If you’re anything like me, you have probably seen all of those amazing photos of people magestically gliding across the water on stand-up paddle boards. Seeing these photos ignited a dream for me and SUP boarding became a hot item on my bucket list.
The thing is, as someone who regularly stubs her toe, drops things and struggles to keep up with group fitness classes not because of a lack of fitness but because of a lack of coordination, stand-up paddle boarding is a little bit tricky. I know this because I have tried it on three separate occassions. The first time was about 3 years ago in Tennant Creek where I couldn’t even stand up on the board. The second occassion was when I was in Bali, and thanks to an inproperly inflated board that didn’t have its fin in place, while I was able to stand up, I fell off and badly jarred my bad knee resulting in significant swelling and hobbling through the streets of Sanur. This third time however, as they say, was the charm.
During an end of summer sale last year we came across inflatable paddle boards at Kmart. At their normal price of $250 we probablly wouldn’t have even looks twice at them. But seeing as it was the end of summer they were discounted…to $50 each! Being the bargain hunters we are we purchased two and put them in our storage shed in the garden and forgot about them until yesterday. Seeing as we had a lot of rain just before Christmas we were pretty excited to get out and see some of the local water holes full once again. It was on this thought that it occured to us that we were SUP board owners and this was a prime opportunity to try them out.
We decided to visit Ellery Creek Big Hole as it is closer to town and is usually pretty deep, meaning if we accidentally fell off we were less likely to hit our heads on any submerged rocks. Overall, the boards were pretty easy to inflate. You just pull it our of the bag, roll them out and use the hand pump to inflate them before attaching the fin.
I was nervous to even kneel on the board let alone stand up, and forced my partner to hold the board steady for me while I got on. I started of on my knees and powered my way around the water hole. Once I started to feel steady I decided to try standing up. The first time I did this it was a bit tricky. You have to make sure your feet are in the middle of the board and braced about a foot apart and stand up relatively quickly. The longer you spend in that half kneeling half standing position the more likely you are to fall in which would be embarrassing. You also need to make sure that you are holding your paddle in both hands otherwise you become unbalanced. The first time I stood up my legs were shaking so much. Whether that was from bracing to hold my balance or out of fear of falling I can’t say for sure, but the more times I did it, the easier it got and the less I shook.
SUP boarding is a lot of fun when you let go of the fear of falling and just enjoy the experience of paddling through the water. I even got bold enough to bring my (non water proof!) phone out with me so I could get some photos.
With my new years goal being to get out of my hoouse more often, I’m hoping to utilise my SUP board more often this summer, maybe even become a pro 😉