There’s a new way to get your paddle board fix this summer in Tennessee, and it doesn’t require the ocean.
The easy-to-learn land paddle – invited by two California surfers in the 90s – is gaining popularity in other states, with Serafin Massol leading the way for Memphis.
Hailing from Puerto Rico and later living in warm beach-side locations that include Mexico and Miami, Serafin has enjoyed his fair share of water-related sports, such as paddleboarding and sailing.
So when his plant-based family of three moved to Downtown Memphis five years ago due to a job relocation, the IT tech traded in his water gear for something else: the SUPxskate.
“This is a very different way of enjoying outdoor activities.”
The board mimics a paddleboard in every sense—from the board’s size and length to the use of its paddle stick.
Plus, it utilizes the same body movements and balancing mechanics needed to propel the board forward as are required on water.
“You feel like you are surfing on land,” Serafin says of the 74-inch bamboo Hamboard and accompanying skate pole.
Despite weighing 30 pounds, the SUPskate is easy to maneuver through traffic and busy areas.
“It’s amazing that you can make a U-turn in an 8-foot radius.”
While the SUPskate is a full-body workout, it requires the most effort from the core and upper body.
To stay in shape, Serafin weight-lifts daily and alternates his afternoon routine between running and cycling at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park.
Sprinkling in about three weekly board sessions, Serafin’s typical route starts on the corner of Main Street and Madison Avenue, traveling across the Big River Crossing and taking him through the Tennessee-Arkansas state line for a total of six miles.
The activity adds another dimension to his routine, as he enjoys staying active and being outdoors.
“If you do the same thing repeatedly, you get tired, and [exercise] becomes a hassle that’s not interesting, so I try to juggle different things.”
Trading in the level streets of Miami for the hills of Memphis adds another great dimension to his workouts—on bike, skates, and foot—paired with the convenience of Downtown Memphis’ proximity to accessible amenities.
“I barely use my car at all. Pretty much everything is within walking distance, which is great.”
The board’s unique appearance also warrants plenty of pedestrian curiosity when Serafin is cruising about.
“I get approached about the board almost every time I go out. I see the interest in people. I would definitely love to see more people doing it. It’s fun, and that’s what makes it cool to do.”
By Shlomit Ovadia
Photo by Tindall Stephens