Considering how late I went to bed last night, I’m up pretty early this morning. I wanted to make sure these photographs we’re sorted, edited and uploaded for you to enjoy. The Outdoor Industry All-Star Jam went off last night to a roaring crowd watching friends and colleagues strumming, drumming and singing their hearts out. With a day left to go at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market this twice-annual event is my personal favorite of all the goings-on in Salt Lake City. As seven amateur bands take the stage our gathering of outdoor professionals and enthusiasts elevates to a fever pitch that is the ultimate celebration of the joyful active lifestyle we all share.
With a little bend, Tony Paul tests the flex on his newly purchased Quickblade standup paddle.“Yeah, it’s really nice—a lot nicer than the one I’ve got now. I like it a lot!,” says Paul, who made a five-hour drive from Michigan to spend a warm Saturday at this weekend’s Midwest Stand Up Paddle Festival in Madison, Wis. “There are not a lot of events like this round,” added Paul, already busy making plans for his summer adventure to Hawaii with his young son, Gavin. “And to have all this gear to try out and so many experts to learn from this is really something special.”
With a surfboard in one hand and a long paddle in the other seven fierce competitors dashed across the sand and plunged headlong into the breaking waves. Mounting their boards each stand up paddler dug into the churning water with powerful strokes charging pell-mell toward the horizon and a distant buoy for the first turn. The race was on. Along the shoreline a crowd of spectators cheered above a howling wind and the thunderous roar of the crashing tide. On this broad expanse of beach under a deep blue sky you’d never know you were in Wisconsin.