Your first time stand up paddling can be intimidating if your not familiar with your gear and or venturing out by yourself. Most rental places that I remember trying early on would give you any board and say have at it. The one thing that stands out is having my paddle blade turned the wrong way, which is a common mistake. Not until I started paddling with other stand up paddlers did I realize to turn my blade the other way.
Here is Solace SUP's team member, Sarah Alderson, giving some insight on stand up paddling for the first time below. She is a SUP Yoga instructor in the Atlanta, Georgia area at Soulful Yoga & SUP
“What is this thing called SUP, that I keep hearing about”, you say to yourself. SUP is in a technical term Stand Up Paddle Board surfing ‘Hoe he’e Nalu in the Hawaiian language; a sport as an offshoot of surfing, originating from the ancient Polynesian times. A lot of people think of SUP as another form of surfing, and that there’s no way they could do it, “That just sounds way too hard, I couldn’t do that.” However; that is farther from the truth, and anyone can enjoy being on a board. From a personal standpoint, someone that just experienced it for the first time a year ago, does not work out nor has great co-ordination….fell in love the first time and can’t get enough of it! Just getting out on the water, paddling out in a seated position,sometimes anchoring and just laying there enjoying the feeling of the sun on my skin, the wind and the water on my toes does wonders on my mind and body. Other days I get out there paddle the page and do a little yoga; and that is a fun and challenging experience that changes the way you look and feel about yoga; and anyone can do it.
What I’m saying is that anyone; any age, size, shape, strengths, weaknesses and all can get themselves on a board and experience something amazing! As a friend and yoga teacher of mine always says; “my goal is to make yoga and SUP accessible to everyone and make it so that everyone can partake in it and be there to support them so that they receive the amazing benefits: mind and body, of what yoga and SUP can do for you.”
There are various types of boards out there; brands, materials, sizes, shapes, prices and purposes. As you get more into the sport you will learn more about the different benefits andwhat you may like or need for your personal purpose.
Photo Courtesy of Soulful Yoga & SUP
If this is something that you are just trying out for the first time, I would find a place that either does tours, teaches classes, SUP yoga or even private SUP lessons. This the board and items needed to get out there on the water will all be included in the price. My first experience was through a SUP yoga class they provided everything, walked through all of the steps of how to get on and off the board, safety, basic maneuverability and then we went on with our yoga sequence. I believe that this is the way to go as you will have someone there to physically show you how to do everything, answer questions and support you through your first experience.
Once you find a place that has a lot of experience, training and insurance and then you are able to get the options that you want on your SUP experience; get some friends, make it a group thing- the more the better. When you have someone come along with you, it makes it a lot more fun and then you will feel more comfortable that you have someone there that can fall in with you and make great memories with. So grab a friend and get on a board and you will have an experience that you will never forget.
Sometimes we all need to let go of our ego, step out and try something new, something amazing, connect with nature, connect with friends and really just do something that is good for your mind, body and soul; ‘Hoe he’e Nalu’.
- Sarah Alderson