Sweet Shot! A larger perspective from paddling year-round in the Hamptons

Benito Vila Sag Harbor stand up paddle banner
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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

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Evelyn O’Doherty
Evelyn O'Doherty, owner & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0, worked her way up the ranks in the world of stand up paddling. A former surfer gone rogue, Evelyn stepped onto a SUP for the first time in 2009 when a plaguing neck injury kept her out of the water from surfing. Discovering the core benefits and expanded perspective on the water that stand up paddling brings, Ev immediately was hooked. She became a strong SUP racer in the North East and a year-round SUP surfer, gathering multiple top brand sponsorships including becoming a team rider for Starboard SUP and a national ambassador for Kialoa, as well as celebrating all aspects of the sport with additional brand ambassadorships including lululemon athletica, Clif Bar, Cobian, Kaenon & Indo Board. Her love of watersports and commitment to advocacy in preserving our marine environments led to a short film made with The Nature Conservancy as part of their Clean Water initiatives on Long Island, NY, called "A New Perspective". Evelyn just keeps paddling. Today, she's stepped up to take over the helm at Standup Journal after having worked for the magazine for 2 years as senior online editor. Her dedication and belief in the power of print to immerse readers in the watersports they love even if they don't have access to the water in a daily existence plus a powerful desire to spotlight the amazing people doing rad sh*t on the water is what drives her vision for Standup Journal 2.0. Evelyn welcomes the conversation about how to make the magazine benefit as many people as possible and encourages feedback, letters to the editor and communication at editor@standupjournal.com . Now, as owner/publisher for Standup Journal., Evelyn continues to live in East Hampton NY where she has daily access to the water. 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.