Wake Up anchors Dani & Brandon learn how to SUP ahead of world r - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wake Up anchors Dani & Brandon learn how to SUP ahead of world record try

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TOWN OF WESTPORT (WKOW) --  Madison is number one in a lot of things. This weekend, it's going for a Guinness World Record for Largest Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Class.

It'll be during the Midwest Stand Up Paddle Festival hosted by Brittingham Boats and Paddleboard Specialists. Paddleboard Specialists Owner Gary Stone offered to give me (Dani Maxwell) and my Wake Up Wisconsin co-anchor Brandon Taylor our first lesson in "SUP," as they call it.

Gary told us when he and his wife Debbie started paddling eight years ago, every boat would come up to them and ask what they were doing. "They would say, 'What is that thing? I've never seen anything like that!' And you're right, up until two to three years ago people didn't seem to understand what it is. But now it's more in the mainstream. More people are picking it up because Madison's such a wonderful venue. We have so much good water to paddle on."

Brandon and I had seen the stand-up paddlers around Madison too, but didn't know what to expect when we got to Paddleboard Specialists just north of Madison. "I don't think it's going to be big enough for me!" Brandon was a little worried.

Gary took us to Cherokee Marsh and did his best to ease our - okay, Brandon's - concerns. "Have you ever seen someone not stand up? Because Dani's a gymnasts and she knows about her core and balance and I was a mascot.... (laughs)." Gary reassured Brandon he would not push him beyond what he could do and he would have a good time on the board.

Once Gary gave us a lesson on how to straddle the board on our knees, we were off, onto the open water. While Brandon was working on paddling, he got a little distracted by some 27 news fans who recognized him. He ending up getting a little far away from us. "Gary, I'm getting so far away!" He yelled. Gary quickly reminded him about the sweeper stroke to get him back on track and in no time, Brandon was back on track.

Meanwhile, I was ready to stand up. To stand, you need to place your feet exactly where your knees were. "What did that take you, about 2 minutes to stand up on your first time, Dani?" Gary asked. It may have been easy to get up, but after awhile, my legs started to shake and it was time to head back in.

By that time Brandon had mastered the sweeper stroke and was headed back to shore too. "That was great. I had so much fun, but I want another lesson because I want to be able to stand up next time," Brandon told us.

People can still register for the Midwest Stand Up Paddle Festival and the SUP Yoga Class. Head to this website for more information and registration. You don't need to be experienced for the SUP Yoga Class. The goal is to have 200 people and boards on the water at once.

Entry into the festival is free and the land-based clinics are free. Most of the water-based clinics are between $10-$20.

Paddleboard Specialists is also involved in Paddle for the Polar Bears, which raises money for the exhibit at the Henry Vilas Zoo. You can learn how to SUP, while benefiting a good cause. To learn more about that, click on this link.

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