There is no shortage of water freaks on the Gold Coast. With our crashing waves, boundless shorelines, canals and rivers it’s the perfect breeding ground for water lovers of all kinds. The last few years has seen a massive rise in the numbers of people participating in one of the most inclusive watersports: Stand up paddleboarding. Riding the er, wave, of this trend is Seafreaks, a family-owned, Gold Coast business that deals in all things SUP and Kitesurfing. We caught up with owner Travis for the lowdown.
“I have always spent as much time as I could on the water,” says Travis.
“I grew up riding traditional short boards but after a serious injury in 2002 I was unable to continue down that path. I kind of fell into SUP as my wife wanted to learn how to surf and I thought it would be an easy way to teach her (I was wrong!) I was bitten and it gave me the ability to get back in the surf comfortably and provided a great challenge.”
Now Travis and the team at Seafreaks share their love of watersports by stocking high quality products and providing education and ongoing support programs to their clients. Travis is stoked with the team he has managed to find.
“We opened the shop in November last year and to date I have met a great local crew who all seem to share the same values,” says Travis.
Travis provides us with an insight into the culture of SUP on the coast.
“We are lucky enough down here that there is a strong culture surrounding the sport and through a number of different clubs, groups and events we are seeing the progression and acceptance in the water.
“Unfortunately at the moment we have very limited numbers of juniors coming into the sport and as such we are missing that cross over point with traditional surf culture. Both my boys are equally happy on a traditional short board as they are on a SUP or under a kite and as a family being involved in these sports allows us to be on the water in almost any conditions.”
As for the future of SUP and Kitesurfing?
“It would be great to see more families out on the water. These sports provide any age with the ability to get out, be active and most importantly spend time as a family,” Travis states.
“Both Kite and SUP open up a whole new world in water sports that give us so much versatility. Whether all you want to do is muck around down the creek with friends and family, go out and charge when the swells in or the winds up or join a club and start racing. You are outside in the fresh air having fun and learning new things.”