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Island sport paddles from ocean to local waters

Gloria Sloan, town of Troy resident, is working with Wai Nani Surf & Paddle to offer Stand Up Paddleboard lessons, rentals, sales and guiding at a variety of local lakes and rivers. 1 / 2
Gloria Sloan offers lessons and rentals for the world fastest growing water sport -- Stand Up Paddleboarding. Shown, front, left: Layla Sloan; back: Kahea and Gloria Sloan. 2 / 2

After starting in Hawaii as an easy way for surf instructors to maneuver to tourists receiving lessons, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) has become one of the fastest growing water sports worldwide.

SUP has seen a sharp rise in popularity on the coasts.

Now Hawaiian native and town of Troy resident Gloria Sloan has brought SUP to this area.

Sloan said that SUP involves using a big, long surf board and a paddle. She said that people stand on top of the board and paddle to move across the water.

For beginners or those unsure of standing on the board, Sloan said you can also SUP on your knees or sitting “criss, cross, applesauce.”

SUP can be done on flat water like lakes or rivers or in the ocean. Sloan said that people of all ages can do SUP.

She said her daughters, eight-year old Kahea and seven-year old Layla, wearing life jackets, get on her board and SUP.

She said that some families will get a bigger board and “do a tandem with kids on the front.”

Sloan said that when she is out with her board, people are very curious about what she’s doing.

“They are not sure what it is…is it a surf board or a kayak?” she said.

Sloan said she got interested in doing SUP when she was on vacation at Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, with her hula sisters -- she also performs and teaches hula.

Sloan said that after a year she bought her first board. She said that doing SUP is a great way to “get out onto the water.”

“It’s a time for me to pray, be one with nature…a time to be by myself and be close to God,” said Sloan.

In addition to it being a meditative time, SUP is really good exercise.

Sloan said that doing SUP is a great core exercise and that it works the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

For more information on lessons, rental, guiding or sales, contact Sloan at 763-242-1575 or

Read more on this story in the June 19 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

Jillian Dexheimer
Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
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