BY: MARIA OROPEZA, LAKE VOICE STAFF For two Minnesota natives, a passion turned into a journey to get back to the basics and a unique connection to the Great Lake they call home. Andrew and Amanda Imes created SUPerior Paddle in order to share their love of the water, the outdoors and Lake Superior with the North Shore.
The Imes’ started stand-up paddle boarding leisurely and fell in love with the sport. “You feel more connected to the water, you have to ride the waves,” Andrew said.
Soon after moving back to the area, after living in St. Paul, Andrew and Amanda knew they had to share their love of Lake Superior and stand up paddle boarding with everyone they could. This led them to the idea of SUPerior Paddle.
“We learned a lot the first year, like what went well and what to skip,” Amanda said. The first run for SUPerior Paddle was this past summer of 2015.
The couple invested a lot of hard work and much of their own money to fund the business; which soon took off when they were noticed by other local Duluth businesses.
SUPerior Paddle works together with local businesses and groups such as Moms Run This Town, Stroller Strides, and Studio Duluth.
They also partner with local breweries like Canal Park Brewery and more as a part of the hour paddle tour that makes up one of their adventures, the Paddle Pub Tour.
“We found each other organically. We help each other, build each other up,” Amanda said.
For the Imes’ it’s not just about paddle boarding or the business connections, It’s about the personal connections they make along the way. An important part of why they created SUPerior Paddle is to meet people like them, to
bring people together, and to share and enjoy the great outdoors that Duluth and Lake Superior have to offer.
From beginners to experts, “people typically have a good time,” Andrew said. SUPerior Paddle offers other programs and tours like Yoga and Scenic Paddles. Or for the more adventurous they offer excursions like camping excursions and day trips to Split Rock. If you’d rather go on your own they do offer paddle board rentals.
A typical season runs from about Memorial Day to Labor Day depending on temperature and ice on the lake. Andrew and Amanda don’t have any plans to expand right now, but are looking into fall and winter tours that would include wetsuits and a small group of people.