Tuesday, August 2, 2011

meet WCW paddler Kevin Vangritis

     When I was up in Madison for the MidwestSUP race there, a strapping guy with a charming southern accent came striding right up to me, shook my hand and said, "So, you're the guy paddling across Lake Michigan.  Well, I want to come with you."  And that was how I met Kevin Vangritis.  We spent the better part of the afternoon chatting over beers, and by the end of the day I was really hoping that he would be able to work it out to join me on the crossing.  I'm happy to say, he has.  I sent Kevin a few interview questions so we could learn a bit about him.  Here's what he had to say:

1. What's your age?
Slightly older than 20 and significantly younger than 100.

2. Where are you from?
Morrisville, NC

3. How long have you been paddling?
 I've been paddling for approximately 2.5 year since discovering the sport while in Maui, Hi.  After recovering from double knee surgery, I was looking for a sport that would help me keep active and in shape while not putting too much stress on my knees. I have always enjoyed water sports and have come to realize just how versatile this sport is.  It enables me to push myself as hard as I want, from enjoying a fast paced, high-energy downwinder run, the exhilaration of paddle surfing, or a leisure cruise along the coastline with my wife to enjoy the beautiful scenery.     

4. Why do you want to do the WCW Lake Michigan crossing?
I'm always up for a challenge and looking for ways to expand my paddle boarding abilities and experiences.  I started out paddle boarding on flat water and have moved on to ocean riding (which is my preference).  In the ocean particularly, the conditions are always different giving me the opportunity to face new challenges and test my abilities.  After talking with other paddle boarders who have challenged themselves with truly amazing feats of endurance, I feel I am ready for this challenge as well.  I look forward to learning from this experience and hope to use it as a building block for other challenging adventures on the water.

I would like to send a very special “Thank You” to Karen Wrenn, Morgan Hoesterey, Mike Simpson and Will Rich. These four individuals have recently accomplished awesome SUP endurance challenges of their own and have helped prepare me for the challenge ahead. I also want to thank Matt for allowing me to share in his adventure.

5. Is there anything else you'd like me to mention?
Paddle boarding is such an amazing sport.  There is just so much you can do with this sport and I have met so many amazing people, a number of which that have become to feel like family. Everyone that I have met in this sport seems to enjoy it just as much as I do and are always willing to share their experiences to help fellow paddlers grow.

No comments:

Post a Comment