Sweet Shot! A larger perspective from paddling year-round in the Hamptons

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Benito Vila of Sag Harbor, NY in the Hamptons is a character.  He paddles all year long, throughout the New York winters, preferring galoshes to the standard wetsuit booties.  Benito, usually found barefoot in summer, has the appropriate energy of every paddler – happy, casual, stoked, relaxed.

Benito Vila Sag Harbor stand up paddle
Stillness and quietude are among the gifts of being a year-round paddler in New York.                             Photo by: @jamesbayrami

Stillness, Silence and Perspective:  Sag Harbor NY in April

One of the beautiful perks about being a year-round paddler in the Hamptons is you often get large bodies of water to yourself.  In Benito’s case, that’s Haven’s Beach off of Sag Harbor, home to shell fish beds and bunker, as well as super yachts and celebs in summer.

Additional benefits paddlers and surfers get from braving the cooler temps of year-round paddling in the Hamptons is the quiet confidence that comes from being on local area bodies of water without the crowds.  There’s a stillness and a connection that happens, to nature and to ourselves, that brings paddling from a mere physical exercise to a spiritually committed one.

Breath deep, summer’s coming

Benito moves into that perspective as we see him here, paddling out in the waters off of Sag Harbor  -home of the Hamptons Paddle for the Pink stand up paddle race each summer – quietly taking in the whole vista that, in a few months, will be filled with watercraft, people and creatures of all kinds.  Take a breath, Benito.  It’s all yours.

Photo taken by:   James Bayrami @jamesbayrami

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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.