Stand up paddleboarding is growing exponentially in the Cayman Islands and it looks set to become even more popular with another annual event that raises money for charity.
Since the first stand up paddleboards were brought to the islands about six years ago, there are now hundreds gracing the waters.
The beauty of the boards is that it really is something for everyone. Long distance open water paddling presents a great cardio workout, SUP yoga is another way to build core strength and SUP surfing is fun but extremely challenging for any surf enthusiast.
But perhaps most importantly, SUP embraces a community spirit. It is common to see parents out paddling with one or even two kids balanced on their boards, as well as the family dog, or groups of kids sharing a board to explore the beach or using it as a dive platform.
After the fun of playing in the water, SUP boards also make a great impromptu table as a group of friends gather round to float and relax in the water and enjoy a drink together.
The Cayman Islands Paddleboard Association is a group of SUP enthusiasts, first brought together four years ago.
As a community group, the association has consistently provided safety marshals for many of the open water sea swims, including the celebrated Flowers Sea Swim for the last three years, and organized the annual John Bunton Paddleboard Fundraiser to raise funds for the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association. Last year, Cayman Islands Paddleboard Association raised more than $10,000 to help people in Cayman dealing with diabetes and its related issues.
The third annual John Bunton Paddleboard Fundraiser is set to be held on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 10 and is already promising to trump last year’s event.
In the spirit of the SUP and surf community, event organizer Duane Magis is delighted that several local companies have already pledged their support.
“It’s fantastic that Cayman Islands Stand Up Paddleboard Company is going to partner with us this year by providing boards for the event,” he said.
“Although a relatively new company, they have already partnered with us for the Flowers Sea Swim and worked with the Get Active initiative for young people in Cayman and are currently preparing to work with Chatterbox.
“As in previous years, The Sweet Spot and White Sands Watersports are going to provide boards for the event and organize a mini SUP regatta, suitable for all ages and abilities.
“Surfside Bar is going to host the event and Blue Wave Surf Shop have stepped up as our major sponsor.”
Last year, more than 70 paddlers took part in the group paddle to raise awareness about diabetes and the work of the diabetes association.
This year, with the support of so many key businesses in the SUP community, the event promises to be a great fundraiser and a fun family event.
All participants will be presented with an event rashguard and entered for the popular raffle. As in previous years, the main prize will be a brand new paddleboard.
More details will be released in the next month, but those wishing to be added to the event mailing list should email [email protected]