“No one ever stumbles over something while sitting down.”
Charles Kettering (paraphrased) (not referring to surfsking, rather to the advantages of moving over being sedentary)
Steely Dan - Reelin' In The Years
“Your everlasting summer
You can see it fading fast
So you grab a piece of something
That you think is gonna last ….”
Based on the population that is now avidly pursuing surfski paddling, this sport holds great potential as a “lifelong” sport that can be engaged in at a high level of exertion and enjoyment well into advanced age. Australia is one example of a fitness culture and there they seem to have an endless supply of older, fit, fast surfskiers. Hawaii, California and the Pacific Northwest have plenty of competitive, older outrigger canoers. In Bellingham, WA there is a core group of older paddlers who downwind and race at almost every opportunity. And they practice in Bellingham Bay with year round cold water. They are called the “Barnacles”1) . They are showing all of the other local paddlers how much surfskis and outriggers can still be enjoyed by aging paddlers and what possible adjustments can be made to accommodate the physical changes of advancing age.
The success of aging athletes in recent times seems to indicate that a steady, sharp decline in function is not nearly as inevitable (or at least not quite as early) for those who manage to remain more active. Of course that is easier said than done: managing changes in energy and recovery from injury2) become ever more important with age.