Surfing Prairie Style with JJ Ellams

Received an email from JJ Ellams from Regina Saskatchewan, who shared with us a story about his SUP exploits featured in the July 13th edition of Regina’s Leader Post Newspaper.

Here’s the article:

Surfing in Wascana Lake?
It is hard to believe a prairie boy can surf when he lives 2,500 kilometres away from the nearest break waves, but Reginan Jeremy Ellams has found a way to pursue his love of the sport.

Ellams, 30, has taken up an ancient form of surfing, which originated in the Hawaiian islands, called stand up paddle surfing (SUP). And he doing it in Regina on Wascana Lake. “A big part of surfing is respecting the ocean and respecting the people (the local surfers) because people dedicate  their whole life to it. It is a lifestyle. I got into it and I’m addicted to it, but I live 4,000 miles away from the ocean,’’ Ellams said.

“That is why I got into stand up paddle surfing. It keeps me connected and close to surfing, the water and nature.’’ Ellams, who works as the art director at Phoenix Group, said he took up surfing 11 years ago while on holidays in California and now spends five or six weeks a year travelling to Mexico, California and Hawaii to hit the waves. About three years ago while in Hawaii, he discovered the sport of stand-up paddle-surfing. He learned the technique and took up the sport about two years ago.

According to Wikipedia, stand up paddle surfing (SUP) is emerging global sport that is a throw-back from a practise that originated in Hawaii and was introduced in California in 2000. “In Hawaii, the beach boys in Waikiki use (the stand-up paddle board) to surf in between the waves and they  will also do it to go from island to island, you know like the flat-water thing,’’ Ellams said.

Ellams explained he needed something to occupy his free time between surfing trips and to keep him in physical shape. Stand up paddle surfing fit the bill as it helps to strengthen the whole body core, he said, explaining while there may be no waves Wascana Lake is ideal for flat-water  surfing.

Not many people are into the sport in Saskatchewan, so Ellams said when he and his girlfriend go down to Wascana Lake he gets a lot of questions from curious spectators. It may look difficult, but it isn’t, he added. The board, a thicker, longer version of the surf board, is extremely buoyant, he said, explaining it is like paddling a kayak but only with a longer paddle. “It is fun, good exercise and just something different,’’ he said.

And here are a few photos from his travels around Regina, and abroad:

Thanks for the stoke JJ!

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