WUSA9’s Great Day Washington morning show was at Lake Anne Plaza on Tuesday morning for a segment on Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Steve Gurney, owner of Surf Reston SUP, as well as many paddleboard and paddleboard yoga enthusiasts were on the water for the broadcast.
The segment was supposed to air live, but there were issues with the satellite link. The segment will air later in the week. Great Day Washington airs on WUSA (Channel 9) weekdays from 9 to 10 a.m.
Photos by Charlotte Geary for Modern Reston.
First, there was standup paddleboarding on Reston’s lakes. Then came yoga on said paddleboards. Now, Steve Gurney, the owner of Surf Reston Stand Up Paddleboarding, has come up with a new way for fun on the lake.
Two summers ago, Gurney attached a lacrosse stick to a paddle and got the idea for Paddle Polo. Players can use the paddle to pass the ball back and forth as the cruise around on water — or engage in a fast-paced polo, lacrosse, even golf or baseball games.
About a dozen design changes later, Gurney has a provisional patent, a Reston-based (albeit small) manufacturing operation and an e-commerce site.
“I was lifeguarding via SUP at the lake swim [on Lake Audubon], and I had a couple of lifeguards talking about lacrosse,” said Gurney.
Gurney shared his idea with his father, Jack, a retired engineer. Jack Gurney tweaked the design and used the 3D printer at Langston Hughes Middle School, where he is a volunteer, to make the second prototype, said Gurney.
The Gurneys then moved the design test to Reston’s Nova Labs, a makerspace, where the design went through further changes.
“My dad and I presented at the Nova Mini Maker Faire this spring to show people how you can execute on an idea using community resources,” said Gurney. “Our current model is manufactured from several sources but assembled in my garage. Things are heating up with the sales we are doing really well with youth camps and lacrosse camps leagues and tournaments.”
The paddles retail for $32.95 on Paddlepolo.com. The site also sells Paddle Polo floating balls and offers volume discounts (in case you want to outfit a team).
Interested in trying before buying? You can test out Paddle Polo at a Surf Reston session on Lake Anne or Lake Audubon.
Photos courtesy Paddle Polo
The plan for summer 2014 looks much different than it did in late summer of 2013, when the RA Board passed a a motion to allow to allow Surf Reston Standup Paddleboard Adventures to do business at Lake Audubon.
That plan was met with complaints from many Lake Audubon residents, who said offering a commercial enterprise at the all-residential lake would lead to an influx of noise, garbage and non-resident use of the lakes.
The board voted in favor of the plan anyway, but the lessons on Lake Audubon never materialized. Chris Higgins, owner of Surf Reston, was transferred out of town. The business, now called Surf Reston Stand Up Paddleboarding, will now be run by Steve Gurney, a certified paddleboard instructor who also heads Reston for a Lifetime.
The new plan takes most of the paddleboarding to Lake Anne, which already has boat rentals and is surrounded businesses at Lake Anne Plaza.
Gurney has met with the Lake Anne Merchants Association, which expressed great interest in having this type of recreational program centered at Lake Anne, he said.
The expected schedule will have two days/evenings of paddleboard instruction on Lake Anne per week, and no more than three intermediate level classes per month at Lake Audubon. There will be no “rental fleet” of paddleboards at any Reston lake, says Larry Butler, RA’s Director of Parks and Recreation.
RA says it notified the members living around both lakes of the proposed paddle board activities and to make them aware of Wednesday”s board vote.
As part of the agreement between RA and Surf Reston, the paddleboard company will pay to RA 10 percent of its gross revenues per class season. RA says that will be between $500 and $1,000.
Meanwhile, a local yoga studio is working on purchasing space at Lake Anne Plaza. In addition to offering studio yoga, there would be about four classes per week of SUP-Asana — yoga on paddleboards — at Lake Anne.
Have something to say about paddleboards on Reston lakes? Speak up at the RA Board meeting, Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Reston Association, 12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.