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Member Announcements / Spotlight

  • 28 Mar 2017 by SUPIA Member Spotlight

    Heart and Soul:  The Story Behind Downunder


    Hi, I’m Kim Hawkins, owner of Downunder Kayaks, SUP’s, and Surf Shop…

    . . . a business dedicated to fun on the water for people of all ages, abilities and walks of life.

    Raised in New Zealand, I LOVE the water, being creative and having a good time.  When my kids were young teens, I got the opportunity to take over a small boutique with a few kayaks in Rowayton, CT, called Below Deck.  It’s grown to two stores, one year round in the neighboring town of Westport.  We laugh that these surf shops are successful in an area with no surf!  Yet they are, and I think the secret is the passion – the love for being outdoors, the ‘surfer’ mindset and lifestyle.  The experience you get when you visit Downunder is laid back, easy going, no worries.

    In season, we offer SUP and kayak rentals, instruction, guided tours, kids camps, birthday parties, corporate outings, clambakes, SUP yoga, meditation, Sup with your Pup classes, and fitness programs. We sponsor the annual Stand Up For Veterans Charity Event and co-sponsor the annual Soundsurfer Waterman’s Challenge. We host certification courses such as PaddleFit and ASI. We are greatly involved with the community, and have a strong passion for veterans and first responders, offering them a discounted rate on all services. We cater to several off-site venues for private events, as well.

    Both locations also have a boutique with clothing and apparel, water toys, footwear, jewelry, and accessories, boogie boards, and skim boards. Our Westport location carries hard goods that include paddle boards, kayaks, surfboards, wetsuits, and all the gear that goes with them.

    My kids and husband have all been involved in the business over the years.  For me it’s all about family and friends, and empowering them through on-water activities – and in true ‘kiwi’ fashion, everyone is considered family :)

    Both of Downunder’s locations are on flat-water rivers that lead out to the protected Long Island Sound – gorgeous tidal waterways, estuaries, islands – the area is truly magical.  Patrons can be as daring as they want – learn tricks, try yoga, take a fitness class, train to race.  Or simply relax and paddle leisurely, take a tour, meditate.


    The Downunder Mission Is To Have a Good Time

    It’s all about enjoying your experience on the water and feeling good about yourself.  We provide the tools, make sure you’re safe and prepared. We make it easy so that you can be successful.  Kids from 3yrs to 80+ are totally capable and welcome.  Downunder promises that a visit will enrich, enliven, refresh, and rejuvenate. You’ll feel like you’re on vacation and will want to come back for more.


    Downunder is committed to the environment and its caretakers and to a way of life that reflects our passions and beliefs, our concerns and convictions. We want to make the water accessible for everyone, particularly those with disabilities or special needs. We are here to make a difference.


    Learn more about us by visiting

    Westport, CT







    Rowayton, CT  

  • 28 Mar 2017 by SUPIA Member Spotlight


    In addition to Lake Powell Paddleboards, we own a national graphics business called TruckSkin. We specialize in large scale graphics for the SUP industry including vehicle wraps, retail store windows, wall graphics, flags, banners and more. All our work is custom so you can use your own logos and images! We have been in business for 17 years and work in all 50 states. Use your van as a billboard to promote your shop or products. We also offer view-through-window graphics that get attention! We also print t-shirts, business cards, and other business products. Contact us for free quotes-Email or call us at 616-648-6993.



  • 22 Mar 2017 by SUPIA Member Spotlight


    They say that a pictures is worth a thousand with that said, enjoy this 3:11 mins of our 2017 Catalog!  You won't be sorry!!!

    What we are really promoting here is the "Cool Experience", and "Adventure" that you can have with an Inflatable SUP, AKA iSup!  The practicalities of this type of board is so numerous that there is not enough space in this page to mentioned.  But I will try with just a few words - travel, transportable, space saver, lightweight, all conditions, durable, safe, stiff, fast, un-dingable...ok I'll let you figure out the rest! 

