, Salem, MA


July 9, 2014

North Shore paddleboard craze a stroke of luck for related businesses

Latest way to traverse open water growing in popularity

Don’t sit down — you’re not rocking the boat.

Not if you’re paddling a board. If you haven’t been to the water in a while, you might be ignorant of the trend in paddleboards — oversized surfboards that allow mariners to stand, rather than sit, as they paddle across what is, they hope, a calm body of water.

It’s a technique that began in Hawaii in the 1950s, said Aaron Mearns, 32, who teaches both paddleboarding and kayaking. Beach boys wanted a vantage point while working alongside tourists and instructing them in the best ways to handle real surfboards, he explained — so they stood up. The sport spread because the boards have a number of advantages, including allowing the paddler to stay drier than a boat might allow, to get a more commanding view of the surroundings and to get on and off more easily.

Mearns believes in it so much that, along with fiancee Ashley Sikomurski, he’s opened Coast to Coast Paddle on Cabot Street in Beverly.

“It’s been a dream for a while,” he said. The grand opening was June 28, and it’s the first venture into business for both. Products include a mix of paddleboards and kayaks, and beach and surfing accessories, for sale, for rent and for lessons.

Although they expect to do some hiring in the future, the two of them will keep the store open by themselves seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mearns will give lessons at Beverly beaches.

Acknowledging that business and romance often do not mix, Mearns said, “We talked about it. But it’s actually been a lot of fun. We bring different skills to different areas of the business.”

He is optimistic about paddleboarding into the future: “Things are going to go well.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
US Stocks Plunge, Wiping Out July's Gains Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Comments Trcker