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What’s SUP Buffalo?

In recent years I’ve seen a number of changes along our Buffalo waterfront. One of the most noticeable differences is the number of ways to enjoy the water all year ’round. If and when the lake freezes, ice sailing is an incredible sight to see, and of course we have been noticing a huge increase in the number of kayakers hitting the Buffalo River. One recreational sport that I haven’t touched upon is the trend of stand up paddle-boarders (SUP) heading out onto the waters. I first started seeing a couple of these boarders enjoying themselves out on Gala Waters (Hoyt Lake) in Delaware Park a couple years back. Today it’s not unusual to see SUPs paddling around at Canalside.

I spoke to Ward Pinkel, owner of Urban Threads on Elmwood Avenue about the growing trend and he told me that his SUP sales have been increasing steadily each year. “The learning curve is steep,” he said. “Just about anyone can get out on the waters with these boards and navigate the waterways fairly easily. It’s a great way to explore the waterfront and visit different destinations. They are simple to transport and you can launch and land from just about anywhere. Places like the Buffalo River are perfect for SUPs because there is relatively no wind or waves.”
The sport has its roots deeply ingrained in Hawaiian heritage where it is called Hoe he’e nalu. It first appeared when surfing instructors would stand up on longer boards and use paddles to teach their students. Not only could they get around easier, they could also see their students better as well as any obstacles and incoming swell. It didn’t take long for people to see the advantages of the SUP and eventually more and more visitors to Hawaii were standing up on bigger boards that were being made for that exact purpose.
Stand-Up-Paddler-Buffalo-NY.jpg
If you want to get into the recreational sport of stand up paddling, stop into Urban Threads and check out their SUP equipment. Ward can show you the ropes and give you some directional advice as to what it takes to get out onto the water. With no limitations regarding where you can ‘put in’, I have a feeling that we’re going to continue to see this growing trend flourish along our waterways.
Urban Threads
736 Elmwood Avenue  
Buffalo, NY 14222
(716) 884-9145

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Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

8159 posts
  • JM

    Buffalo Harbor Kayak also rents them if you want to try without spending hundreds of dollars. Check out the video we made last year.

  • urbanbflo

    Check out our SUP’s for sale in the store or on line we only have 1/2 dozen left—> http://www.shopbuffalo.com/urbanthreads/listing.action=products&catid=100004437

  • urbanbflo
  • UnionAMG

    Having never been on the Buffalo River, how clean is the water there? I could imagine being on a SUP you’d get pretty hot/sweaty and you’d want to dunk in the water every now and then. Is the Buffalo River a place where you’d feel alright doing that?

  • UnionAMG

    Having never been on the Buffalo River, how clean is the water there? I could imagine being on a SUP you’d get pretty hot/sweaty and you’d want to dunk in the water every now and then. Is the Buffalo River a place where you’d feel alright doing that?

  • urbanbflo

    This photo was taken at the City Ship Canal between Fuhrmann Blvd and Ganson Street, a very cool spot, you can run up and down the sand piles and feel like your in a “urban beach oasis” but, as you can see I have my street clothing on, the water is stagnant and brown I would not want to take a dip. Try the outer harbor, the open Lake or the Niagara River, the water is good to swim in there.

  • mattg

    I’ve been wanting to try this for years! Does anyone know how much rentals cost?

  • natedogg26

    as a long time kayaker, I have recently gotten into SUP and it’s a great time – there is a totally different perspective on the water compared to kayaking. you can look down into the water, as opposed to across the surface, and you see shore at a different level than you would when seated in a kayak. also, it’s a great way to work on your balance. i still love kayaking but its a nice change of pace to SUP too.
    i paddle from gallagher beach mostly for the reason stated above – so you can hop on and off easily into swimable water. that being said, i have paddled in the Buffalo River and the Black Rock canal because they are calm – but make sure you have your balance all set if you are paddling there after a rain event.