Quiksilver and Tahoe SUP sponsored Expedition Florida 500 set for launch New Year’s Day
Over the past 6 months, Justin Riney, founder and CEO of the clean water advocacy group, Mother Ocean, has used a series of week long Stand Up Paddle excursions called the “Conservation Paddles” to not only raise awareness of 2013’s year long Expedition Florida 500 but also as endurance training for the miles ahead. From atop his custom XF500 Tahoe SUP board, Riney has taken on the challenge of utilizing a human powered Stand Up Paddle Board to empower a swelling number water enthusiasts.
The Conservation Paddles invited anyone to join them through stages of the paddles in many regions of Florida. From the St John River, Indian River Lagoon, the Everglades and the Florida Keys, dozens of volunteers, collect impressive amounts of trash, debris and plastics from coastlines and spoil islands in the Sunshine State.
Through events like Ocean Hour, which Mother Ocean established to rally folks from around the world to spend one hour collecting litter and trash from their neighborhood beaches and waterways each week. Riney and Expedition Florida 500 have grown a grassroots following aimed at raising awareness on the plight of his home state’s aquatic environment.
And it’s working.
Riney’s passion for this mission is infectious, well organized and receiving backing from institutions like the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, University of Florida and Surfrider Foundation. On behalf of Expedition Florida 500, Riney has been presented with the Key to Jacksonville among other cities
The Mother Ocean Board
The XF500 Tahoe SUP board has also been gaining notoriety. The Balsa and Ash wood grain deck, sublime color scheme, Mother Ocean, Quiksilver and Tahoe SUP logos, the board itself has become an attraction. “After seeing the board in the pictures we post, we meet people who are excited to finally see the board in person” said Riney. “It’s tricked out for functionality on these kind of expeditions but it sure is photogenic too!”
Tahoe SUP is preparing to make the one of kind board available as a limited edition model with a portion of the proceeds assisting Mother Ocean and the Expedition Florida 500. More information will be available soon through www.tahoesup.com.
Through the Expedition Florida 500 Facebook page, Riney has chronicled the journey and the miles covered by himself and paddle partner, Gabriel Gray. When within cell service, the XF500 page is refreshed with photos and prolific observations from Riney out in the field, that is, when he doesn’t have a paddle in his hand.
With the stage being set, now the real work begins. Starting on January 1st Expedition Florida 500 kicks off in Pensacola, FLA. Information about the project is best described by the Mother Ocean website:
Mother Ocean is launching a yearlong project in 2013 called Expedition Florida 500 (XF500) with numerous partners including Quiksilver, Tahoe SUP, Viva Florida 500, and more. XF500 is a modern-day exploration of Florida’s coastline, waterways, and aquatic ecosystem as seen through the eyes of the waterman. 2013 is Florida’s 500th anniversary since Ponce de Leon arrived on Florida’s coast back in 1513; in celebration of this momentous occasion, the organizations will unite to embark on a yearlong journey combining the best of exploration, adventure, stewardship, science, and sport into a package that will include the full gamut of the waterman’s lifestyle.