After years of kayaking, I decided to give Stand Up Paddleboarding a shot. The previous attempt had been on Kauai, where I was thrown around by the surf. Without instruction or practice, I was launched a few times and ended the whole experience discouraged and unsure about SUP.
One of the attractions for me is the simplicity of set-up. Hauling around an 18.5 foot kayak is always a lot of work, but once I am in the boat, I am happy to paddle for hours and the seaworthy kayak handles wind and waves well. On the other hand, going for a quick paddle on a smaller lake with a paddleboard is a tempting alternative.
I decided to take a lesson before buying a board. I called up PaddleSurfit at Heffley Lake and opted for a one-hour private lesson. I arrived and Bodie gave me the introduction and we were soon on the lake. Shaky at first, with Bodie’s guidance I found the right stance and my balance point, but my paddling was awkward and ineffective, except for going around in circles. I was guided in steps to the correct position and stroke, although it will take many hours of practice to make it natural and automatic.
By the end of the lesson, I was hooked. The next step was to get a paddleboard. From my research, there are no used ones in sight. New ones range in price from $700 to $2000, but I won’t be racing, doing yoga, or surfing so I chose a long (14′) touring paddleboard. Then there will be lots of hours of practice. Watch for me on a local lake.
As the bubbles spray
And fall in tinkling tunes away.
And up the hills against the sky.
A fir tree rocking its lullaby
Its emerald wings,
Swelling the song that my paddle sings.