The best stories and life experience come from trying new things. Most recently, I was lucky enough to get a lesson in paddleboarding with some of my good friends.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), or ‘hoe he’e nalu’ in it’s native Hawaiian language, is almost a cross between surfing and canoeing, using a large, wide board and a long paddle. It’s one of the newest trends in watersports, attracting high numbers of first-time participants.
A degree of balance is needed and some upper-body strength, but most of us picked it up quite quickly in a couple of hours. Once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s pretty relaxing, and a great way to enjoy the outdoors from a different perspective.
Paddleboarding is often done on lakes, although we went to an estuary in Brighton. It can also be done in the sea, and some participants even go a step ahead to Stand Up Surfing. It’s unusual in that it can be enjoyed as anything from a zen meditative activity, to a competitive race, while others have turned it into a tourism opportunity, as a novel way to explore and enjoy local scenery. If you really want to stay on trend, the latest variation to emerge is Paddle Board Yoga, where participants practice classic yoga moves whilst on board. Something for everyone!.
A quick google reveals SUP opportunities across the UK, from the typical watersports locations of Cornwall, to the more unexpected, in the heart of urban Bristol. You can even try it in the capital, as this journalist did.
My friends and I are already planning another excursion!