As the year comes to an end, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the best moments of 2021 for the Thurso Surf Community. Although it was a challenging year for everyone, there were many silver linings that added some much needed sparkle to 2021. Here are our top moments from the past twelve months!

7 Thurso Surf stand up paddle boards being held by paddleboarders on the beach

The 2021 Thurso Surf paddleboard lineup – which one would you choose?

Our 2021 Lineup 

We started the year in the best way possible; launching the 2021 Thurso Surf lineup! We juiced up our flagship award-winning Waterwalkers with some sweet upgrades, like new designs, much requested all colours available in all sizes, the lighter Carbon Hybrid Paddle, and a woven drop stitch and carbon rails which increased the stiffness of our boards overall. We also introduced the US fin box on the crispy new Expedition and Max boards for those advanced and intermediate paddlers seeking a dialed in ride, a new Emerald colored Prodigy, and an even plusher new deckpad with graphics to the Tranquility. Thanks for all the love and tons of five stars reviews on the 2021 lineup. The best part by far had been seeing where your adventures have taken you!

SUP Connect Interview

In May, we appeared on SUP Connect Live, an interview series from one of the top stand up paddle magazines and communities. The series has featured paddleboard giants such as Danny Ching, Candice Appleby, and Casper Steinfath, so we were stoked to get the invite! Jordan-na Belle-Isle, our resident SUP expert and instructor was interviewed live by the awesome waterwoman, coach, and host Kristin Thomas and chatted all things SUP. If you missed the live exchange, catch it here on YouTube.

We were also stoked to be featured or reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Maxim, the Independent UK, and many others in the SUP industry!

YouTube How-to Tube

We love creating helpful resources for our community and were happy to launch the Get Started Paddleboarding series on our YouTube channel. This is a series of nine videos on the need-to-know basics of your Thurso Surf SUP board, covering everything from setup tips like How to Set Up Your SUP Leash to DIY fixes like How to Troubleshoot a Leaky SUP Valve. Head over to our YouTube channel to watch them all!

Expert SUP Instructor, Jordan-na Belle-Isle makes sure you have a blast learning the skills and confidence to paddle out in style! 

Beginner SUP Lesson

Another helpful resource we launched in 2021 was our 5-part Paddleboard Lesson for Beginners right here on the blog. Only a fraction of paddleboarders have taken a SUP lesson and, while the sport is very approachable for all skill and fitness levels, there’s really no replacement for expert instruction. We highly recommend taking a lesson, especially if you’ve never had one before or are just starting out. In our Paddleboard Lesson for Beginners, Jordan-na Belle-Isle, a certified SUP instructor, walks you through all of the steps you should cover to feel confident on the water from how to set up your gear to paddling, turning and even getting back on your board after a fall. It’s a great place to start so you’re ready to hit the water and have fun in an actual in-person lesson. Read away!

Interactive Thurso Surf SUP Explorer Map shows the best places to paddleboard

The interactive SUP Explorer Map shows the Thurso Surf community’s favorite places to paddleboard. Check out Jeremy’s entry for Wahlesch Lake in the Pacific Northwest!

SUP Explorer

This year we introduced SUP Explorer, an interactive map and blog of the best stand-up paddleboarding spots around the world, crowdsourced from you, our fantastic community. So far we have 22 entries from across the US, Canada, UK, and Europe. From paddling with dolphins in Delaware to exploring the rivers deep in the forests of Québec to enjoying the serene Hurdalsjøen lake in Norway, there were so many great SUP adventures! We look forward to receiving more submissions in the new year. You can participate by sharing your favourite spot with us here and we’ll even hook you up with a FREE Waterproof Phone case if you do!

Microplastics found along the shoreline

Microplastics found along the shoreline

SUP With Litter

There’s nothing like rolling up your sleeves and giving back. Water is, of course, so special to us, so we decided to do a few cleanups of our local waterways here in Toronto. We started off in June by participating in Trash Dash, a cleanup in Lake Ontario hosted by Toronto Island SUP. Then in August we co-hosted our own event, SUP With Litter?, with A Greener Future and Lake Surfistas. A great team of volunteers and participants came out to clean up the Humber River via paddleboards. At the end of the day, 2,241 pieces of litter were collected, sorted, and diverted from the river. 

Our Creator Crew

Our team of Thurso Surf creators grew this year! We loved seeing everyone get out and explore worldwide. Kristine showed us the wonderful waterways around Vancouver, British Columbia. Bartek captured some stunning drone footage in the Vlore District of Albania and deep in the forests of Poland. Jarrid and Gagan had some rad alpine adventures in the lakes, rivers, and mountains of Wyoming. Ali and her pack of SUP pups went on several successful fishing trips. Graham paddled and dove from the canyons surrounding Lake Powell. Alli paddled to her heart’s content on Lake Tahoe and the beaches of northern California. And Angel flew with his Waterwalker in a tiny prop plane to Vancouver Island, then hiked to a hidden bay for a paddle adventure! They all inspired us to get out there and find a little slice of paddle paradise in our backyards and beyond. Tag us @thursosurf on Instagram if you have your own SUP adventure to share! 

Several images from the Thurso Surf paddleboarder community

Thanks for all of your amazing submissions on Instagram, in reviews, and across the web! This is just a tiny sample. Explore them all!


Last but certainly not least are all of your amazing shots and shoutouts found on Instagram, your reviews on our site and all over the web! Thanks so much for an incredible 2021!

What a Year!

And that’s a wrap for the best moments of 2021 for the Thurso Surf community. We hope you enjoyed looking back at our highlights from the past twelve months. This is our last blog post of the year but we look forward to what 2022 has in store. Get ready to explore beyond in the new year!

Share This Story!

About the Author: Jordan-na

Jordan-na Belle-Isle is a Toronto-based SUP instructor, lake surfer, and writer. Born in Montreal, she has been sporty her whole life and discovered stand-up paddleboarding in 2013. Since then, she has been active in the SUP scene, paddling and surfing the Great Lakes year-round. Jordan-na is a patient and encouraging instructor. She obtained her first SUP instructor certification in 2017 and has been teaching ever since. She has worked with Surf the Greats and Toronto Island SUP, running everything from group classes, to one-on-one training, to winter SUP safety clinics, to team-building events for clients and partners such as Google, Brown Girl Outdoor World, L’Oreal, Swim Drink Fish, and Ryerson University. She currently holds an Advanced SUP Instructor certification with Paddle Canada and is Bronze Cross certified with the Ontario Lifesaving Society. A recognizable face in the Great Lakes SUP and surf scene, her image has been used in a national campaign for Tourism Canada and she has been interviewed by several media outlets such as SUP Connect, Breakfast Television, Daily Hive News, and the Toronto Star. She was also the subject of a short documentary film titled ‘In Winter.’ A skilled writer with a masters degree from the University of Toronto, her work has appeared in Explore Magazine and she is a regular contributor to the Thurso Surf blog and Surf the Greats Journal. She is a co-organizer for Lake Surfistas, a grassroots group that connects, empowers, and educates women who surf and SUP the Great Lakes year-round.

Leave A Comment



Be the first to find out about the exclusive offers, latest news, tips and more…