It’s not exactly a secret that I’m about as uncoordinated as an octopus on dry land, but I’ve really really really wanted to try Stand Up Paddleboarding (or SUP as the cool kids call it) forever.
Yes, I realize that it requires balance AND coordination. And if you bugger it up you’re totally getting wet. That’s probably part of the reason why it’s taken me over a year of saying I want to do it before I actually grew the balls to give it a go.
Being my birth-week and all I decided there was no better time to try a new adventure, and picked a day to go. Of course, I posted it on Facebook and was lucky enough to have a friend who wanted to come with to give me both accountability to actually follow through, and someone to hang out with.
Living only a few miles away from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world meant we had a lot of options to choose from. We ended up renting our boards from Siesta Key Paddleboards because of a really great deal on Groupon. We got a mini “lesson” and 4 hours of rental for $32. Even better, the company transports the boards for us so we simply had to meet at a beautiful quiet little cove at 9:30 in the morning to be on our way.
The day was pretty much perfect aside from it being a bit cool for Florida (high 60s) and windy when we first set out. However, the sun was bright and hot and the water was warm and it ended up being absolutely perfect.
As far as paddle boarding goes, here’s the skinny:
- Holy crap it’s fun!
- It’s actually pretty darn easy to balance. I started out on my knees until I got comfortable, but within the first 10 minutes or so I attempted to stand up and was successful. I didn’t lose my balance or end up in the water once.
- Whatever you do, don’t look down at your board. Keeping your eyes focused on the horizon is important to keeping your balance.
- It’s a decent workout! Our little group went at an easy pace, but in order to balance you activate your core muscles, and the paddling itself is a great little workout for your shoulders, arms and back. At once point I was actually grateful for the wind because I was getting a little sweaty.
All in all it was an amazing day on the water, and something I would totally do again soon. If you’ve never tried it I highly recommend giving it a go! Based on Siesta Key Paddleboard’s recommendation we took a scenic trip through the mangroves to a private beach called Midnight Pass and back to our starting point twice, and took a break in the middle for lunch and rehydration.
Probably the biggest tip I have is to be sure to put sunscreen on the top of your feet! I missed that step, and wowie am I paying for it!
Have you ever gone SUP? What was your experience like? And how jealous are you of our amazing Florida “fall” weather?