Stand Up Paddle Boarding, otherwise known as SUP, is all the rage these days. Wouldn’t you agree? It’s like everywhere you turn, someone has a few strapped to the roof of their car or you see one, two or five floating down the river.
Naturally I had to try it out!
A girlfriend asked me if I’d meet her for SUP on a sunny Saturday morning and I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough.
You know those friends that just know what you need, when you need it?
Well, this is that type of friend. Life would simply not be the same without her. She rescues my mind and heart when I need it most.
She said to meet her at 8 a.m. (holy crap – who is out on the water that early? But, I learned long ago that she’s an early bird and sometimes you just need to roll with it) and that I didn’t need to bring anything (sounds easy enough to me).
So I show up at the lake a whole mile away from my house (now you don’t feel sorry for me waking up “sooooooo” early, huh?!) and I find my friend with all her gear out, pumping.
Pumping?! What is she doing?
Why are the paddle boards … um, flat?
Turns out, you can buy inflatable SUPs! They can go anywhere you want to go in any type of transportation you have. Super easy. You can even hike into a remote lake with these puppies!
Here’s the one that I rode on.
Literally within a few minutes …
… it was ready.
And then I understood why we were out there at the crack of dawn (ok, so I embellished that a bit), hardly anyone was out there except for a few fisherman.
It was pretty sweet.
I’ve tried this popular sport once before, but it was for only a few minutes just off the shore. This time around, I got to play with the real dogs. And, it was pretty awesome.
I only looked like an idiot a few times when I couldn’t figure out how to turn. But after I got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing — or, should I say, paddling – from there.
I didn’t even fall in!
Now some declare SUP as a great cross-training activity, a core workout if you will, while others say the best part about it is the tranquility. Just you and the water.
I have to say this trip was mostly for the soul.
I’m not sure what we did more, paddling or talking.
But, I do know that I might have the bug and I’m ready to get back on the water. I think I’ll stick to the lakes before I venture out on to the Columbia, but for now I’m good with that.
And for the record, just about anyone can do this sport. You can sit, kneel or stand and paddle at your own pace. It’s really all about you, the water and the nature that surrounds you.
Equipment sells at all types of price points and you can rent them just about anywhere.
If you’ve never been before, our friends over at REI have put together a pretty great article about SUP basics and tips on how to get started.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your bestie and get out there.
And, be safe!
Tell us. Where’s your favorite place in the Gorge to SUP?