Profiles

MY LOOK: Stand-up paddle boarding instructor Harmony McGrath shares the secrets of her laid-back look

This story appears in the Summer edition of Ottawa Magazine, on newsstands now. 
Harmony is wearing a bikini top by Local Honey, Level Six Slipstream shorts, and a handmade SUP girl necklace. She is riding a Rogue board and using a Kialoa paddle with Crown grip. Photo by John Rathwell.

Is Harmony your legal name?
Yes. Harmony Dawn McGrath.

You run courses in stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) all summer on the Ottawa, Mississippi, and Rideau rivers. SUP has exploded in the past couple of years. Why do you think the sport is so popular?
It’s fun and it’s easy to do. It attracts people of all ages and abilities, families — even pets! I paddle with my dog and my cat. And there are so many disciplines, from flatwater to racing and whitewater.

You seem to have a dream job — travelling and being on the water year-round. Why do you continue to spend your summers in Ottawa?
Family. I’m originally from Cold Lake, Alberta, but my dad and sister live here, and I love being close to them. I wouldn’t be able to operate my company, Urban Ocean, without their support.

What are your style must-haves?
Surf shorts and a bikini top or rash guard. Local Honey [based in California] is my bikini sponsor; Level Six [based in Ottawa] provides me with shorts, as well as neoprene and dry suits. Sun Bum SPF 30 (I’m sunscreen-obsessed). I also wear a lot of Prana yoga clothing.

How would you describe your personal style?
Laid-back. I like sundresses that I can just pull over a bikini and go.

So after a long day on the water, what’s your strategy for evening wear?
Hopefully a shower! If I’m going out, I like to dress up. I used to live in four-inch heels and dresses. But I don’t wear a lot of makeup — just tinted moisturizer, mascara, and lip gloss.