(Madison, WI) – Wondering where to head to try out the super-fast growing sport of standup paddling (and maybe even race if you're so inclined)? According to USATODAY.com, Madison, Wisconsin is one place to definitely check out.
Along with Costa Verde, Brazil, and Oahu's South Shore, Madison, Wisconsin is keeping pace as one of the world's great hot spots to try standup paddling (SUP) according to USATODAY.com's Travel site. "Wisconsin’s state capital is surrounded by clean, flat-water lakes," notes the article, "making perfect conditions for paddlers."

Gary Stone, event director for the Midwest Standup Paddle Fest and owner of event sponsor Paddleboard Specialists, an online mail-order SUP retailer with a retail showroom in Madison, couldn't agree more. "As the sport of SUP continues to grow at a rapid rate, paddlers are realizing that they needn't travel to coastal areas to enjoy it, "says Stone. "The Midwest has some of the best flat-water paddling in the world, and the increased rate of participation in our event is an indication of that."

Madison is host to the 2013 Midwest Standup Paddle Festival on Lake Mendota at the Bishops Bay Country Club, Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13, featuring lessons, demos, paddleboard yoga and clinics, plus a World Paddle Association-sanctioned national race (the only WPA- sanctioned race in the Midwest), a recreational race, and—new this year—a fun sprint race.

The 2013 Midwest Standup Paddle Festival offers a weekend dedicated to introducing newcomers to SUP while providing a spectacular venue for racers to test their skills. With kids 15 and under gaining free entry to the Festival, it's truly a family friendly event.

"The Fest presents a unique opportunity to experience a variety of clinics from beginner to advanced led by top board designers and paddlers in the industry," says Stone. "Plus, you'll find the largest selection of paddleboards in the Midwest to demo and super fun races for either participation or simply watching and cheering."
This year's Festival lineup includes a Friday night dinner with a SUP film screening and special, pre-main-event-day clinics. In addition to the races on Saturday, attendees will experience hands-on instructional clinics led by SUP industry professionals including Brian Syzmanski and John Becker from Starboard, pro racer Dan Gavere, and Danny Mongno from Werner Paddles. From SUP fitness to race preparation, from beginning skills to stroke fine-tuning, the Festival clinics offer attendees a breadth of topics from which to choose.

The event also has a philanthropic bend: A portion of revenues from the 2013 Midwest Standup Paddle Festival will be donated to Madison, Wisconsin's UW Health American Family Children's Hospital and the Henry Vilas Zoo.

This event is open to the public, and all are invited to come join in the family fun. Interested spectators, participants and racers can visit PaddleboardSpecialists.com for further details and specific times. Registration can be found by clicking here.
Ticket prices vary, but basic entry to the Festival begins at $35 for adults, and kids under 15 are free (lunch extra for kids). Basic entry includes catered lunch, t-shirt and goody bag. Race entry is $55 for the 2-mile rec race and $75 for the 6-mile open race and includes admission to the Festival. Trophies will be awarded to top race finishers, plus there will be SUP product giveaways and prizes.

For more info, visit: PaddleboardSpecialists.com