The Weekly Insta: Groms And Gals Going Gangbusters
There’s nothing quite as awesome as the stoke of a kid learning to SUP. Well, maybe one thing…the beauty of a strong, natural woman gracefully posing on SUP is also in that upper echelon of awesomeness. But, beautiful women and stoked children are two completely separate marvels, and comparing the two seems a little weird, if not creepy. So we’ll just appreciate both in their own rights.
This week on Instagram, we found that girls and groms are more openly representing our sport on social media than all the industry’s men combined. You need only to scroll through SUPthemag’s newsfeed to see how; it’s a girly, grommy paddle party and the men seem to be showing up at random. Which is totally cool. We support that. After all, girls and groms both make parties way more fun.
Here’s a little reflection on the state of girls and groms in SUP today. Feel free to comment with your own reflections below.
In an interview about the OluKai Ho’o downwind race, coming up May 1, SUP asked Loch Eggers--a Maui native and veteran of the surf and downwind race scenes--to share his thoughts on today’s league of female competitors. “They're right there with the top guys,” Eggers said. “It's not like the top guys are leaving the top girls in the dust. These wahines are fast.”
And it turns out, they’re growing fast, too. More women are picking up the paddle than ever before. Yoga, flatwater and surf SUP all honor a healthy female population. And as we saw with Fiona Wylde’s surfing in the men’s competition at the Standup World Tour season opener, the Sunset Beach Pro--where she won multiple heats against the guys and sent some packing--the gals show no sign of mercy with the boys. Expect to see women’s SUP continue to evolve into an even more prominent, popular sector of the sport. Especially on Instagram.
Ah yes, the groms. Those innocent, naive, chubby-cheeked little snifflers who splash and kick and play in floaties, right? Wrong. In a few short years, the groms will be at the head of the SUP pack in all regards. Unlike some sports, groms have a major advantage in standup paddling because the sport itself is so young. No adult on earth grew up SUPing the way it’s done today. For that reason, no adult on earth can be considered a “SUP native.” SUP simply hasn’t been a thing long enough.
But the kids are a different story. They have the privileged option of growing up with experienced paddlers for parents, being gifted the will and skill to paddle at wee ages, and observing, practicing and learning the most progressive maneuvers in SUP all before they hit puberty. Kids like river SUP shredder, McQuade Andrade (13) and World Champion women’s SUP surfer, Izzi Gomez (15), are all the evidence we need of the progress to be come around the bend. This generation will take SUP to places us adults haven’t even dreamed up yet. The kids are the future of our sport and the future, for SUP, is bright as can be.
We hope you enjoy this edition of The Weekly Insta--SUP’s collection of the best SUP shots on Instagram every seven days. You’ll see plenty of the aforementioned groms and gals, and there may even be a Connor Baxter and/or a Carolina Cup slipped in there somewhere, too.
Please hashtag #TheWeeklyInsta for your photos to be considered for the feed.
Check out more paddling imagery here.