Monday, 20 July 2015

Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Bournemouth

SUP is the most recent watersport to take the UK coast and waterways in its trendy grip. Stand up paddle boarding has already seen spin offs in the field of SUP Pilates and Yoga take this sport, which started in Hawaii, to the masses.

And it's easy to see why it's so popular; participants use a board slightly wider than a surf board and paddle themselves from a standing position. This requires a lot of balance and works your core muscles as you fight against the water for stability, which is great news for anyone like me trying to find new and exciting ways to workout. Not so much a sport as a way to enjoy the water on a day with no significant surf, SUP has been quickly adopted in my hometown of Bournemouth, so I thought it was high time I tried it. I'm happy I can now add SUP to my summer of watersports which has already included sailing and kayaking.

My first class was called off on account of the conditions, but on Sunday 5th July the weather went my way and I made my way excitedly to Surf Steps on Boscombe Beach for class. We started with a safety briefing and Baywatch style warm up before getting straight into the water.

I'll be there!

There was a breeze and the water wasn't quite the mill pond still you'd prefer for a first lesson, so I took my time starting off knelt down and paddling along. Some of the other people in the class were quick to stand and make it all look very easy, so I thought I'd give it a go. Using my hands to bring my feet up beneath me I steadily straightened my legs and stood tall before falling quickly backwards onto my bottom. At least I didn't fall in (to begin with).

I quickly learned that with the wind in the direction it was, my best bet was to paddle into it knelt, then turn and give standing a try whilst the wind was giving me a slightly smoother ride. This way I could practice standing and paddling with some success.

Standing up!

The funniest moment was as I fell off the side of my board and, as I pulled myself back onto it, ended up throwing myself head first, feet in the air, off the other side. I knew my husband had seen from the safety of the beach, and I couldn't help laughing to myself so much the instructor had to ask if I was alright!

Toward the end of the class the wind had picked up even more, but I was happy to paddle about from the relative safety of my knees, enjoying being out on the water. I had such a blast, and can't wait to grab a board on a still summer evening over the next few months. Call me converted, man!

Book your class

SUP and surfing beginner lessons are available from Surf Steps in Boscombe for £35 for a 2 hour class with board, paddle and wet suit provided.

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