Excuse Me: A Note From The Editor

Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt

Excuse Me: A Note From The Editor

Sometimes it's hard to get motivated. Life, work and being stuck in an office can bog me down and over time, bleed the color from my passions. And then, just when I'm beginning to feel jaded, something comes along and smacks me upside the head.

My phone rang at 4:04 a.m.

"He's coming in!" contributing editor Jack Haworth said over a crackly cell phone connection. "He's trying to find his way into the harbor entrance!"

We'd sent Jack down to Antigua to catch South African Chris Bertish's triumphant landing after 93 days, over two million paddle strokes and 4,050 miles of standup paddling, solo and unsupported, across the Atlantic. Jack was tasked with doing a @supthemag Facebook Live broadcast from a 14-foot dinghy as Bertish came into English Harbour. He was supposed to land between mid-morning and mid-day on March 9 and I told Jack to give me a call when it was going to happen. Naturally, Bertish was early.

I could hear the wind howling, waves crashing and the adrenaline coursing through Jack's words. I was up like a shot, his energy contagious. I wrapped myself in a blanket, quietly closed the bedroom door and sat down in the living room to watch Bertish make history. When he hugged his brothers for the first time after three months at sea, I teared up something fierce.

Bertish's energy upon landing was palpable, even through the FB Live broadcast. The guy had just paddled across an ocean, alone, facing danger at every turn and there he was playing to the crowd. It was unbelievable—and exceptionally inspiring.

There was one thought that kept surfacing in my mind as I sat there watching in my slippers: I have no excuse. For anything. For skipping a surf because my wetsuit is sopping. For not going out for a training session. For saying no to a trip because I'm "too busy." Bertish smashed all that for me. What excuses could I have when this man— made of flesh and bone, just as I am—paddled across an entire ocean? None.

And that's what we want to do for you, our readers. We are here to inspire. That's our ultimate goal. We want you to get on the water, catch the wave of your life, cruise with your dog, run whitewater, paddle under the full moon and enjoy it all with your family. In our 2017 Gear Guide—available here—you'll find the year's best gear to help you do those things. If traveling the world is your bag, there are eight top SUP destinations to get you stoked. There’s also an exclusive behind-the-scenes story on Bertish's journey across the Atlantic.

After witnessing him paddle a SUP across an ocean by himself, I'm done with excuses. See you on the water. —Will Taylor

Get the 2017 Gear Guide.

Behind the Cover: 2017 Gear Guide