    Here at Dry Tech Solutions Inc. we strive to bring our customers the best experience that they can have, by producing the best quality product and the best price!  BTW, all pictures on the Catalog were taken by us and illustrate our "New Products" with us personally using them!!!   Enjoy!  

    Aloha & Mahalo, Ken Sein


  • 21 Mar 2017 by SUPIA Member Spotlight





    Bluerush, F-One & Manera in North America today announced a partnership to take Standup Paddleboarding (SUP), Kiteboarding and Foiling to the next level in Northern California.


    F-One & Manera will soon be opening a flagship store at the Bluerush location in Sausalito, CA. In 2017 and beyond, Bluerush and its partners will continue to support world class events such as the Battle of the Bay / Watersport Festival, Molokai 2 Oahu, Crissy Kite Race Series, APP Tour, and regional events such as the Santa Cruz Paddlefest (March 24-26th) and the SUP Race Series in the Richardson bay. The Bluerush team will now be competing using F-One & Manera equipment and gear.


    Since 2010 Bluerush has been a Northern California leader in the world of Standup Paddleboard and Kiteboarding. Bluerush has always been on the cutting edge of these sports and will continue its tradition of support, management and sponsorship of SUP and Kiteboard race events, SUP and Kiteboard Travel and Elite/Pro Clinics. Bluerush was the first SUP dedicated retailer to open in the San Francisco Bay Area and the first to create and support a SUP and Kiteboard race team of local and world class competitors.


    F-One, founded in 1989 by Raphael Salles, has its North American distribution based in South San Francisco, CA. The company has evolved and grown steadily over the years and is now present on every corner of the globe. Raphael is one of the original pioneers of the sport of Kiteboarding, and has developed and designed equipment for Kiteboarding for more than 25 years. Drawing on his experience in watersports, F-One entered the SUP world in 2010 with the same successful approach used in Kiteboarding, aiming for top quality products and high performance. Innovation, based on having the best R&D and Testing team, remains at the core of its success. F-One has also been one of the first companies to produce Foil equipment, first for Kiteboarders and now for Paddleboarders. Manera, an F-One company, produces accessories gear such as wetsuits, bags, harnesses and apparel.


    “We are very excited to join forces with Bluerush. We have known the Bluerush team for years, and they are very passionate about water sports, whether SUP, Prone, OC-1, Kiteboarding or Foiling. It takes a lot of energy and effort to organize events, and we have a great deal of respect for Steve’s team who put together some great events that promote and build strong communities around our beloved sports. Having a flagship store is long overdue as we will be able to showcase all the F-One & Manera products in one beautiful space, with water access directly across from our new location. We will offer demo, rentals, clinics and lessons. We want our customers to experience a full immersion into the world of F-One & Manera.” Said Nico Ostermann, F-One & Manera North America.


    “The F.One and Manera brands are synonymous with our passion for quality and excitement. As we move into the next phase of our business we could not be more excited and pleased to be partnering with our friends at F-One & Manera North America. The foundation of our passion will always be the universal pursuit of spending memorable time on the water,” added Steve Pugh, Bluerush.


    For more information, visit the following websites or contact

    • Bluerush at

    • F-One KITE at

    • F-One SUP at

    • F-One FOIL at

    • Manera at

  • 18 Mar 2017 by SUPIA Member Spotlight




    Following Passion to Paddling and Protecting a Coastline

    The process of coaching gives you a window into how people operate.  How they respond to feedback, handle fatigue, disappointment and success.  When you combine that process with a 7 day retreat of 16 hour days, you learn more about someone in that week than you normally do in years of friendship.

    I met Norm Hann during one of those weeks.

    What I learned made me want to share his story.  Please do yourself a favor and listen to Norm’s journey.  I promise it’s a story worth hearing.


    Norm hann arrives at the end of his 350km paddle, at SGang Gwaay, greeted by the totems of the Haida people

    Norm Hann is an adventure SUP guide located in Squamish, BC.  He has a deep love of the land and people of his area and that love is infectious.  Hanging with Norm and hearing his stories has put a Great Bear adventure at the top of my families list for the fall.

