1. March 2011 11:43
Stand-Up Paddling (SUP) is one of the fastest growing water sports for a good reason: It is a blast!
I got an inflatable SUP board for Christmas. It is still winter here, but I have gotten out a couple times and I am pumped for warmer weather so I can get out some more.
My first trip was to Blue Lake, a geothermal lake in Nevada. I was there for some diving in January, but I through in the board so I could try out my new toy. The inflatable board is amazingly rigid. I felt pretty off-balance at first. I remembered people saying what a great workout SUP would be - they didn't mean because of the paddling, they meant the intense core workout from trying to stay standing. This is definitely a sport that anybody can do (at least at some level). I didn't look pretty, but I was able to paddle around the lake. It was like I was walking on the water!
Whitewater SUP is what really interests me in the long run so I had to try it out on some moving water. I knew better than to just jump into any actual rapids so I tried a calm, but flowing, stretch of the Snake. Even a slight eddy would seriously throw me off balance. The rivers are too cold for much practice so far, but I will be out early and often once it warms up. I've done some asking around and it sounds like there is a great stretch of Idaho's Payette that is frequently paddled by stand up people.
I have never surfed but have always wanted to, so I am also excited to take the board to the coast this summer and give it a try - I am hoping it will be easier since I will already be standing up.
I'll post some updates on my progress as it warms up.