For the record, I'm not a surfer and have never done any paddling. I have always been a swimmer - sans equipment - in the water. I lived 12 years by the ocean in San Diego and the most I did was bodysurf for my triathlon training a few times. I will say I do love bodysurfing.
Stand up paddling caught my attention immediately when I first heard about it. It seems that from the moment it was born it was cool. Over the years I've hopped on a board once or twice but in April I got my own. The Surftech Laird 11'6" as you can see to the left.
There have been times when I've SUP'd in the ocean, fought the waves, had to fight for my balance - and then settle in and enjoy being surrounded by the entire ocean while just standing there. Paddling hard for a few strokes, easy a for few strokes. Watching the stingrays and sand sharks underneath me. Getting to cruise over, and appreciate, the beautiful flowing kelp beds, without having to swim through them. All while the sun's setting...
There have been other times when we had a few boards and did short little impromptu races between two of us at a time around a nearby bouy. THAT was fun. Competitive little buggers we all are.
In June at the Teva Mountain Games I was AMAZED to see people on their SUPs in the raging river, making it look easy to balance, just cruising along. There they held a surf cross competition 2 on 2, like the snowboard cross in the Olympic Games. Wild! That is something I can imagine doing - once I get my skillz down.
I've seen Greg Welch surfing waves with it. And I've seen people using the unstable surface to challenge their stability and strength by doing overhead squats, planks, among other things, including yoga! What a view for a core workout.
Of course there's always the long slow distance you can put on it too. Friends of mine go out for hours at a time.STRENGTH + SERENITY
It's a perfect piece of equipment that combines the best of a both worlds. For one its a total body workout that challenges body awareness, balance, coordination, stability and strength all of which come into play big time in swim, bike and run power production. Great power transfer from the paddle to the pedal...in more ways than one.
For another, being out on the water, away from cars, computers and all the other craziness, simply feeds the soul. It's peaceful, relaxing, social if you want it to be, serene and re-energizing.
Choose your own adventure.
Yesterday I took the board out with a couple of friends, Ryann Fraser and my roommate Morgan. It was Morgan's first time on an SUP. She was a champ! Take a peek inside our evening at the Boulder Reservoir during sunset in the video below. LOVIN' IT - THANKS SURFTECH SUP for inspiring new adventures!