SUP boarding and windsurfing make waves at Delmarva Board Sport Adventures

Date Published: 
April 22, 2011

Last year, Delmarva Board Sport Adventures made a splash in the area, bringing the excitement and exhilaration that accompany board sports. Now, with a solid location established, and a bevy of activities and events on the calendar – from stand-up paddle (SUP) board and windsurfing rentals, lessons and sales, to beach clean-ups, demo days and SUP board yoga – Delmarva Board Sport Adventures is showing why board sports are one of the region’s hottest trends.

Coastal Point • Submitted: A couple of stand up boarders paddle in from an afternoon of fun in the Rehoboth Bay.Coastal Point • Submitted
A couple of stand up boarders paddle in from an afternoon of fun in the Rehoboth Bay.

“We’re very excited to be here for the people in this area,” said Janis Markopoulos, who, along with her husband, George, runs Delmarva Board Sport Adventures, a family-owned, licensed and insured company, now based out of Harpoon Hannah’s near Fenwick Island. “We’re the only Delmarva stand-up paddleboard spot that has a waterfront launch. People can come by and try the product before they buy it. We cater to beginners, all the way to experts. Stand-up paddling and windsurfing are great ways to get more active, get more exercise and get outside.”

The 1980’s boom in windsurfing has reached another level and helped the sport’s popularity flourish through the region, tapping into the natural wind on the Mid-Altantic shoreline. But the company’s more sought-after sport is SUP boarding, in which the rider maneuvers through the water with the aid of a single-blade paddle, while standing atop a regulation-length surfboard. Originally developed on the isles of Hawaii, it has caught on nationwide, to become the fastest-growing water sport out there.

“People are starting to notice the popularity of SUP boarding,” said Janis Markopoulos. “It appeals to the eco-friendly crowd, the fitness crowd, the surfing crowd and the family crowd. It has become such a cross-over sport. All these different industries are trying to own it and make it theirs. It’s really helped to make water sports accessible to a wide demographic.”

Most recently, Delmarva Board Sports teamed up with Dimitra Kotanides, founder of Dimitra Yoga, for an all-new experience that combines the balance and stability of SUP boarding with the serenity of traditional yoga poses and positions.

“It really takes yoga, and SUP boarding, for that matter, to a whole new dimension,” said Markopoulos. She has also contacted local certified yoga instructors Kristin Quinn of East Coast Yoga and Dawn Ehman-Merhol of World Gym.
Coastal Point • Submitted: A young lady practices some yoga while on a stand up paddle board.Coastal Point • Submitted
A young lady practices some yoga while on a stand up paddle board.

While Harpoon Hannah’s became Delmarva Board Sport Adventures’ primary launch site this year, they service the entire area, supporting communities, such as Bayside in west Fenwick Island, and the local national parks, ranging from Assateague Wildlife Park to Fenwick Island and Cape Henlopen state parks, and beyond. They have also teamed up with the Center for the Inland Bays, Maryland’s Coastal Bays program and the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation (MERR) Institute in Lewes.

“We recruited SUP boarders to assist MERR Institute with their dolphin count last year,” said Janice Markopoulos, “the first time that’s been done.” The board sport organization also holds beach and bay clean-ups.

While Delmarva Board Sport Adventures is one of the area’s largest SUP board and windsurfing outfitters, Markopoulos noted that they are not your typical surf retailer.

“Some surf shops can be intimidating when you step inside,” she said. “We are very approachable. There’s no ego involved. We just want to bring the awareness to board sports in the region. We are proud to be leading the way on Delmarva with tours, sales and rentals.”

Delmarva Board Sport Adventures will hold their grand opening this Saturday, April 23, at Harpoon Hannah’s between noon and 5 p.m. for free stand-up paddle board demos and discounted prices on new boards.

“We have a lot of green lights going for us,” said Markopoulos. “We’re very excited about this coming season.”

For more information about Delmarva Board Sport Adventures, including a calendar of events and additional information about lessons, sales and rentals, visit www.delmarvaboardsportadventures.com or call (301) 651-0542. For additional information about SUP board yoga, visit www.dimitrayoga.com. You can also find and follow both groups on Facebook, as well, for information on upcoming events.