CHOOSE A NEW PATH TO FITNESS
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SURF THE GREAT LAKES
Join the City Of Light Surf Club and Start a Movement that puts WNY on the Map!LEARN MORE
LEARN TO STAND UP PADDLE BOARD
Schedule a Stand Up Paddle Board Lesson and Experience Buffalo's Waterfront in a New Way!LEARN MORE
EXPLORE BUFFALO'S OUTER HARBOR
Schedule a Stand Up Paddle Board Adventure Tour and Discover Buffalo's Secrets!LEARN MORE
After you catch your first wave you’ll do anything to capture that feeling over and over again. For Great Lakes Surfers that means enduring the bitter cold. Hear what one of the best in WNY has to say about surfing Lake Ontario in the winter.
2013 SUMMER WRAP UP – WHAT’S AHEAD?!
This past year has been exciting for me. The idea of City Of Light Fitness began in January 2013 as I looked ahead to our short lived summer. At the time I was experiencing the all too familiar side effects of vitamin D deficiency and cabin fever. Since booking a trip to a tropical south pacific paradise wasn’t an option, I did the next best thing – I put on a surf video and browsed the internet in a desperate attempt at escape. This was when I came across Brody Welte’s PaddleFit site. Call it destiny, random chance, or dumb luck, but whatever you call it, it was just what I needed at just the right time. I immediately signed up to become PaddleFit Certified at one of the East Coast’s largest SUP races – The Carolina CUP – located conveniently at my home away from home Wrightsville Beach, NC. I called up my Aunt and Uncle to find out my cousins would be in town and, luck would have it, they were staying at a nice little cottage on the beach – dumb luck huh? Come April I made the road trip, had a great time paddling the intracoastal waterways and surfing the Atlantic, then headed home. I returned to Buffalo rejuvenated with a new sense of purpose, but needless to say Spring hadn’t quite hit us yet. I wasn’t going to let that stop me and I had to continue refining my new skills before summer. So, I threw on a hoodie and began exploring Buffalo’s waterways. I haven’t stopped since! Now, with summer over I continue to enjoy our waterfront in ways Buffalo has yet to embrace, but before going further I have a few anecdotal stories to share.
Being a part of the Stand Up Paddle Boarding community has lead me to meet equally passionate individuals invested in growing the sport, but I was most impressed by my recent visit to the small town of Kincardine, Ontario for the Eastern Surfing Association sanctioned West Shore Lake Huron Freshwater Classic Surf Competition (click here to read more!). This was the first of such events organized in Kincardine, and history was made as 22 US and Canadian surfers competed in short board, long board, and SUP divisions. Despite the water temperature being a brisk 50 something degrees, the energy of all the participants (with a little help from their 5/4 and 6/5 wetsuits!) was enough to bring warmth and smiles to everyone. Following the event was an award ceremony at the local restaurant The Bruce Steakhouse overlooking the waterfront. The “stoke” of the event continued and believe me it was contagious. The competition was such a success the town of Kincardine has already established it as an annual event!
A few days later with the excitement of Kincardine still fresh in my mind I gave a tour of Buffalo’s waterfront to a friend from one of our neighboring WNY cities, Rochester, who had never visited. He was amazed at its beauty and vastness as we drove from Canalside to the Outer Harbor and made a quick run to Woodlawn Beach. Before departing he described our waterfront with a single word, “ANOMALY“. What made our waterfront peculiar in his mind was the lack of activity even as we enter Fall. While Buffalo has successfully increased the number of summer events offered, invested millions of dollars in historic renovations, and will have a state of the art hub by fall 2014 with the completion of the Harbor Center – it’s only the beginning!
The Carolina CUP in Wrightsville Beach, NC began only a few years ago by a small group of local businessmen and avid paddlers. The first event had about 40 participants. By 2012 the event grew to 400 paddlers and became the largest East Coast race. The success of grass roots movements such as this and Kincardine’s West Shore Surf Competition opens my eyes to the possibilities of Buffalo’s Waterfront, and I am happy to say I am looking ahead to next summer to make such possibilities a reality. Buffalo’s neighbors, both Canadian and US, have already begun to show support for a local paddling event here. In addition, the Eastern Surfing Association has shown interest in bringing a Lake Erie surfing event to our local waters! But without support from our community such events have little meaning.
If you would like to show support or help in any way, if you made it down to the waterfront for a lesson with me or enjoyed the waterfront otherwise, please let it be known. Like us on Facebook, sign up for our newsletter, spread the word to your friends and family about the great time you had, or contact me and let me know how you think you can help.
It’s OUR CITY and OUR WATERFRONT. It’s time to put Buffalo on the Map!