Avid waterman and elite SUP racer Michael ‘Westy’
Westenberger to return to his Midwest roots to spread awareness of the world’s
fastest growing watersport to the Chicago area
‘Westy,’ is heading north this
summer to offer education, instruction and exposure to Chicago region residents
to stand up paddleboarding!
Westy will be teaching clinics, sponsoring demos and serving as the
Director of Paddling at the Lincoln Park Boat Club, Chicago’s long established
and respected rowing club. A lifelong waterman, Westy brings an enthusiastic
vibe and wealth of experience to his SUP instruction making him a perfect
ambassador for the sport.
Originally from Green Bay Wisconsin, Westy has most recently been residing in Key West, FL, refining his paddling expertise in both SUP and Outrigger Canoe and working as
a boat captain introducing tourists to the beautiful waters of the Florida Keys.
He is the co-founder of “The Paddle Project,” a water-inspired company
launching soon with a goal of bringing paddle sports to the local community
through clinics and tours. Excited to be returning to his Midwest roots, Westy
plans to be instrumental in expanding the Chicago SUP community and educating
people on the versatile sport.
“The true beauty of SUP is that it really can be done anywhere there is water from
lakes to rivers to oceans,” explains Westy. “The Great Lakes, particularly Lake
Michigan, offer a really unique setting for a range of SUP activities including
leisure paddling, SUP surfing, fitness classes and racing. There are not many
places where you can paddle right in the middle of one of the country’s
greatest cities with skyscrapers as your backdrop.”
Westy’s Midwest tour is sponsored in part by his supportive SUP partner YOLO Board, a
bi-coastal SUP manufacturer with headquarters in Florida and California that
was recently featured on The TODAY Show. Westy is one of two instructors in the
U.S. trained to offer Paddle Fit Certification courses, the only SUP
certification course currently recognized by the World Paddle Association. He
also has served as the Race Director of the Key West Classic for four years, the
largest all-inclusive paddle event on the East Coast.
“Westy is an all-around awesome guy with a big passion for spreading the YOLO vibe,” adds Jeff Archer, co-founder of YOLO Board. “Whether it’s competing in a tough
endurance race or devoting his time to community organizations like Special
Olympics Monroe County, he brings a committed intensity to the life-changing sport
of SUP. YOLO is lucky to have such a great ambassador on our team and we can’t
wait to see what he stirs up in Chicago.”
Westy’s busy race schedule will include several sanctioned SUP events including three
area World Paddle Association (WPA) races: the Midwest SUP Masters and Festival
in Lake Geneva, WI (July 7th), the Midwest Standup Festival in
Madision, WI (July 14th) and the Great Lakes SUP Classic in Holland,
MI (July 21st).