First timers stand tall

Paddleboarding clinic captures community spirit

About 25 first time paddleboarders of all ages stood up against the wind and the fear of falling Friday, on Lacamas Lake.

Sweetwater SUP owners Rene’ Carroll, Terry Click and Lydia Stuart held this free clinic to give people an opportunity to get their feet wet.

The wind made balancing on the board difficult for even the most seasoned paddler. Click was the first to fall in. He popped up out of the water with a smile and said, “Hi, I’m your instructor.”

Seven-year-old Natalie Grajeda, of Camas, was the first to give it a try. Click followed close by and showed her how to stand up on the board. Grajeda did so.

“Once I stood up, I felt like a pro,” she said.

After getting over his fear of falling, Dalton Hess, a 12-year-old from Camas, paddled out to SUP staff members Adam Thomas and Jossilyn Blackman before heading back to shore.

“I was getting some speed, turning faster and I was able to move along the water without stopping,” Hoss said. “When I came back in, it felt like it was all downhill. I just cruised along. It was probably my fastest moment.”

Couples and families signed up next. One of the groups featured two foreign exchange students from Zabierzow, Poland.

Carroll hopes the people who participated in the clinic will come back and rent a paddleboard or kayak for $25 an hour. Rentals are available at Heritage Park Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Reservations can be made on different days and times by calling 609-1212. Lessons can also be arranged at that number.

The SUP Salmon Classic returns to Capt. William Clark Park Sunday, Aug. 30, starting at 10 a.m. The event features long, short and novice paddleboarding races. There will also be food vendors, product demonstrations and a beer garden.

To register for the races, or for more information, visit www.supsalmonclassic.com.

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