2021 Season Recap
The fall foliage is reaching its peak here in Annapolis, with red and gold hues reflecting off the crisp waters of our locations on the Back and Harness creeks. As we embrace the autumn breeze that sweeps past our docks, we reflect on what was truly a banner season for Capital SUP.
To us, “paddle with a purpose” is more than a motto, it’s a lifestyle. We step into everything with the intention of fostering community strength and togetherness, which is why we’re always developing the way we connect with you, our paddle Ohana. 2021 brought more engagement than ever before, with a brand new location at Quiet Waters Park, amped up paddle memberships, the biggest dock staff to date, new fitness instructors, tour guides, special events, clean-water initiatives, and what may have been our best Grom Camp yet!
Here are just some of the highlights from the 2021 season…
New Location at Quiet Waters Park
We were so excited to land our spot at Quiet Waters Park on Harness Creek, but nothing could have prepared us for just how beautiful it is. Tucked away from any city life, paddling along the hillside can allow you to feel miles away from home, with the benefit of actually being right in your backyard. Our Dock Staff tackled this new location with enthusiasm, helping us make the magic happen. Even better, we finally found the perfect location for sunset paddles to balance our signature sunrise offering. On the right nights, we were also lucky to hear the free summer concert series ringing through the park.
All-Star Team & Dock Staff
In order to provide more of the fun you’ve come to expect from Capital SUP, we welcomed aboard several new experts. We’d like to extend a thank you to Eco Tour guides Jack Turner and Anna Youngk, as well as fitness instructors Lindsey Schwartz, Rachel Houser, and Allie Cushley. They brought a new energy to our already amazing team or instructors, taking our programs to new heights!
We also want to give a huge thank you to our Dock Team, who make everything possible.
Our team and offerings continued to grow through the season when we brought on Kaite Salmi & Becky Coward to host their on-land Battle HIIT workouts and paddles. These were a huge hit! Every class was nearly full, and we are hoping to bring these back in 2022. Dr. Madeline Goldberg also came onboard for a few Pilates & Paddle classes on the SUPs. We continue to be inspired seeing so many people find new ways to stay active on the water!
Doing Our Part: Oyster Cage Builds
In 2021, we took our clean water initiatives to the next level by hosting oyster cage builds. With the help of community volunteers, we built a whopping 80 cages! A single oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day, which is why they are such an important member of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Our partners at Livewater Foundation will use these cages for their full service Marylanders Grow Oysters program – an Oyster Recovery Partnership program that allows people to house and grow baby oysters to help replenish their population.
10 Weeks of Grom Camp!
Grom Camp is one of our very favorite programs at Capital SUP. Year after year, we love watching kids come together and create lasting friendships while building their skills and finding new passions. This season, we had the pleasure of hosting 10 full weeks of Grom Camp. With both full and half day options, along with the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions for outdoor activities, we taught more kids than ever how to SUP. We were so honored to receive the 2021 What’s Up! Annapolis award for Best Summer Camp.
So Many Fun Events!
Blue Angels Flotilla: You’ve never seen the Blue Angels air show until you’ve seen them from the water! There’s no need to try to find a spot for your boat on the busiest day of the year – grab a board and join us next time for the best view in town.
Live Music Series: Annapolis in the summer means outdoor music shows, and we don’t let the fact that we operate on the water stop us from hosting our own events! It doesn’t get more local than listening to hometown musicians like Shawn Owen play an acoustic set while vibing on your SUP.
Tie Dye Paddle Party: Every year, we find a way to celebrate the rebirth of the summer sun and the longer days that come with it by throwing a Solstice Celebration. This season, we grabbed our latest Capital SUP solstice edition tee shirts, some dye and some rubber bands, and designed our own sun-bleached tie dye! We had a paddle while the sun did its thing, and talked about all the fun we had ahead of us.
Fourth of July Fireworks: If you’re from around here, you know that downtown Annapolis is the definitive 4th of July destination for the best fireworks show, but, similar to the Blue Angels, finding a good vantage point is always an event all on its own! Without a doubt, relaxing on your kayak or paddle board is the way to go. Be sure to reserve your spot early next year – this not-to-be-missed paddle always fills up quickly.
Sunset Paddles: One of the best additions to our ongoing roster of events were the sunset paddles, which helped us all disconnect and unwind after a busy week. Our sunset paddles gave us an opportunity to release the stress of our daily lives and find restoration.
Freaky Flotilla: The fun doesn’t stop with summer! For a pre-Halloween treat, we donned our most creative costumes and gave our neighbors on Spa Creek a real show.
Cruise then Brews Adventure Series
Our “cruise then brews” paddle series are two of our absolute favorite adventures. Year after year, they continue to be some of the most memorable experiences of the season. We’re already looking forward to leading a Spring Adventure series!
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge & RAR Brewery
The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore is home to some of the most important wetlands in the United States, and is a world of its own, resembling the Everglades more than the Chesapeake. Eco tour-guide and wildlife expert Jack Turner took paddlers on a tour of the winding marshes where we caught glimpses of bald eagles, turtles, crabs, and an array of waterfowl. Before heading home, we stopped at RAR Brewing in downtown Cambridge and bonded over craft beers and a great adventure.
Mallow’s Bay & Calvert Brewing
Mallow’s Bay & Calvert Brewery – Mallows Bay is a marine sanctuary in the Potomac that houses a sunken fleet “ghost ships”, and is designated a National Historic Treasure for its preservation of history dating back 12,000 years. The area’s diverse history includes connections to the Revolutionary and Civil wars, as well as the rich heritage of commercial fishing operations, and three tribal nations. We took out our kayaks to get a close-up view of the WWI era steamships – a truly epic sight! Afterward, we regrouped at Calvert Brewing Company and excitedly recounted our experience.
Improved Paddle Memberships
So many of us at Capital SUP have found our joy through SUPing and kayaking, and things that bring joy are meant to be shared. That’s why we powered up our Paddle Memberships in 2021 by combining them with our Race Training Program – in addition to a couple of special members only events , access to 2 locations, and 10% off the Capital SUP shop. This way, members were encouraged to meet other like minded paddlers and share in what they love! With many of these same benefits available in 2022, you can enjoy the same ease of unlimited rentals along with a built-in crew of paddlers to share your stoke.
THANK YOU From Capital SUP owners Chris & Kevin (aka, Goose & Mr. Positive Vibes)
“Thank you for choosing Capital SUP with your paddling needs this summer. We hope our service and our team members brought a smile to your face and made your experience that much more enjoyable. Happy holidays from our family to yours.”
–Chris Norman, COO & Head Coach
“Hard to believe we just wrapped up season 8 of Capital SUP. What started as a gym on the water experiment in 2014 to one of Annapolis’ Premier visitor attractions in 2021 couldn’t have been done without the love and support from our paddle community. We thank, YOU, our loyal customers – for showing up and getting out on the water with us!With your help, We have been recognized for our award winning kids camps, unforgettable on-water experiences at two beautiful Annapolis waterways, and continue to grow the paddle Ohana
Cheers to 2021 – can’t wait to see you all next season
–Kevin Haigis, CEO
We aimed to have a great season, but 2021 was more than we could have imagined – we couldn’t even fit all of the highlights in one blog! Thank you so much to everyone involved, sharing these experiences with our community is our greatest gift. While we reminisce on all of the fun we shared, we look forward to making next year even better. Speaking of next year, our 2022 paddle memberships are on sale right now. Catch the early bird prices now before they go up!