for water. I have always admired surfing or any sport done in/around the water. Growing up in Central Alberta, surfing was not something you could just get up and do. Not many waves breaking down my door! So it was boating, and being pulled behind that boat on tubes, skis, or wakeboards. Fun? Yes! But I didn’t get out as much as I had always wanted. I did learn to waterski and loved it! It made me feel alive! I was only about 11 when I got to go for the first time but I knew it was something that made me happy. I have water in my veins and I can’t get enough! I stayed tuned into surf competitions and enjoyed as many pictures in magazines as I could. I knew one day that would be the life for me!

I finally got myself to the ocean in 2012, and saw surfers in real life! I even met a paddle surfer! Oh man was I star struck! I remember dreaming about opening a surf shop on the beach. My first trip to the ocean confirmed that was definitely the life I have been searching for.

When I arrived home from Maui, I don’t think I went a day without wanting to do something in the water. That’s when I tried stand up paddleboarding for the first time. I had nailed it! I was a natural! I wanted one of my own and couldn’t get one soon enough!

After driving my friends and family crazy with all this wanderlust talk of living on the beach, selling boards out of my hut, I thought, “I need to make this life a reality, and I want to share my love for this sport with whomever I can.” Okay well reality is… I live in Red Deer, Alberta, and because I don’t want to leave my family, I need to find a solution….

So now what did I have? A board, a dream… and a garage? With my wife on board, I decided to take a chance and invest in myself, and my passion: stand up paddleboarding. This sport was really starting to take off, and we had fallen in love with it. Driven by the desire to get people into the sport, I also wanted to supply the area with quality SUP boards. Since I had very little starting capital, selling boards out of my home was the way to go! And after a lot of research, I had finally landed Rogue boards! How exciting! A big brand was going to put their faith in me… to move their boards… out of my garage!? I took a deep breath and went head first, putting everything I could into that first order. Next thing I knew, I had sold my first “fleet”. After the success of my first order, I stumbled upon Pop Paddleboards, and added them to our portfolio!

Two months later, it is the end of July, and I have begun my journey to living my dream. I can’t express how excited I am to be able to get the people of Central Alberta into this sport. It is the fastest growing watersport in the world, and rightfully so!

I can’t wait to meet more of you out there, who have fallen for this sport as fast as I have! Looking forward to see you on the water!

Happy splashing,

Julia