Monday, July 2, 2018

Adventure Time : we tried stand-up paddleboarding

I have wanted to try stand-up paddleboarding for years. So when I got an email with "upcoming classes at your local REI", and saw an "Intro to SUP" course that was both nearby, on a day we were available, and had two places, I signed us up.

You'll note there are no pictures from the adventure -- let's just say I knew I would be getting wet.

But Wil and I arrived a little early at Magnuson Park, wearing tech clothes and water shoes. Yeah, I wore these sweet water shoes. Sign me up for water aerobics in Boca Raton, please!

I was really anxious about it ... would I be able to get up on the board? Would I fall off? If I fell, would I be able to get back on the board?

Okay, I knew I would fall off. But I was worried about being able to get back on.

Our instructors, Dave and Katie, were really friendly and upbeat, and started by telling us about different kinds of paddle boards -- both hard and inflatable. We were given life vests and told how to fit them securely. Then they showed us the boards.

We would be using hard boards; the Bic Sport 11. Big, steady, sturdy. I felt better already. Sorta.

Soon we were on the shore, carrying our boards and paddles into the water. We all started out on our knees, paddling around. Why on our knees?

The wind was really gusty, and the water was really choppy. Really choppy. But it wasn't too bad when we were on our knees. We got accustomed to steering and turning and moving... and then it was time to try and stand up. 

Wil was the first to try ... and therefore the first to fall in. I decided I wanted to be brave, too, so slowly got to my feet ... and promptly fell in the water. Amusingly -- and as Dave said -- the water wasn't really very cold ... but it was cold in the wind when we got out. 

I had been worried that I would't be able to get back on the board, but I was happy to see that I could get myself most of the way up with my arms, and then swing a leg onto the board and pull myself the rest of the way up. Result!

We paddled around for a while, some of us trying and succeeding -- at least for a short while -- to get to our feet. Wil was the most successful -- getting to his feet for long stretches. I got to my feet multiple times, but fell in each time. Then for a while I decided to just paddle around and sit on my board. 

Still, by the end of the class I was pretty tired and pretty happy to be done. We carried our boards onto the shore, turned in our paddles and life vests, and got a little pep talk from Dave and Katie telling us that we all did amazingly well, given the conditions, and that he was impressed that any of us even tried to stand, let alone succeeded at it. Awwww. 

Wil and I shed some wet clothes, changed more in the car, and then headed home... already talking about buying our own boards. Wouldn't it be great to take boards out to the lake and paddle around? Yes. Yes it would. Watch this space...

Oh, and, yes, trying stand-up paddleboarding was on my 101 in 1001 days project ... which makes 14 / 101 fully complete!

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