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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Sabrina Suarez: Changing Lives one Paddle Stroke at a Time

May 04, 2014 10:50PM

Sabrina Suarez was an early adopter of stand up paddleboarding (SUP), especially as a woman. “I was the first woman to rent boards from Bob Long’s Mission Surf shop in Pacific Beach,” she recalls.

Suarez quickly became hooked on SUPing and began encouraging her friends to join.  “I was amazed at how SUPing starting transforming our lives,” she says.  It was giving her and her friends a greater sense of empowerment and self-esteem, and the feeling was infectious.  “The connection with the ocean and nature was awe-inspiring,” says Suarez. “Not only that, but we were all getting healthier and more fit by the day.”  Another transformative aspect of SUPing with friends was the deep friendships and expanding network that was emerging.

From this beginning, Suarez formed the SUP Chicks organization.  With current membership of 1,000 people, the group continues to grow daily.  “The mission of the SUP Chicks is to inspire and facilitate women and men to SUP, and have lots of fun doing it,” she says.  “The group includes everyone from first-time paddlers to elite racers and competitors.”  Another important aspect to the SUP Chicks mission is to care and give back.

Over the years, the SUP Chicks have been involved in many worthy causes.  “We’ve raised over $30,000 to fight breast cancer,” says Suarez.  In addition, the group has cleaned trash from waterways with H20 Trash Patrol, helped Urban Surf 4 Kids provide surf and SUP opportunities for foster youth, and raised money for the Youth Aquatic Center on Fiesta Island. These efforts have been in addition to the primary goal of transforming women’s lives through SUP.

To find out more about the group or to join, visit  Membership is free and participation is encouraged.  “Be prepared to have your life transformed through SUP,” adds Suarez.

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