Standup Paddleboarding To The Extreme

Not unlike writing or running, standup paddleboarding is the kind of solitary pursuit reliant on enormous mental discipline. Julieta “Jules” Gismondi should know. A guide at the Manhattan Kayak Company, Gismondi has participated in a number of long-distance endurance journeys.

For an 11-day stretch last May, she became the first person to circumnavigate Long Island. As if this 300-mile endeavor wasn’t enough, she and fellow guide Lou Anne Harris departed from Manhattan on Oct. 12 as part of a project they dubbed SUPergirls and used standup paddleboards to travel 1,500 miles all the way down to Key West and arrived on Feb. 12.

Along the way, the duo raised just over $16,000 for two nonprofits: Mission Blue, Syliva Earle’s oceanic conservancy organization and First Descents, an organization that gives free outdoor adventure trips to young people fighting cancer.

What’s in Gismondi’s Survival Pack?

◘ 1 Yukon duffel bag
◘ 3 tube bags
◘ 17 packs of dry food
◘ 2 gallons of water
◘ One 1.5 lt CamelBak
◘ One 3 ltr CamelBak
◘ Solar panel
◘ Radio
◘ Cellphone
◘ Maps
◘ Lights
◘ Stove and fuel
◘ Kettle
◘ Tent
◘ Sleeping bag
◘ Sleeping pad
◘ Clothes

The duo also collected data in the form of water quality tests, specifically measuring nitrate and phosphate levels on behalf of a few groups including the environmental nonprofit Riverkeeper.

Inspired by the tales told by Manhattan Kayak cofounder Eric Stiller’s attempts to circumnavigate Australia by kayak, Gismondi was inspired to create her own stories via these trips, regardless of how far-fetched they may seem on paper.

“If you set out to do something crazy, there will be people who will make sure you get through it,” she shared.

So in the event you decide to attempt to circle Long Island by standup paddleboard, what might you need? Gismondi was kind enough to share the supplies that enabled her to do just that:

Visit to find out more about contributing to Mission Blue and First Descents.

Visit to find out more about kayaking and paddleboarding in Manhattan.

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Dave Gil de Rubio
In addition to being editor of Massapequa Observer and Hicksville News, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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