When Adventure Calls: Trying Out SUP for a Day

I don’t consider myself as much of an adventure junkie, but when adventure knocks on my door, I make sure I accept it. As it happens one of my friends is crazy for stand-up paddleboarding, and through her I have become acquainted with the SUP world but never actually tried it until recently.

Abounding in waterways and outstanding beaches, Australia makes an SUP haven and my friend has certainly made good use of this over the years of having this hobby. Now that she happened to be in town, and I was up to catching up with her, I borrowed an inflatable paddle board kayak of hers and off we went.

I wasn’t sure how I’d do but she let me know the board was suitable for a beginner like me, equally as it is for her, having a design long enough constructed from PVC dual layer and a non-slip deck, slide-in centre fin, and an adjustable fibreglass paddle ideal for riders of different heights. So far so good!

from the JP team on the board in Maui, Hawaii (USA). Photo: thorstenindra.com

Before giving me some tips on how to balance, stand up, paddle, fall and get back on (yes, if you want to avoid injuries you have to know how to fall!) the inflatable paddle board kayak, she made sure I was properly dressed, even equipping me with a PFD (personal flotation device) and whistle just in case, then tethered me to the SUP.

What I learned from the tips was it’s all about the balance and how you position your feet (preferably in parallel) as well as your hands. As for the paddle itself, it all comes down to the side on which you paddle, with the right side leading to left hand positioned on the T-grip and right hand on the shaft, and vice versa for the left side.

It seems easy to remember, but once you’re on the board paddling and making your way through, it can be confusing. Even though thanks to yoga I know more of how to balance, I couldn’t avoid falling yet my friend’s words stuck in my mind: “Don’t fear the falls, just remember to fall in the water and not on the board”.

A few bruises afterwards, and lots of water fun, I managed to get a hold of SUP for the day. Knowing the benefits it brings about, both physical and mental, like proving to be a great cardio workout, improving endurance and cardiovascular health, and at the same time reducing stress, I might consider getting my own board.