In addition to our customized dragon boat paddles, we also offer custom SUP paddles often used by SUP schools or training centers. Find more about Girls Get Out There NZ and how they got their customized paddles from Hornet Watersports.
SJ’s Customized SUP paddle design
With the help of Hornet’s design team, Girls Get Out There NZ designed a really great customized paddle. It features a red, yellow, orange and white background with two female silhouettes in blue holding their paddle on either side of their blue and green board.
As you can see, Hornet’s design team sent SJ a bunch of different design options to review. Hornet included different design shapes for the colored background, as well as different color schemes.
Every design project is a little different, and the design team at Hornet has the experience of working with thousands of different paddle designs. We draw on this experience to make sure that any school, club or team who we are working with end up with a paddle design that they are proud of and excited to use on the water every day.
SJ and her students really love their custom paddle and here is the final design choice:
And the paddle:
The story of SJ and Girls Get Out There New Zealand.
“Girls get out there New Zealand!” sounds like a rallying cry or wonderful suggestion to explore a beautiful country. It may be both of those things, but it is also the name of a Stand Up Paddle board school run by a wonderful and unique woman named “SJ.” Ask anyone about SJ and they will tell you she is a dynamic athlete and successful business woman with a creative mind and a warm soul.
If you ask the girls from New Zealand, getting out there is all about finding the magic in the world again. New Zealand is a great place to do this..and SJ knows all the best spots! The beauty of New Zealand offers so many hidden places perfect for paddleboarding, and SJ knows most of them. But seeing the world through new eyes is something every paddle boarder has experienced. SJ tries to impart this experience with every paddle lesson or expedition. Sunrise paddling with the girls includes sun salutations but also audible singing from some of the most amazing species of birds on the planet. Grab your paddle! Once you’re out there on the water, you will be transported to a relaxing place where all you will hear is the birds chirping and the occasional splash from your paddle.
"Enjoy Fun Friendship and fantastic Summer SUP Adventures, we promote safety and build confidence to help you GET OUT THERE more!” This is the slogan posted on SJ’s facebook page. Although it’s hard to put in this paddling school’s spirit into words, we think this sums things up nicely. If you take a look at some of SJ’s photography, you will might get even a better idea of what goes on.
For most people who may have to go into the office on weekday mornings for the daily grind, the idea of jumping on your board with a like-minded community of paddlers in order to experience breathtaking beauty sounds like a dream come true. There are a growing number of women who run their own paddle schools, adventure tours, and shops all around the world. Sj is one of these women, who are making it happen as a business owner, a teacher, and even a role-model for so many paddlers.
Of course it takes a lot of dedication and love paddling, and SJ seems to have an unlimited amount of both. For her, it’s a no brainer. “Doing what you really love to do just makes a lot of sense. Our time on this earth is limited, and there are always good days and bad days.. But a bad day out on the board is actually pretty rare and it’s a great feeling to know we are bringing joy to so many women.” The paddlers benefit a great deal from SJ’s lessons. Self-confidence, inner-calm, core-strength, less anxiety and more overall energy are all common things that SJ’s students have reported over the years. This is all part of the package. “We always have a great time, and if we are contributing to women’s overall health that’s a bonus.”
SJ started GirlsGetOutThereNZ as a 'closed' Facebook group in early 2014 to share her love for paddle boarding and all sports involving water & the outdoors, with other like minded girls. Her goal was and is to inspire other girls wanting to get off the couch and lead a healthier active lifestyle and have fun along the way.
In Aug 2014 SJ went to Sydney and qualified as a ASI Level 1 & 2 Stand Up Paddle board Instructor with Water Rescue & First Aid Certificates under her belt she had the qualifications and eagerness to now teach girls how to Stand Up Paddle Board. Starting with lessons every Sunday and with small groups of four even in the depths of winter, girls were feeling the stoke and confidence that Stand up Paddle Boarding brings.
