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Jaret Preston wants to row across the lake at Apex Community Park, soaking up the suns rays as he stands on a paddleboard and uses an oar to make his way through the water.
And now he can.
Preston, of Cary, asked the Apex Town Council to change its rule to allow lake visitors to take part in standup paddleboarding, an increasingly popular water sport. Town leaders approved the change earlier this month.
The lake is right in our backyard, said Preston, 35. My wife and I decided if we were going to invest in our own set of boards, we wanted to be able to take it down the street to the lake near our house.
Preston said he took up the sport after his honeymoon trip to Hawaii.
I took a lesson, and I just loved it, he said. With a kayak you feel enclosed. In a stand up paddleboard, it makes you feel more connected to the water. When you stand up on the board, its another level of intensity.
Standup paddleboarding was already allowed in all Raleigh lakes and some lakes across the state. In Apex, visitors who want to take part in the sport on the 30-acre lake must get an annual permit it costs $5 for Apex residents and $40 for those who live outside the town.
Preston said he doesnt mind paying the fee. Whatever it takes to get in the water, he said. I consider it a donation to the town.
Todd Masinter, owner Triangle Glides, which sells standup paddleboarding equipment, said he has seen the sport grow locally.
His business started offering lessons in standup paddleboarding about a year ago. More than 800 people signed up for the season that started in April, Masinter said.
He and his wife recently started a Meetup.com group for standup paddlboarders; more than 60 people have joined.
Its the fastest-growing (water) sport in the world, Masinter said. I think because its so accessible to everyone. Its fun, its easy and its a fantastic all-body workout.
The sport started in the 1930s in Waikiki, Hawaii, when local surfers and watersportsmen, or beachboys, would paddle out on longboards to take pictures of tourists learning how to surf, Masinter said.
Today, there are several standup paddleboarding competitions around the world for distance and sprinting.
At the Apex Community Park lake, canoes, kayaks and jon boats are also allowed. Users must wear a life jacket while taking part in standup paddleboarding.