A stand-up paddle board festival is coming to Shellharbour with SUP races, entertainment, yoga, food trucks and an inflatable obstacle course from November 3 to 5.
Run by SUP Shellharbour and the iSUP club, the three-day event will include a nine-kilometre distance race, SUP surfing divisions for all ages, dragon boat SUPs, as well as prizes for fancy dress. It will be run at Reddall Reserve, Lake Illawarra and Windang Beach.
Organiser Bec Dunning was a national champion bodyboarder in her younger years but has now turned her love towards SUPs as she loves their versatility to be used on flat water, in surf and in differing weather conditions.
"If you're a beginner on flat water, if you're an expert you can do distance racing or SUP surfing, you can do yoga on it, or whack your dog on the front of it," she told the Mercury.
"There's just so many things you can do with it, it doesn't matter if the surf is flat ... you can always find someone to get on the water."
There will be plenty of fun at the festival with a two-kilometre inflatable obstacle course for participants to make their way through, a game of SUP Ball (like water polo but on boards and "hilarious" for spectators) and the SUP BOP race which is "ultimate carnage".
"You start on the beach, travel out around the buoys [like the letter 'M'] ... then you come back into shore and you do that three times, but you've got boards coming towards each other, you've got waves, everyone's racing to get it done first," Mrs Dunning said.
"It's definitely a spectator sport. We've had boards get broken before, which we're hoping not to this year, but should be good to watch."
Running a SUP school daily and now the annual festival was a dream come true for Mrs Dunning, who loves heading to work every day.
"Is it not the surfers dream, really? You get out on the water and get to do it every day and you have that dream come true."
- Jodi Edwards will perform the Welcome to Country, followed the SUP Yoga class.
- Mid-morning, it's a novelty dress-up theme for the 2-kilometre inflatable SUP course designed for all abilities.
- The more serious paddle boarders will be racing nine kilometres on Lake Illawarra.
- SUP Dragon boats
- SUP Surfing at Warilla Beach Friday and Saturday
- BOP tech race Warilla Beach
- Everyone is then invited to enjoy the festivities and presentations Saturday night with live band at Warilla Surf Club
- Sunrise SUP Yoga on Sunday at Reddall Reserve
- Sunday will see entertainment, market stalls, activity stations, food trucks and merchandise
- Live band Saturday night
Friday, 3 Nov 2023, 7:00am - 3:00pm
Saturday, 4 Nov 2023, 7:00am - 3:00pm
Sunday, 5 Nov 2023, 7:00am - 3:00pm
For more details, visit: https://www.supshellharbour.com/