    Learn more about Norm Hann and his adventures in Squamish, BC on his website

    Norm was featured in the Stand Film.  Watch the film at



  • 15 Mar 2017 by SUPIA Member Spotlight











    Pukalani, Hawaii, March 15, 2017– Moore Watertime, the Maui downwind shuttle has been part of the Maui downwind scene since Kelley Moore dropped of her first group of stoked paddlers at Maliko Gulch in 2010. Thousands of downwind runs later, Jaecey Suda has assumed ownership of the service and brings a new energy and commitment to expand the shuttle’s impact with the announcement of new sponsors Jimmy Lewis and S.I.C. boards.

    “Moore Watertime is like having high-speed quad chairlift in your favorite downhill ski area,” says S.I.C. founder Mark Raaphorst. “You get to hang with friends before stocking up on your personal adrenaline rush. We are all ‘Bound by Water’ and we at SIC Maui support Moore Watertime.”

    “The commitment and cooperation shown by S.I.C. and Jimmy Lewis is really emblematic of the growth of downwind paddling all over the world and the new partnerships are indicative of the paddler unity forged on the North Shore of Maui” says owner Jaecey Suda. “The downwind shuttle brings paddlers together, cuts down on carbon footprint, and provides critical infrastructure for this growing sport.”

    Suda moved to Maui from Pacific Beacn.CA.2 years ago to hone her skills in the wind and waves and plans to leverage the energy and resources from her new sponsors to expand the visibility of the shuttle, bringing new routes and services to the growing number of local and visiting paddler’s alike.

    Moore Watertime takes the hassle out of coast runs...we drive you paddle! Maui's only downwind shuttle service for paddlers. SUP, OC, Surfski, kayak, foils, whatevahs! Our 11 passenger van and custom trailer will shuttle you in style to your paddle destination.


    If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Jaecey Suda at (808) 868-1114 or email at 

  • 10 Mar 2017 by SUPIA Member Spotlight

    If your paddle board doesn't have enough anchors or D-rings to attach all your accessories like fishing gear, use SupStrips to create a multi-faceted system for attaching virtually anything to your board. SupStrips straps on in seconds. All components are stainless steel, The underside is covered with SeaDek deck pad material to protect your board. Ram Mount Tough Balls can be screwed into the strips to provide anchor mounts for their fishing rod holders, fish finders, cell phone holders, cup holders, and more. Threaded studs can be added for female mount accessories. Position your GoPro camera anywhere. Patent pending and made in the USA. Website:

  • 05 Mar 2017 by SUPIA Member Spotlight



    If you’ve ever experienced a neoprene allergy, it’s not pleasant to say the least. Wetsuit Wearhouse might have a solution! The latest technology from Patagonia Wetsuits could solve that problem!

     While it’s not an exact guarantee, the brand new line of neoprene-free (and potential hypoallergenic wetsuit) Yulex wetsuits from Patagonia may prevent a neoprene allergy reaction.

     Hub Hubbard, Patagonia’s Wetsuit Product Manager and the mind behind the Yulex line, said, “Some people are allergic to Thiuram, which is not present in our rubber. However that’s not to say they aren’t allergic to some other ingredients, like foaming agents or lamination glues. We’ve had some people be successful with the yulex rubber and some have still had reactions.”


     So there’s some hope for those suffering from a neoprene allergy. If you tend to experience a wetsuit allergy or maybe you’re not sure if you will, contact Wetsuit Wearhouse and we’ll send you a Yulex koozie that you can wear around your arm or leg to test for a reaction (we’ll apply a $5 shipping fee to a future order for the koozie). That way, before committing to buying a wetsuit, you can see if Yulex causes a neoprene allergy or not.


    Interested? Call Wetsuit Wearhouse at (866-906-7848) or email ( and we’ll be happy to help ease any neoprene allergy woes!


    Want to know more about Yulex? Check out this video!