The first time I tried a stand up paddle board (SUP), I said, “I’ll never get into this. Why is it so popular!” It felt so odd, and so tippy. Thirty minutes later I was in love, and a year later I own two SUPs.
SUP is an emerging paddle sport that has blossomed and become popular world wide. There are many makes and models of SUPs to choose from, and the same goes for SUP paddles.
Find your beach, bring your SUP. Ontario has more than its fair share of waterways to SUP on.
In the heat of summer when the water is warm and the air is still, a stand up paddle board glides effortlessly across the water. It’s relaxing, it’s fun, and I find it gets me toned and in shape without even feeling like I’m doing much at all. It’s easy to hop off the board to cool off and scramble back on.
I stick to quiet lakes and waterways without strong currents or heavy motorboat traffic and chase after the Zen side of paddle boarding. The boards are versatile. You can stand up and paddle on them, kneel down on the board and paddle, or lie down on your belly and paddle the board in forward strokes with your arms and hands like a surfer.
Taking a break to test your balance on a SUP with a few yoga poses to enjoy the moment even more is also very powerful and relaxing.
The more adventurous SUPers prefer to play in the surf and waves and let loose with paddle board surfing. There are SUP races on lakes, rivers, and canals. And, the extreme sports people take SUP to its limits.
Although, for me, there is no greater joy than to just sit on the board and enjoy the view.
Like any water sport, SUP has its joys and its dangers. I took a few SUP courses before I bought one. It’s more fun and safer that way and you get to try different types of boards and paddles before you buy. If you can’t find a SUP course near you, there are many good instructional videos on the Web.
Being a sea kayaker, I’m already equipped with a full body wet suit to extend my SUP season into fall and spring when the water is cold, and I always keep track of the weather and wind reports. A good motto is safety first, fun follows.
Enjoy the best of summer. Find your beach. Bring your SUP.
If you can’t surf, you can likely SUP!
Maybe even bring the doggie.
Publisher of the BaffinPaddler http://baffinpaddler.blogspot.ca