Keen to encourage and reach more girls she set up the business page and company officially as ‘GirlsGetOutThere NZ Ltd’ in October 2014. In 2015 SJ then went on to become PaddleFit Certified by the coach of the USA Paddle Team and founder of PaddleFit ‘Brody Welte’ and is an active member of the worldwide family of PaddleFit Coaches.
In 2016 GGOTNZ became an accredited Surfing New Zeland SUP School. SJ is also a certified Suring NZ SUP Instructor and community life guard.
Over the seasons SJ has introduced a new format for "NEWBIES" to have a fun , intensive workshop SUP day out with other wannabe & intermediate paddlers.
This was the start of our Girls Big SUP Day Out which is held 3 times a year in May, Oct & Feb.
Paddling all year round is easy to do when there are so many amazing waterways in and around our coastlines. SJ has introduced a Winter Touring Season Pass where girls can join in on any session including Lake Tours, Paddle to the Pub, Mystery Tours and opportunities to explore further - even paddle with Glow Worms!
The diversity and variety of programs SJ offers are vast:
SJ offers lessons to all age groups and levels. Everyone feels really comfortable to learn and this is what SJ has focused on over the years - creating a place where everyone can learn at their own speed.
SJ says, “We will teach you the fundamentals of SUP in a fun and safe environment. You will need to be comfortable in the water as well as be able to swim. You do not need to have prior paddling experience to take this class.”
New Zealand has no shortage of beautiful places to paddle, whether it be ocean, lakes, rivers, or estuaries, SJ loves to explore all her favorite old spots and find new ones. It’s always fun to discover a new place. When you are all alone out there with your fellow paddlers, it can feel quite special.
SJ always has her eyes out for wildlife and has become pretty good at knowing where, and when, these adorable creatures might be out and about. Take a look at these amazing photos:
SUP with your dogs!
Too good to be true? No way!
"Full Moon" Paddle
In Summer 2015 we launched our "FULL MOON" Paddles using the latest in technology LED light systems from the USA. We have the equipment and qualified SUP coach to safely guide you on a night paddle adventure under the stars. How amazing is that!
Sunrise and Sunset Paddles
Sunrise and Sunset paddles are often student favorites and there are countless photos on her Facebook page of these trips.. Here are just a few shots.
SJ believes in the amazing health benefits of yoga and what better place to do it than on a paddleboard?
One of SJ’s students named Emma said the following: “Girls Get Out There has been an amazing find. I immediately felt right at home. SJ is very supportive and encouraging, helping me go from a wobbly legged novice paddler to a more confident one. I have met lots of other paddlers at different experience levels, all of them have been really awesome women to get to know and spend some relaxation time on the water with. The group is very welcoming, there are always new and familiar faces. I have quickly felt like I am part of the female North Shore paddling community…! I love that every time I am on the water, I learn something different, get tips and help from others, and most importantly, have fun! I really enjoy a Sunday paddle around the lake, and the adventure of trying new places on the mystery tours. Lakes, river, sea, and estuary all bring different challenges but builds experience and confidence with a fabulous bunch of women!”
SJ’s trips also have a touch of class and delicious tastes, rewards for a paddle well done!
So, what's next for SJ?
A financial controller by trade - SJ has left the board room for a different kind of board meeting. SJ's future plans are to work with tweenies & teenagers to spend less time on computer games and their devices and more time outside on & off the water.
"Kids Get Out There NZ" is the next exciting venture for SJ as she offers Kiwi families an active, healthy and sociable alternative to spending time online through kids camps.
We encourage kids of all levels to participate in social and competitive racing and team relays. This builds a sense of achievement and confidence. Great fun and support for the wider SUP community. We are able to sign off on NZQA levels for secondary school students and offer a fun, safe enviornment for Kids to Learn to SUP during the School Holidays.
Oh. and SJ liked the first custom paddles so much, she went ahead and ordered a second version in blue!