Welcome to this week's East Coast Kialoa tribesman, Chris Dowling: Captain, waterman, funny man and avid paddler. Chris is co-owner with wife Blake of One Love Beach, a dynamic sup shop located in Greenport, NY. If you know Greenport at all, it is a quaint walk-around summer-delicious town on the tip of Long Island filled with a wide range of local boutiques, charming eateries, a great clam bar or two and a gorgeous carousel that sits in the middle of the village green overlooking Peconic Bay; but, once the seasons change, it's hard to find another soul walking down Main Street.
Yet, Chris and Blake persevere and are successful out of their love of stand-up paddling & their dedication to community.
Chris is a one-man show. Singlehandedly, while Blake manages the shop, Chris is out on the water teaching, encouraging, making people laugh and sharing his love of stand-up paddling. He paddles year-round through some fierce North East winter conditions and even hosts a Polar Paddle the first week in January to get people out on the water.
As he says, his favorite thing about being out on the water is the freedom: "When you hit the water, everything gets left behind."
A long-time boatman at heart, Chris' knowledge of the water is vast from being a chartered yacht Captain on trips to Florida and the Caribbean. His sense of humor is well renowned and his 'filter' blessedly permanently broken ;)
Chris & Blake together have created a steady tribe of paddlers out in Greenport where he holds weekly social paddles in summer (on Tuesdays @ 5PM) and monthly race training paddles (1st Tuesday of each month also at 5PM) as well as providing opportunities for people to get on the water through demos, lessons and sup yoga. You can find out more about One Love Beach's sup happenings by checking out the EVENTS page on their website.
In a word, Chris Dowling is loyal. He is fierce and protective when it comes to his tribe, family and friends. He is quick to be generous with his knowledge and support. And he and Blake's roots in their business stem from a wish to build community for their son Nicholas in this small Long Island town.
People like Chris are invaluable to the growing East Coast Kialoa community. His dedication to the paddling industry (Chris is a member of SUPIA, and is an ACA certified sup instructor), his commitment to widening the range of paddlers in his one-horse town and his determination to keep people safe, having fun and together on the water is everything exemplified by Kialoa's core values of Po'okela (Excellence), Laulima (Teamwork) and Malama (Stewardship).
Aloha, Chris. We need more people like you in the world and ... on the water!
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