Sewickley couple stand up for their sport
It doesn't take the ocean waters of Hawaii, the West Coast or Florida to go surfing.
The Three Rivers and other nearby bodies of water are hot spots for what's said to be one of the fastest-growing sports in North America — stand-up paddle surfing.
Ty and Nancy Musser say they enjoy the sport, also referred to as stand-up paddleboarding.
“You stand on a big surfboard, basically,” Nancy Musser said. “It's so easy.”
With one leg attached to the board with a Velcro strap and leash, stand-up paddle boarders stand on a surfboard-like device while paddling through a body of water.
The Mussers have been doing stand-up paddle surfing for about four years.
About three years ago, the Sewickley couple started Stand Up Pittsburgh — an Ambridge-based business specializing in the sport, where they sell boards and host events.
They offer lessons from four locations around western Pennsylvania, including the Walnut Street Landing in Sewickley.
Part of the appeal for the Mussers was the ease of the sport.
“People can get to paddling on their own in five or 10 minutes,” Ty Musser said.
Participants need not worry about athleticism or skill, Nancy Musser said.
“When we started, I thought I'd never be able to do it because I'm not very athletic, I don't have balance, and I don't really like the water all that much,” she said.
“But I did like kayaking because you can look around; it's peaceful.
“But with standing up, you see so much more. Even if you're just out there for a leisurely paddle, you're still balancing on the board, you're still exercising.”
Alicia Hostnik and Brenda Nunemaker learned the basics of the sport last month in a lesson from the Walnut Street Landing.
Hostnik of East Palestine, Ohio, said her yoga instructor suggested she try it.
“She dragged me along, Hostnik's friend Nunemaker of Sewickley said.
After an on-shore talk about safety, the pair took off heading north toward Beaver County with Ty Musser helping the novices.
After about 40 minutes in the river, Ty Musser helped each wiggle their way from the water to the dock.
“I didn't fall in,” were Hostnik's first words when she reached the landing.
For Nunemaker, who said she stays active by running, stand-up paddle surfing was a good activity.
“It's wobbly when you first get on,” she said.
“I did feel it on my wrists. My legs hurt, too.”
Both said they were surprised they didn't end up in the water.
“I thought we'd end up getting wet,” Nunemaker said.
“I was surprised it was that easy.”
Both said they'd be back to try it again.
While the women were attempting their first go at the sport, Ty Musser said he gets on the water at least twice a week if weather permits, and did so last year for about 10 months.
“Mornings are real nice on the river because it's calm, and that's when there's the least amount of traffic.”
Stand-up paddleboarders, though, compete with recreational traffic, which has increased along the region's three rivers — sometimes making a leisurely jaunt more adventurous, Ty Musser said.
“Weekend afternoons are crazy with all of the boaters,” he said.
“With the way our summer has been with the rain, everyone's been trying to get out when they can and it's just crazy.”
Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 email@example.com.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Quaker Valley’s new chief eyes change, respects tradition
- Sewickley area experts react to Robin Williams’ death, depression
- Koch: Arts education pays off — and passes on
- Sewickley councilman questions workshop meeting vote
- Privately run garage proposed in Sewickley
- Sewickley Council, theater group reach lease agreement
- Interim Quaker Valley Middle School principal named
- Edgeworth attorney honored for support of Villa St. Joseph
- Sewickley ash trees succumb to green beetle