Diving into paddlesurfing

Steve Mellem shows new Becker store (Photo courtesy of Joseph Espiritu)

Olivia Joie

Stand-Up Paddleboarding, a sport once recognized only in Hawai’i, has recently made its way to the coast of California and around the world.

Utilizing a large surfboard and a paddle, paddleboarding has gained international recognition in countries such as Thailand, United States, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

Paddleboarding is not only unique in its look, but also in the way it came about. Paddleboarding was popular among older crowds, but has traveled down the age ladder as of late.

Young children and youth have become fans of the core and arm exercise it offers as well as its surfability.

This boom did not come unrecognized, as just across the street from Saddleback College, Becker opened its doors to the first Stand-Up Paddleboarding store in Orange County-the second in California.

Becker Paddle Surf, which officially opened on Feb. 15, will soon house 250 paddleboards. Steve Mellem, the manager, said “You’ll see everything from your entry-level priced boards at $785 to racing boards that are $2,700.”

The boards vary in shapes and sizes, “You literally come into the sport at entry level paddle, cruise or whatever,” Mellem said. “Then you decide to do more surfing, so they get shorter boards. Or decide to go faster and go into racing boards.”

Mainly constructed of polyepoxide and expanded polystrene foam, much like standard surfboards.

For convenience, some of the boards are made of carbon fiber. These boards are quite light, weighing between 14 to 28 pounds.

“You must be careful, though, because the heat caves them straight in,” Mellem said. “If you leave them out in the sun the whole thing will suck in.”

For many, the option to purchase a paddleboard may be unrealistic. The opportunity to paddleboard on your favorite brand, shape or model still exists. 

“We will have demos and a vehicle that will allow free deliveries,” Mellem said. “You can rent the boards, or just test them out. We will even bring it down to the harbor for you.”
The store, which is located at 28331 Marguerite Parkway, in Mission Viejo, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Grand Opening will be in accordance with the Festival Of Whales in Dana Point Harbor.

The festival takes place on the weekend of Mar. 6-7. Mellem hopes to host a race at the festival. For more information, stop by the store or call 949-364-2807.


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