Stand Up Paddleboarding Challenge Series Hits
the Waters of Lake Wingra This Summer in Madison

Madison, Wi.—The up-and-coming sport of stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is making a formal debut on the waters of Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin with a series of six on water challenges beginning Sunday, June 6, 2010.

The Paddleboard Specialists SUP Challenge Series 2010, “Paddle for the Polar Bears” will raise funds for the Henry Vilas Zoo’s soon-to-be-built Arctic Passage, a home for polar bears and seals.

Hosted by Paddleboard Specialists, “Paddle for the Polar Bears” is all about having a good time while engaging in a fast-growing, simple-to-learn water sport. Event sponsors include Wingra Boats, A Stone’s Throw, Naish Surfing and Werner Paddles.

“Give me 10 minutes and I’ll have you paddleboarding. It’s easy, fun, and it’s a great workout,” says Gary Stone, event organizer and owner of local outfitter Paddleboard Specialists. “The gear required is minimal: a board, paddle, leash and personal flotation device…and you’re off!”

“Paddle for the Polar Bears” boasts an uncomplicated format designed for first time paddleboarders, with each challenge starting at the Wingra Park waterfront on Lake Wingra.

Says Stone, “The challenge is multi-faceted. First, it’s an introduction to paddleboarding. Next, it’s an invitation to take the challenge with others by paddling a pre-set course as quickly as you can. Lastly, 50% of all challenge proceeds go to our local, free Henry Vilas Zoo and the new Arctic Passage exhibit. Your paddling directly benefits the polar bears!”

The best part for participants? Owning gear is optional. A $15 equipment charter includes a lesson, preparing each paddler to paddle like crazy to the finish line.
Paddleboard Specialists will be on hand each event date with lessons beginning at 10:30 a.m. until just before 1:30 p.m., when the challenge begins.

Want to paddle a different boat to paddle for the Polar Bears? Wingra boats will have a wide variety of watercraft available for rent and will donate $2 from each boat rental to the zoo during each challenge event.

When the challenge is completed, Paddleboard Specialists will also be holding official Regional Naish Surfing SUP races with the top finishers across the six-event series qualifying to compete at the national Naish Surfing final event in Lake Tahoe on September 26, 2010.

Paddleboard Specialists “Paddle for the Polar Bears” details:

Location: Wingra Park on Lake Wingra in Madison, Wis.

Dates: Sunday, June 6; Sunday June 27; Saturday, July 17; Sunday, July 25; Saturday, August 7; Sunday, August 15  

Time: 10:30a.m.-1:15p.m. lessons; 1:30 p.m. challenge events, 3 p.m. Naish race series races

To assure availability of charter equipment, participants are encouraged to pre-register for lessons and for the events by emailing

For a brief history of SUP, click here:

Since 1984, Gary Stone has built his business around a passion for the water from the shores of Lake Mendota to the serious swells of Maui. A full-service retailer of paddleboarding and windsurfing gear based in Westport, Wis., Paddleboard Specialists (and Isthmus Sailboards) offer specialty equipment for enthusiasts both online and at their retail location at 5495 Catfish Court, in Westport, Wis. For further information contact Gary Stone at 608.849.0600 or

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