Stand Up Paddleboarding at Rockaway Inlet
This article is part of a 30-day series exploring adventurous living near Rockaway Beach, Queens.
13th Day in Rockaway: SUP across the Bay
This blog has focused quite a bit on surfing but there's another board sport newly available to residents and visitors to the Rockaways that deserves some attention: Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). One of the fastest growing outdoor sports in 2014, SUP has become a staple of Rockaway outdoor life with the opening of the areas first dedicated paddleboarding shop: A-Team Paddleboarding at 114th Street.
We arrived at A-Team mid-afternoon (easily accessible by the A train/S shuttle to 116th Rockaway Park) and got outfitted with boards, paddles and the forecast for the afternoon. We hopped into A-Teams truck with the paddleboards loaded up in the back and headed to an "off the beaten track" beach, requiring a short hike through weeds to get to it's quiet shores. We were the only ones there for the afternoon so we left our bags on the beach and jumped on our paddleboards to head out to sea. Or in this case the bay: we were in between Queens and Brooklyn, with a view of the Gil Hodges Bridge to our right and kiteboarders on the shore of Brooklyn straight ahead.
Originally, we were set on making it to Brooklyn and back for the afternoon: about a mile each way through the Rockaway Inlet. Yet, after about an hour of relaxed SUP, the winds started picking up and we realized with the changing conditions we might have to re-imagine our paddle. We turned around and started heading back to Queens, winds pushing against us and requiring us to SUP from our knees to lessen the pushback we were getting from the wind.
We finally made it to shore our trip back significantly more exhausting then the one on the way out. Our bags on the beach and Andrew from A-Team there to pick us up, we head back to the shop for water, snacks, and a post-workout trip to lie on the beach.
5 STEPS TO SUP IN NYC:
1) Take the A-train to Rockaway
2) Rent a board from A-Team Paddleboarding
3) Hitch a ride to their exclusive launch spot at Rockaway Inlet
4) Paddle to your hearts content
By Sarah Knapp as part of a series 30 Days in the Rockaways on urban adventure