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Island sport comes to local waters

Gloria Sloan, town of Troy resident, is working with Wai Nani Surf & Paddle to offer Stand Up Paddleboard lessons, rentals, sales and guiding at a variety of local lakes and rivers. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
Town of Troy resident Gloria Sloan, offers lessons and rentals for the world's fastest growing water sport -- Stand Up Paddleboarding. Pictures are, front, Layla Sloan; back: Kahea and Gloria Sloan. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Jillian Dexheimer)2 / 2

After starting in Hawaii as an easy way for surf instructors to maneuver to tourists receiving lessons, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) has become one of the fastest growing water sports in the world.

SUP has seen a sharp rise in popularity on the coasts and Hawaiian native and town of Troy resident Gloria Sloan is bringing SUP to the local area.

Sloan said that SUP involves using a big, long surf board and a paddle. She said that people stand on top of the board and paddle to move across the water.

For beginners or those unsure of standing on the board, Sloan said you can also SUP on your knees or sitting “criss, cross, applesauce.”

SUP can be done on flat water like lakes or rivers or in the ocean. Sloan said that males and females of all ages can do SUP.

She said her daughters, 8-year old Kahea and 7-year old Layla, wearing life jackets, get on her board and SUP. She said that some families will get a bigger board and “do a tandem with kids on the front.”

Sloan said that when she is out with her board, people are very curious about what she is doing.

“They are not sure what it is…is it a surf board or a kayak,” she said.

Sloan said she got interested in doing SUP when she was on vacation at Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, with her hula sisters -- she also performs and teaches hula.

Sloan said that after a year she bought her first board. She said that doing SUP is a great way to “get out onto the water.”

“It’s a time for me to pray, be one with nature…a time to be by myself and be close to God,” said Sloan.

In addition to it being a meditative time, SUP is really good exercise.

Sloan said that doing SUP is a great core exercise and that it works the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

She said that while it looks like it would be a great upper body workout, doing SUP works the abs and legs, more than the arms.

Sloan in collaboration with Wai Nani Surf & Paddle out of the Twin Cities is offering lessons, rentals, guiding and sales in the local area.

Sloan said that when the current is slower she offers SUP out of Troy Beach on the St. Croix River.

She also offers services at Perch Lake in North Hudson, in the cove at Lakefront Park beach in downtown Hudson and Lake Mallalieu in Hudson.

Sloan said that she will be offering free demos where people can try out the sport throughout the summer.

Lessons and rentals are available to those over 13 years of age. She offers one hour lessons for $50.

The lesson includes use of a board, paddle, life jacket and leash. Sloan said during the lesson she goes over safety instructions.

Rentals rates are: $20 for one hour, $35 for two hours; $60 for a half day, $95 for a full day and $185 for the weekend -- Friday-Sunday. Prices are discounted if more than two boards are rented.

Guiding services are also offered with a two person minimum as well as board, paddle and apparel sales.

Sloan was born and raised on Hawaii. At 17 she moved to New York. After joining the U.S. Air Force, Sloan lived in Texas and Nevada.

After leaving the military, she lived in San Diego, Italy and Maplewood, Minn.

Sloan moved to the town of Troy in 2003. She is member of St. Bridget’s Catholic Church and her two daughters are students at St. Bridget Parish School.

For more information on lessons, rental, guiding or sales, contact Sloan at 763) 242-1575 or

Jillian Dexheimer
Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
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