Last summer I saw people doing this weird thing on the water. They were standing up on what looked to be a surfboard and using a paddle to move themselves along. I was so curious and yet confused. Would it be fun? Could I actually stand up? I really wanted to try it so not only did I add it to my summer bucket list, I also suggested it to Tiffany as a Fitness First activity. And she was all in! – B
What is it?
Stand up paddle boarding is an offshoot of surfing, initially used to enable surfers to paddle out farther. In 2013, the activity moved into the mainstream and is now considered a sport unto itself.
What do I wear?
We wore general workout shorts and tank tops though we saw people wearing everything from bathing suits to jean shorts and t-shirts. Wear what you’ll be comfortable in and what you don’t mind getting wet (just in case you fall in or get splashed).
What gear do I need?
A water bottle, hat or sunglasses (or both), and sunscreen. We didn’t wear shoes as they really aren’t required, but we did find some websites recommending water shoes for people who wanted to wear them.
Overall I thought…
B: It was great and was exactly what I expected. My body was tense trying to keep me steady on the board, so it felt like a full body workout. It was fun to be that high up on the water.
T: It was fun! We had the perfect day for it so it was actually really peaceful floating along. It didn’t even seem like I was doing a workout though I felt it afterwards!
I was surprised….
B: how similar the paddle technique was to canoeing or kayaking. You are standing up, so that definitely changes the angle; but I felt I picked it up faster because I have a little experience with using a paddle for kayaking.
T: that it wasn’t as hard as I expected to stand up and balance. That said, we had a calm day so I’d be curious how that would be with more choppy water.
I wish I had…
B: gotten up on my feet faster! They advise you to start on your knees as you leave the dock area, and I found myself challenged with standing up initially. But once I got up, I found it easy to stay up!
T: read a little more ahead of time about how to paddle straight. I did OK, but was switching back and forth quite a bit since I was zigzagging.
Would you do it again?
B: Absolutely! We also lucked out with the best weather, which just made the experience that much better. I loved being on the water and being able to use my entire body, all while staying dry.
T: Definitely! I have a feeling I will be disappointed by the weather next time as we had the PERFECT day in trying this for the first time, but I’d love to try it again!