If you haven’t already heard of stand-up paddleboarding, you’re in for a real treat. This is one of my absolute favourite ways to workout, gain a fresh perspective on life, meditate and clear my head in the summer. The morning is the best time to hit the water while the sun is coming up and the water is calm.
Think of stand-up paddleboarding like surfing and kayaking combined into one sport. You can look down into the water and feel like you’re walking on it. Being upright provides a full body workout and the width of the board makes it easy to balance. It can be as easy or as difficult as you make it.
A good rule of thumb when choosing your paddle, is to find one that is taller than you by about 10-20 cm. Stand up tall and straight when using it. This will help to build up your upper body and tone those arms. According to the experts at Mountain Equipment Co-Op, a long, tapered blade will suit cruising in flat water and a shorter, wider blade will work better in choppier conditions, where you may want to put in quick, short strokes.
To keep you warm on those cooler days, I found some really cool, technically advanced swimwear from Finis. The internal panel adds compression that will help to maintain core stability.
Vancouver Water Adventures has both private and group tours available in False Creek and Kitsilano Beach. I would recommend one of the 90-minute morning SUP Board group sessions that are available Wednesday to Sunday throughout the summer with reservations required.
If you’re interested in kicking it up a notch, try adding yoga. Whenever I have a free moment you can catch me out at Jericho Beach doing SUP yoga. This will tone your core, build your stability and challenge you to be present and focused. I recommend checking out SUP Yoga Vancouver with excellent instructors that will ease you into the basics on land before hitting the open sea.