Keep Fit: Falling into a Workout Schedule with SUP

Coco Mat Stand-Up Paddleboard
Coco Mat Stand-Up Paddleboard,

Most East Enders agree: We were robbed of summer this year. The temps didn’t rise to a traditional summertime hot until just before the 4th. I recall weather forecasters announcing at the end of June that that particular day was the hottest on record since Tumbleweed Tuesday 2012.

Since winter stretches beyond its allocated calendar time on the East End, we’re all crossing our fingers for that seemingly elusive Indian Summer. If the pervasive clouds that shrouded Labor Day weekend ever pass, we could be in for a lovely September. Stranger things have happened…

The Atlantic and other East End waterways are currently at their warmest of the year, and the time is ripe for autumn stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Over the past two weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to try my hand at the 10-foot-2 Coco Mat SUP, available at Global Surf Industries. The board is made from coconut husks, a byproduct of the coconut industry. The material is lightweight and durable, and the board’s thickness makes it perfect for balancing on flat water, surfing smaller waves and participating in the increasingly popular stand-up paddleboard yoga. A great all-around board, the Coco Mat SUP makes SUPping available to people of a wide range of fitness levels.

Dips in the Atlantic are welcome de-stressors, and the board has allowed me to enjoy my first foray into ocean SUPping. I made my way through the whitewater, and then paddled parallel to the shore. Even calm ocean days have more chop than you would think, and the board’s stability allowed me to conquer them. It’s easily maneuverable, and I was able to keep myself paddling near shore, regardless of the currents. Next up, I’ll try my hand at stand-up paddle surfing. Will report back with how many paddles I lose.

When the weather becomes too chilly to enjoy immersing yourself in the ocean, flatter estuaries and bays can provide a tranquil on-the-water workout. As an added bonus, parking regulations expire soon, so East Hamptonites, Southamptonites and North Forkers can come together to enjoy the SUPping world as one.

Check out some of my favorite spots:

Accabonac Harbor at Landing Lane, Springs
Sagg Pond at Bridge Lane off Sagg Main Road, Sagaponack
Three Mile Harbor at the end of Hands Creek Landing, East Hampton
Georgica Pond at the rest stop on Route 27, East Hampton
Fort Pond Bay, Montauk
Mecox Bay, Water Mill
Peconic River, Riverhead
New Suffolk Waterfront, New Suffolk

With lower humidity, fall is also prime running weather. Take advantage of the daylight that still stretches beyond the 9 to 5 and prep for an East End 5K.

September 14: Hampton Bays Ponquogue Bridge 5K/10K. 9 a.m. 10K Run, 5K Run/Walk. Register at the Hampton Bays Middle School on Ponquogue Ave. from 7–8:30 a.m. Participants are bussed to the starting area art Warner’s Park on the south side of Ponquogue Bridge. Drop off and parking available at Ponquogue Beach. $25 before Sept. 10, $30 race day, $10 children 14 and under. Hosted by the Hampton Bays Lions Club. Register online at

September 22: Flying Point 5K for Autism Awareness. 9 a.m. Flying Point Beach, Water Mill. $25 Advance registration, $30 day-of.

Coco Mat Stand-Up Paddleboard
Photo: Kelly Laffey

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