Stand Up Paddleboarding

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Happy birthday to me from Hawaii!  It has kind of thrown off my groove to be both warm and sunburned on both Thanksgiving and my birthday. Sad life, I know.
The first thing on the agenda was to try out stand up paddleboarding. For those of you who do not know (like me a week ago), stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is where you stand up on what seems like an overgrown surfboard and paddle around with an oar. From what I understand, it emerged out of the difficulty in learning to get up on a surfboard. So the solution was to give you a board “big enough to dance on” (credit goes to the author of Maui Revealed for that one). It offers a great core workout, and you can really get cruising on those things.

Anyway, we picked the board up at the local Boss Frog’s, a franchised equipment rental shop in Maui, and hauled our 10’6″ board clear to the beach. The boards aren’t incredibly heavy – between 25 and 30 pounds – but they sure are a pain in the butt to carry. Being 10.5 feet long and 2.5 feet wide, the boards make excellent sails. Every time the wind picks up or gusts, you have to strain to keep the board from spinning you around. Luckily the beach was only down one block and across the street.

Stand up paddleboarding had a much shallower learning curve than either Bree or I had expected. Within a few of minutes of being on the water we were semi-comfortably standing and paddling around. They key, we found, was to stay on your knees and paddle out past the breaking waves. Otherwise, you got tossed and turned and knocked off the board onto your butt. Once you are in more quiet waters, it is quite simple to hop up onto your feet. Even balancing on the board was easier than expected.

We paddled around for probably 3 hours. We were even able to pull off random stunts such as headstands and the ultimate challenge – two people getting up on 1 board. That one cost my shins about 10 bruises and some blood. We were even able to follow some sea turtles around in the water.  It was amazing how clear the water was.

I would highly recommend giving stand up paddleboarding a shot if you get the chance. It is awesome, and something that we will definitely do again.

 

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