A Four-Hour Commute Has Never Been This Much Fun

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.

 Rob on his SUP


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.

Map of Casco Bay

Rob's route through Casco Bay


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?

Commute another way: SUP, running shoes or a bike



  1. Jeannette Chianca | June 13, 2013 | 6:29 pm

    Way to go cuz, Love Jeannette

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