Islander becoming serious contender in SUP sports
Payden Adams is quickly becoming a serious contender in the fast-growing and highly competitive sport of stand-up paddleboarding.
Adams, 29, grew up in Baytown and attended Ross S. Sterling High School, where he was the well-rounded athlete participating in baseball, football and basketball, with a bit of surfing on the side. In 2009, he moved to Galveston to chase a dream of surfing.
Like a lot of surfers, though, Adams caught the SUP fever spreading along every U.S. coastline. The sport involves a board similar to a surfboard, but longer and wider, and a long paddle used to propel the board through the water. It requires strength, stamina and, especially, balance.
Some of Adams’ friends were into SUP racing and convinced him to do the same.
Adams now competes with the Ocean Tribe Team in various events held in bays, rivers, lakes and canals all along the coast. The events are similar to running competitions, generally covering distances of 5 or 10 kilometers, although some involve greater distances.
Adams also enjoys paddle surfing, which is riding a paddleboard in the Gulf surf.
“On the paddleboard, you get longer rides, so you’re able to run up to the nose if you want and come down and do a bottom turn or come up the top and do a top turn, even though the flow is small.”
Adams highly recommends paddle surfing for the upper Texas coast, especially Galveston.
“For Galveston, I definitely prefer paddle surfing,” Adams said.
His passion for waves and boards appears to be paying off. He has placed in a variety of events like the 2016 and 2017 Cinco de Mayo Longboard professional, in which he placed second in the men’s 5K stand-up both years and first in men’s stand-up surfing, just to name a few.
Sponsors such as Anchor Paddleboards and others are standing behind him and taking notice.