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

About the author

Evelyn O'Doherty is a standup paddle racer, surfer and yoga teacher from the East End of Long Island in New York. Her passion for watersports drew her to leave a teaching career to pursue her athletic endeavors as a sup instructor, racing coach, sup racer, and now, as online editor for Standup Journal. Evelyn lives in East Hampton NY in the Springs area where she has daily access to the water to train and teach. When the swell is working, you can find her in Montauk rattling around in her Ford Ranger surfboards hanging out the back headed for points East.

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