Ep. 32 – Stand-up paddleboarding in Pittsburgh with SurfSUP Adventures

Explore our waterways with owner and lead guide Ian Smith

by Stephanie Brea
June 4, 2020

Stand-up paddleboarding in Pittsburgh with Ian Smith

Meet Ian Smith, a Pittsburgher with a passion for stand-up paddleboarding. For the past 10 years, SurfSUP Adventures has helped folks to explore our local waterways via tours and classes. Think beyond the Point and its three rivers, because Smith takes trips to the sandy beaches of Oakmont, the whitewater of Greenhouse Park near Johnstown and more.

Stand-up paddleboarding is a perfect summer social distancing activity. If you are nervous, it’s important to highlight that Smith has a perfect track record of getting folks to stand and balance on their boards. For the more advanced, he offers whitewater river surfing trips.

First Waves, SurfSUP’s nonprofit organization, “uses stand-up paddleboarding, the art of filmmaking, and digital media as a catalyst to inspire conservation of local waterways and mentorship for at-risk youth.” Smith explains how the joy of catching your first wave helps participants fall in love with the river and then consequently want to keep it clean.

To learn more about SurfSUP Adventures & First Waves:


First Waves

B4 this Pittsburgher, there was no BINGO

Did you know that the game of bingo (beloved by grandmas and drag queens alike) was invented by Hazlewood resident Hugh J. Ward? Ward received a copyright in 1933. Shoutout to the Greater Hazelwood Historical Society for sharing this on Facebook a few weeks back. We hope this fun fact gets you some points in your next bout of online trivia.

Groundbreaking giveback

Local Roots Landscaping and Commonplace Coffee have teamed up on a new morning blend. You might be asking yourself why a landscaping company has a coffee blend, but it was a natural extension to their other charitable work throughout the pandemic. One hundred percent of the proceeds of this blend go to 412 Food Rescue and the NAACP’s Pittsburgh branch. You can learn more or order a bag here.

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Header image by Teri Getsay, courtesy of SurfSUP Adventures.

Stephanie has been organizing events since 1998, starting with a series of motorcycle rides through the Arizona desert to support her father’s business. She’s probably crossed your name off a presale ticket list or served you a beer somewhere around town. An undergrad degree in poetry means she has lots of unpractical knowledge about iambic pentameter, while a brief stint as a copy editor for Alternative Press taught her that twenty one pilots is stylized in all lowercase letters. Wanna throw a party in a vacant parking lot? She’s interested. At the onset of COVID-19, Stephanie took on the role...

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