SUP Iowa rental shop sets up in Arnolds Park on Lake Okoboji, partnering with Marina to share the growing sport of Stand-up Paddleboarding.
SUP Iowa rental shop sets up in Arnolds Park on Lake Okoboji, partnering with Marina to share the growing sport of Stand-up Paddleboarding.
July 31, 2013



Okoboji

For those who have always wanted to surf but can't get to the coast, there is a new alternative in Iowa to rock the coastal vibe.

A new sport came to the Midwest this summer - courtesy of a few Carroll natives - that mixes surfer mentality with lake-side fun. They call it: Stand-Up Paddleboarding Iowa.

Sheena Schreck, 31, a Carroll native who lives in Laguna Beach, Calif., started SUP Iowa - a board rental shop - to bring what she calls the "coastal vibe" back to the lakes of Iowa.

"As much coastal vibe as I can take to the Midwest, and spread that culture of 'Aloha!' and good spirit, I'm all about that," said Schreck, a 2000 Kuemper Catholic High School alumna.

Starting at Lake Okoboji - a traditional stomping ground for the Schreck family, where she and her family have vacationed for years - she began spreading this new sport.

According to SUP Iowa, "Stand up Paddle Surfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Stand Up Paddling, or SUP for short is a popular water sport where a paddle is used while standing up on a surfboard. SUP has a Hawaiin heritage and translates in Hawaiian to Ku How He'e Nalu: to stand, to paddle, to surf, a wave."

The sport has gained traction across the globe, but is specifically concentrated on the West Coast, California largely, and many southern lake areas such as Austin, Texas.

Kerri and Kevin Potthoff, of Carroll, both work as Ambassadors for SUP Iowa.

Kevin, 23, a Kuemper High alum and soon to be physical education teacher at Carroll High, and Kerri, 19, another Kuemper High grad, who will be a sophomore at the University of Northern Iowa this fall studying communications disorders, had Schreck as a baby sitter when they were young.

They said the opportunity was a blessing that fell into their lap, and they are glad they were introduced to the growing sport. The two lived in Okoboji for the summer to help work at the rental shop and training grounds of SUP Iowa.

"I was introduced to stand-up paddleboarding up here, I have done other water sports like surfing and wake-boarding," Potthoff said. "I did hear about it before the company started up, and I knew I wanted to do it, and then all of a sudden this popped up right in my lap."

The group has ambitious plans to spread the company across the state, perhaps even into the Carroll area.

Potthoff said he would like to see paddle-boarding on Swan Lake or even the Raccoon River, possibly as an addition to his curriculum as the new Carroll High physical education teacher.

As a tribute to their hometown, the SUP crew will be doing a special event from Aug. 2-5.

For each Carroll guest that participates in the SUP Iowa adventure, 20 percent of their sale will be donated toward two scholarships for 2014 graduating seniors from Carroll High School and Kuemper High School.

SUP Iowa offers board rentals, private and group lessons, camps, fitness classes and special events. More information about the group can be found at supiowa.com.