*** This is part of an ongoing series regarding a group of Cape Cod Mommies Bloggers who experienced SUP. There are still more to come or you can read more here: Paddle Boarding!
I was so excited to try Stand Up Paddle boarding. I had my life jacket packed and I was ready to go. We listened eagerly to the ~to do~ and ~don't do's~ including "not-to-face-plant" on the front of the board. Noted!
And we were off! Kneeling I was cruising; forward, turning, stopping - what!?! Now I'm supposed to actually Stand Up!?! My knees and legs were rockin' and rolling and shaking like mad but then a friend cruised by and splashed me. "Oh I'll get you!" I thought as I lowered my paddle down to swat some water in her direction and sent myself sailing top-lip first into the front edge of my board - Yeouch! Not recommended.
So begins the process of getting back on the board in the middle of the water. Rescued not once (failed attempt at splashing a friend), not twice (blasted horsefly!) but three times (had swapped boards with our guide to see if it would help - which it did once I figured out how slippery the new board was).
After I finally got my bearings - paddling kneeling again for a bit - I gave it another whirl standing and made it back successfully. I learned to "feel" my balance rather than "seeing" that I was standing evenly and learning how to gingerly stretch my maxed out toes to keep from totally cramping up. So expect to learn something about your fitness, your balance, your adaptability and your resilience. Happy paddling!
By: Sung Bin
*** This is part of an ongoing series regarding a group of Cape Cod Mommies Bloggers who experience SUP.
Read more here: Paddle Boarding!
When I first heard about Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Boarding a few months ago, I was intrigued. After all, I had always wanted to learn to surf but there was just one pesky thing, I was afraid of the water. Then I had the amazing opportunity to take a lesson with Amy from Peace Love SUP through Cape Cod Mommies and to write about my experience. I have to admit that my concern about being an apprehensive swimmer consumed me as I arrived staring at the water at the landing with the theme to "Jaws" faintly in my ears. I was pretty sure I would be eating water for the first few attempts on the board and really after I saw some of my other brave compatriots in the group lesson take the plunge I realized it really wasn’t such a bad thing after all. The water was four feet deep and we had life vests on to boot so after that initial fear was gone, I knew it would be clear paddling.
Once I was able to balance on the board (customized especially for Peace Love SUP from a local outfitter), it wasn’t very difficult to start. Maneuvering however was a little more challenging. It took me a while and with some helpful guidance from Amy, our instructor, I got my arms and body to work with the paddle. My knees were shaking for the first ten minutes and I probably had a death grip with my toes on the paddleboard throughout the ride but I remained unscathed and pretty content going with the flow of the water and the group. We paddled out into a cove and I learned from Amy that SUP originated from Hawaii, makes perfect sense, but that it started with some locals there who wanted to take photos of surfers on the water. Talk about a spectator sport!
There are so many benefits to Stand Up Paddle Boarding including core training (great for mommies), improving balance, and for me, restorative stress relieving. Nothing beats paddling out in the water with only the sun, wind and serene environment around you. For the duration of the lesson, I was able to be alone in the moment without thinking about bedtimes and playtimes or meals. SUP is perfect for anyone from novices to athletes and even for shy water skimmers like me.
Cape Cod Mom Bloggers were invited to experience Stand Up Paddle Boarding with Amy from Peace Love SUP. Stay tuned for future blog posts from our moms about their experiences!
Stand up paddle boarding or SUP has become one of the fastest growing and most popular water sports in the world. SUP is a fun and easy way to go play on the water. With very little equipment you can paddle surf the high seas or enjoy a leisure paddle around one of the many beautiful bays, rivers, lakes or ponds that Cape Cod has to offer. Paddle boarding offers an incredible full body workout that allows you to choose how hard or fast you want to paddle by the conditions of water and wind you decide to be in. Eighty degree summer days with low winds and peaceful waters lend themselves to paddling slow, leisurely strokes while chatting with friends and enjoying the surroundings of a less traveled river or pond. Headwinds of 10-15 mph on a choppy bay or lake with boat wakes will work to increase your strength, endurance and balance. No matter what conditions you decide to paddle in, since you are standing upright you’ll enjoy amazing views of everything in the water as well as what’s on the horizon. It’s as close to walking on water as you can get.
Amy's passion for all things water brought her to discover and fall in love with stand up paddle boarding (SUP) in 2010. After learning to stand up paddle board she decided to try mixing yoga with SUP. It turns out that stand up paddle boards are the perfect floating yoga mat and provide enough stability so that SUP yoga can be accessible to just about anybody. She started teaching lessons and SUP yoga for local surf shops and in the summer of 2012 Amy founded Peace Love SUP with the intention of combining fitness and fun in a safe and nurturing environment on the beautiful waters of Cape Cod.
Stand up paddle boarding is gaining in popularity by leaps and bounds so if you think you’d like to give it a try just book a lesson or tour with Peace Love SUP or rent a board for the day to see what it’s all about. When you're learning the sport, it's best to start out in ideal conditions: flat, calm water that's free of
obstacles like boats and buoys. After you’ve spent some time with a SUP you might decide you’d like to buy one of your own boards and if so there are many choices. The size and type of board you choose are determined by a combination of paddler weight and skill, your intended use and the local conditions. Novice paddlers should choose wider, flatter boards which offer more stability while more experienced paddlers can choose narrower boards. There are boards made specific for racing, touring, flat water.....there are even boards made specific for fishing and boards made to do yoga and fitness on.
You will also need to choose a paddle. The paddle used with SUP resembles a very long canoe paddle with an angle or “elbow” in the shaft and should be 6-8 inches taller than the paddler, although this may vary depending on your intended use. The elbow or angle in a paddle provides a more powerful, effective stroke. When you're paddling, the elbow causes the paddle blade to align straight up and down as it comes alongside the paddle board. Paddles are made of a variety of materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber, fiberglass and wood. Some paddles are made to adjust so if multiple people will be using the same paddle this might be a good choice. Paddles weigh different amounts and have different shapes. Aluminum tends to be heavier and less expensive where as carbon fiber and fiberglass tend to be lighter and more expensive. Depending on which models you choose, the cost of a board and paddle ranges from about $1,100 to $2,100. When making your decisions it’s important to do your research and find a store with knowledgeable staff to help determine your needs and steer you in the right direction.
There are a few other key pieces of equipment that will be needed. This includes a PFD (Personal Flotation Device): The U.S. Coast Guard classifies stand up paddle boards as vessels, so always wear a PFD
whenever you're paddling navigable water. It’s also a good idea to wear a leash which connects from your ankle to the back of the board and prevents losing the board if a fall should occur. Wind, surf, and river current can move an unleashed board away very quickly. Proper clothing and sun protection are important as well. In milder conditions this includes wearing shorts and a T-shirt or bathing suit—something that moves with you and can get wet. For colder conditions where hypothermia is a concern a wetsuit or dry suit is necessary.
People of any age from 5-85 can learn to stand up paddle. Once you've mastered the basics, there's almost no limit to the waters you can explore on your paddle board. What is truly great is that it’s something the entire family can do together. Peace Love SUP is available 7 days a week to book beginner lessons, 2-3 hour tours of various waters ways that the Upper Cape offers, full moon paddles, as well as stand up paddle yoga or fitness classes. Visit her website at www.peacelovesup.com or to schedule a lesson or tour call 508-360-6032 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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