Who We AreA Little About Our Background and Our Mission
FreeSUP grew out of a small group of similarly-minded stand up paddlers in Southern California who wanted to promote SUP and ensure SUP is preserved for future generations across the nation and around the world.
Stand up paddle boarding is closely related to surfing.
For many, SUP is a silent sport or activity. It does not involve a motor. Every so often, the cheers of a crowd erupt during the exciting SUP racing events and now the proposed Olympics through organizations like the International Surfing Association. The reward comes in the form of hard-won grace and moments of connection between the paddler and nature.
A love of SUP demands participation in the cause to protect it.
Today, statistics show there are over 3.5 million stand up paddle enthusiasts across the country. This includes SUP on our oceans, lakes, streams, ponds, and rivers. SUP yoga continues to grow, and who wouldn’t want to do yoga on these beautiful bodies of water?
Stand with FreeSUP to make sure that government regulators understand the flaws in the ill-advised proposals currently promoted by special interest groups. We are not a boat nor should we be considered a “vessel,” and it is our right to choose whether we wear a life jacket or not.
We have taken FreeSUP nationally, and you can join us by being a part of the FreeSUP team, signing the petition, becoming a member, or starting your own local chapter! We are here to support you! Let’s do this together – FreeSUP for all.
FreeSUP is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization. We can be reached at the address below, or by using the contact form to send a message.
PO Box 9301
Newport Beach, CA 92658
Stand with FreeSUP to make sure that government regulators understand the flaws in the ill-advised proposals currently promoted by special interest groups, we are not a boat nor should we be considered a vessel, and it is our right to choose whether we wear a life jacket or not.
We have taken FreeSUP nationally, and you can join us by being a part of the FreeSUP team, sign the petition, or join us as a member, or feel free to start your local chapter! We are here to support you! Let’s do this together – FreeSUP for all.
Our mission is to promote and preserve the lifestyle unique to stand up paddlers. We promote the interests of stand up paddlers and future generations of stand up paddlers by lending a collective voice to SUP causes and concerns. Staying true to our members’ core values, FreeSUP strives to uphold and maintain the highest standards of ethics in accomplishing these goals.
What We Are Working On
Currently we are working to stop the special interest movement that is lobbying the local, state and federal agencies to impose unnecessary and unsafe life jacket regulations on stand up paddleboarding (SUP). By classifying the stand up paddleboard as a ”vessel,” many requirements could be put upon the SUP rider including: wearing a Coast Guard-certified life jacket, carrying a whistle or noise device with you while on the board, and carrying a flashlight while out in the dark. These requirements are arbitrary, are likely to create a dangerous situation, and should be left up to the individual’s discretion depending on the individual’s circumstance.
There is no data to support the idea that SUP is as dangerous as other watersports such as kayaking and canoeing. In fact, the very minimal statistics presently available demonstrate SUP continues to be the safest water based activity, even though the number of people enjoying SUP has increased from year to year. We should not stand idle and allow the government to regulate a watersport that has been shown to be inherently safe. Concerning SUP, one Senior Coast Guard Regulatory Officer has explained: “We don’t have data that validates the utilization of the [life jackets].”
Available data suggests life jackets can increase SUP dangers. Indeed, the very reason surfers are not required to wear a life jacket is due to the significant threats to safety a life jacket presents. Former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has brought this issue directly to the Coast Guard’s attention.
“The board riding community makes a good case that life jackets actually increase risk of injury.”