If not, you should. It is easy, fun and a great workout. If you have basic canoe paddling skills and good balance you'll pick it up in no time. The best part is, you are out of the bugs, on the water, getting weird looks from the hoi-polloi and having a blast. Any telemarkers in the crowd will enjoy the similar comments: "Hey aren't you supposed to be sitting down on that thing?" etc.
My ski partner Telemark Dave has fully morphed into his summer persona of SUPah Dave. Having an unusually high GAQ (Gear Acquisition Quotient), SUPah Dave now has two high-end SUPs, designed for offshore cruising and downwind surfing. I own a nice paddle and borrow boards. Here are few pics from our recent foray on Mary Lake.
We are getting a pair of sea kayaks this weekend (finally, after like 10 years of drooling the funds are finally there). While poking around online for paddling stuff, I noticed the paddleboard thing and it looks awesome. Too bad the gear is so expensive, though. I'd like to give it a try. Bet it would be a ton of fun on the Pemi, which is a slow flowing river (usually).
I noticed the paddleboard thing and it looks awesome. Too bad the gear is so expensive, though. I'd like to give it a try.
I'm sure you could easily find any number of "demo days" at local shops and try stuff for free or minimal cost. Rentals are popping up all over - even my store rents them! Where you live, you'd have access to both flatwater cruising and surf. Beware, though, many hardcore surfers frown on SUP, and refer to SUPers as "kooks."
I tried it last summer on Lake Champlain and it was so much fun. We were staying at a resort that had 2 of them for the guests, and they were hugely popular. They are a little tricky in rough water though - my daugher and her friend had to be rescued by the boat dock crew because they weren't strong enough to paddle against the wind and and were being pushed way out into the lake. I'm looking forward to doing it again this August. I like it better than kayaking - it give the lower body a workout as well as the arms.
Happy Canada Day to all, especially you wanna-be Hinterlandians!
After a little lawn-mowing in the morning, I took advantage of my bachelor status this weekend and buggered off for some recreational activity in the afternoon. SUPah Dave and I met at Hutcheson Beach, a popular public beach in our burg. Winds were very light on Lake Vernon so we headed off to the delta of the Big East River. Much of the river mouth is now a protected natural heritage site so it is a little bit of wilderness just off a busy lake.
Two watercraft propelled by paddles but with a very different vibe. Boyfriend of girl in the picture says to me: "Are you supposed to stand up on those things?" I reply, "why yes, it's called stand-up paddleboarding." He nods approval and says, "Sweeeeeettt." From birth, all Hinterlandians have had the mantra "never stand up in a canoe" drilled in to their psyche. SUPing flies in the face of that edict, adding to the rebel flair of the sport. Though personally, I stand up in canoes all the time.
I am trying to get the beach Aloha thing going here.
The lake was calm and the boards were gliding nicely. I used to windsurf at this beach a lot but now, who needs wind?
You probably don't get to SUP through lily pads in Hawaii.
A few boaters passed by, all friendly and interested in what we were doing.
After a short beach break, we gave up on wearing lifejackets. You can feel the Aloha a lot better if you are just wearing board shorts and sunglasses.
I would recommend getting comfortable on the flatwater before venturing into the whitewater. You will find it is a lot like skiing. Keep the knees and ankles bending, stay loose and relaxed, go with the flow.
Last year, I bought a Liquid Logic Versaboard SUP. It's a rotomolded hull, so it's a bit more stable than an epoxy-over-foam SUP. I have taken it on Class 1 riffles, but nothing more than that.
Learning isn't hard, but it requires good balance. I fell off to the left, got back on. Overcompensated and fell to the right, got back on, and I had it from there. It's a great core workout.
I went to Moreau Lake SP to try it out one day. I went to the left from the put-in, and as I got to the beach area I got the whistle from the lifeguard. "Hey guy. Sit down in that boat!" I yelled back, "It's a stand up paddleboard!" Whistle again. "Sit down!" Gawd, I hate mall cops and lifeguards with pimples, "It's a STAND.UP.PADDLEBOARD!" "Bring it in to the beach, NOW!"
So, I went to the beach. I tried to explain to him what it is. No matter. I didn't have registration. (Didn't need it) I didn't have a Coast Guard number. (Didn't need it) I was wearing a PFD. I asked what was the problem, and he said that I MIGHT use it as a diving platform and that was not permitted at Moreau.
"Umm, what about the fisherman who is standing up in his canoe over there?" No answer.
He kicked me off the lake. I called all over the NYS parks offices and NO ONE knew if it was 'allowed' on park lakes. (sigh) I finally went up the ladder high enough to find someone with intelligence. I reasoned with the man, and as a result, we ARE permitted on NYS lakes. I think it took an Act of Congress.
If someone wants to teach me how to upload a 31 second movie of me SUPing with my Golden Retriever, I will post it.