The rivers are running clear and low. Fishing season is pretty much upon us. Time to gain back that winter weight and go back to occasionally hanging out with our non-paddling friends. I try to hit the gym, but I just don't have time and it isn't kayaking. Nothing really is. This past weekend though I spent some time on Lake Erie with my wife’s family and found myself hooked on a new genre of paddling that might just keep my papa’s belly to a minimum through this mud season.
I know, I know, everybody’s talking about SUP. It’s the latest greatest, plus its name is a sweet acronym. It’s pretty hot right now and for some of us that is kind of turn-off, feeling like we are just jumping on the bandwagon, but here are some great reasons to give it a go, even if it’s just on flat-water.
1. It is a great paddling workout and really pretty fun. It works your core big time and most of the same arm, shoulder and torso muscles you use for getting your boof on.
2. It is an amazingly versatile sport. Take it out on flat-water, or the local class III run, take it to the beach to surf some waves or paddle your dog around on it. Liquid Logic is even coming out with a new SUP board that actually doubles as a sit on top kayak, the Versaboard , and it will be out next spring. That thing is looking to be the ultimate family fun vehicle.
3. It will be a new challenge that you can look forward to improving at every time you step on it. And believe me, it is a challenge. The flat-water isn’t too bad, but my first experience with a SUP was on Earl’s board on Westwater, and with some current, watch out! You’ll be on your knees before you know it, hoping just to ride it out.
4. Again, It has a sweet name.
5. When you get good you can surf the Glenwood Wave or try to kickflip a waterfall.
Photo by Werner Paddles Dan Gavere - SUP extraordinaire!
I truly think that most paddlers will really enjoy the SUP trend and that we will see more and more of these in people’s arsenals. It’s going to make class III super interesting again for many expert paddlers, and class IV downright hair raising. Just give it a try and you’ll know what I’m saying.
Below is a video of Nikki Gregg who also paddles for Werner talking about her SUP boot camp and the benefits of a SUP workout.