Summer is in full swing and anyone that knows me well, knows that I absolutely love being in or near the water! Born and raised in the Great Lakes State of Michigan, summer days have always been spent with plenty of fun in the sun outdoors enjoying sports and activities and being out on the water as much possible. For many years our favorite go-to water sport has always been kayaking. However, always being open to trying new things, and to my delightful surprise, I have discovered a new found passion in SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboard)!
Now, I know most of you are likely thinking to yourselves the same thing I thought after first seeing someone paddling by on a SUP. ďThat looks very difficult and it couldnít possibly be as much fun as kayakingĒ, right? Yep! Thatís what I thought too. Well let me tell you a few of the things that I didnít expect to learn on a SUP.
1) SUP is Beginner Friendly & it's Easy to Get Started
Okay, so as I mentioned before I have always been a water lover and a paddler. I naturally assumed standing up on that thing without falling off was not going to be easy, and would likely take a lot of time and patience. Right? Actually, that turned out to not be the case at all. Without any formal training, and with just a bit of researching via the internet (and right here on the AirheadSUP blog of course) I found plenty of information and tips on how to get started on a SUP. I pretty much hit the water paddling! (and with a great big smile on my face)
The key, in my opinion, is to take your time, take it slow, donít feel pressured, and find a quiet place without a crowd to practice. Be mindful of the water conditions as well and wait for docile waters the first few times, before too long you will find yourself wanting to try out some bigger waves.
2) Inflatable SUP? Surprisingly Great Performance + Convenience!
I must admit, I was one of those people who thought that there was no way an iSUP (Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard) could ever compare to a fiberglass board. To my surprise and delight, I was wrong again.
Upon inflating our AirheadSUP PACE boards we immediately noticed just how rigid and durable these boards were. Combine that with the convenience and how easily they travel, inflate and store and youíll find that these boards are amazing! A family of four can easily pack and store four full sized paddleboards into the back of a compact car or small SUV and travel to any favorite lake or river.
3) Great for Body & Soul
Being that it exercises most of the muscles in your body and especially your core, there is no doubt that SUP is a great workout. Itís amazing how quickly you will notice that your body is changing, becoming stronger, and healthier. On top of that, itíll do more for your mind and soul than you can imagine.
There is just something amazing about paddling along that lake or river, gliding peacefully across the water. Your mind begins to open and your thoughts seem to be so much clearer, becoming more aware of everything. The steady strokes of the paddle, the water splashing against the sides, and the sights and sounds all around you. Frogs croaking from nearby lily pads, fish swimming beneath you, every now and then jumping out in front of you to snatch up a big juicy bug for its dinner. Itís become my bliss, and so much more.
4) Anyone, Can Enjoy It!
Stand up paddling was something that I personally was very interested in mainly for the health and fitness benefits. However, what I didnít expect was that I would become so passionate about it and that I would be able to share that passion with my family, my kids, my husband and even our pup!
Each week my husband and I have found that we look forward to the weekend so much more now, excited to discover new places to explore and paddle. Last weekend we even introduced SUP to our pup! Yes, itís true. You can teach an old pup new tricks, ha ha, within minutes of placing our pup, Bear, on my board he was so relaxed that he actually fell completely asleep while I paddled around the bay.
5) SUP is Everywhere!
Living in Northern Michigan, Great Lakes water paradise, SUPís are gaining in popularity and are popping up everywhere! Local businesses are selling and/or renting SUP boards making it easy to get on board and join in the fun. If you really get into it, there are special SUP events, SUP races, and even a local ďWomenís SUP nightsĒ group. (something that I fully intend on investigating further myself ;-)