Aside from a propensity for balance, the only re- quirement for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is an essential desire to hang out in some of the
most idyllic aquatic settings and to be infused with the
feeling of walking on water, which seems to apply to…
well, almost everyone. It’s not the far-out, riding the curl
experience of surfing; the crazy, flying 20 feet above the
water adventure of kitesurfing; or the neck-wrenching,
body-bruising enterprise of wakeboarding. It’s the every-woman/every-man’s sport. Paddlers can dress it up from
meditative to competitive and, if they get creative, even a
touch risky. And, it’s available just about anywhere with
water, from lakes to rivers to waterways and the ocean.
Jon Bos is a young 52. He’s lean and fit with that unmanufactured, out-of-the-gym look that most of us are
going for. Even in early May, he has a perfect tan and
smiles slightly every time he looks toward the waterway
from his spot on the shore.
Originally from Chicago, his goal when he moved
to Wilmington, NC was to be on the water as much
“It’s such a great feeling to throw my board on the top
of the car any time of the year and be on the water within
fifteen minutes,” Bos said.
Wrightsville Beach, just a few miles from Wilmington,
offers some of the best paddleboarding routes around.
From long waterway “lanes” for racers; pristine barrier islands that one can easily paddle to; rolling, mid-size waves
for paddlesurfers; to miles of amazing little marshy tributaries that can flaunt more wildlife than most preserves,
Wrightsville Beach is a paddleboarding haven.
The only downside, says Bos, is the wind. Like most
water sports, paddleboarding is no fun in chop.
“I’m an opportunist,” Bos says. “I always check the
weather app on my phone before I load the board. I won’t
come out unless conditions are right.”
Bos is a busy man. He has three children under the
age of 11, works as a consultant and travels two to three
days each week.
But, he’s also an exercise enthusiast. And when he
found paddleboarding two years ago, he knew he’d found
the low-impact, highly aerobic, de-stressing exercise that
“You can take it to whatever extreme you want, that’s
what’s so great about it. You can do this at any age for
any number of reasons. It’s the perfect all-around sport.”
“I do it for the exercise. I like to push myself. But, run-
ning’s too hard on my knees these days. This is really low
impact. It uses your core as torque which drives every-
When not working, working out, or racing at one of