Commuting to and from work doesn’t typically fall onto the list of things you would do on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), but don’t tell that to L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School Instructor Rob Hutchison. He decided to push the limits by commuting home from work on his SUP, a 15-mile trip through Casco Bay from Freeport to South Portland, Maine.
Before you ask yourself, “Why would anyone do such a thing?” it’s important to know that Rob has never been one to do things halfway. An avid sea kayaker, he thinks nothing of going on multi-hour to multi-day adventures in the rolling seas off Maine’s Atlantic coast. He kayaked home a few years ago as part of “Commute Another Way Week.” Doing it on his SUP was the natural next step.
Traffic? What traffic?
Rob launched from Freeport on a clear, calm day in early November and skimmed past the coastal towns of Yarmouth, Cumberland, Falmouth and Portland. The weather was unseasonably warm but with water temperatures in the mid-40s, going for a swim was not advisable. He saw foxes on the shore of nearby islands along with a multitude of migrating seabirds. Curious seals swam close to check him out; apparently they’d never seen a SUP before. Rob arrived in South Portland four hours after leaving Freeport. A long haul for sure but one filled with sights and sounds that people in cars on the nearby highway wouldn’t experience in a lifetime of commuting.
Of course, it’s not necessary to attempt a feat like Rob’s to push your limits on a SUP. For some folks that might mean paddling 200 yards across a pond or circumnavigating a small, protected bay. Whatever adventure you choose, it’s always fun to try something new to open up exciting possibilities. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll end up making the commute of a lifetime.
Would you ever consider paddling to work? How about walking or biking instead?