- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 10:19
- Published on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 10:19
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On Saturday, the Black Dog Paddle Company, under the supervision of Maria Shultz returned to Dahlgren, VA to teach the fastest growing water sport in the country, paddle boarding.
With two eager King George Middle School students, in the form of 12-year-old Sierra Devalt, and 11-year-old Justin Hockaday, Shultz instructed her captive audience on the importance of water safety, and the proper way to use a canoe-like paddle, while standing on a long board.
“I spent ten years beating up my body as a rock climber and hiker,” Shultz said. “After I discovered paddle-boarding, I found something more mellow that I could do with my dog.”
Shultz also wrote a book on training dogs to ride SUP. She is a nationally recognized professional SUP instructor.
Known also as SUP (stand up paddleboard) the sport is quickly captivating the interest of thousands of water, fitness enthusiasts throughout the country. It offers a standard core workout that is similar to swimming, and cycling. In short it offers the average person or child, 11 and up, an opportunity relieve stress, while enjoying nature.
Initially, the company came to Dahlgren in the spring (May 31). Black Dog will host teach paddle-boarding on three more occasions (July 26, August 2, September 13).
Along with SUP instruction Shultz provided her youthful adventurers a two-hour Eco-tour along the Machodoc Creek. The class was provided with SUP boards (non-inflatable, inflatable), paddle, PFD, and leash.
The class was sponsored by the King George Parks & Recreation Department, while partnering with Chris Simms, the co-owner of Dahlgren Marine Center. “This is a great partnership between recreation, and business,” KGP&R director Tim Smith said. “Chris and I have been talking for a number of years about the programming water projects together (kayaking, canoeing, paddle-boarding).
SUP paddle-boarding originated in an ancient form with Hawaiian Kings, but was reinvented in the 1960’s as a way for instructors to view the water around them.
Thrilled to open her property up to KGP&R activities, Simms echoed the thoughts of Smith. “This is a nice wide area to learn water activities in a safe manner,” Sims said. “We’re trying to increase the awareness of on the water activities. For some crazy reason, some people don’t know we’re here.” Originally the marina was known as Jack’s Marina.
The home of Simms, also Dahlgren Marine Center is the former residence of Elizabeth Quesenberry. After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, fugitive John Wilkes Booth attempted to use the home as a place of concealment.