What's SUP Part 1: Mastering the latest craze on water
Jul 26, 2011 | 5:43 pm
Think Camp. Think Canoeing. S-U-P--short for Stand Up Paddleboard--is as cool as it looks.
How many times have you driven across the 1st street or Lamar bridge, looked down and seen those folks standing on surfboards and paddling? I have wanted to try it for months.
My gym, Pure Austin, offers basic training every week, it's an opportunity to learn how to paddle, stand up and glide across the water on your board.
We finally took the challenge. My workout buddy and awesome friend Jennifer, her daughter Olivia and I joined 6 others for our 1st SUP class. Our coach, Jody showed us the basics and we were off.
It wasn't as challenging to balance as I had imagined it would be. First on our knees and then one foot up and then the other. I was standing with ease.
The boards are 11 or 12 feet long, the longer the board, the easier it is to balance. I wanted to ask about the odds of falling off but I decided against it, I didn't want to know.
Splash... one of our fellow classmates was in the water; he said the water felt great. We were grateful he was the first.
We paddled around a cove to get the feel for the board, the hardest part to tackle was the steering. Coach Jody yelled, "reverse paddle, reverse paddle." That was an instant fix. If you dig your paddle in the water from the back of the board to the front, it will instantly turn you in the right direction.
We ventured out into the open water of the quarry. My friend Jennifer took the lead and she wasn't giving it up. The competitive side of me kicked in, but I couldn't catch her, she had caught on fast and she was cruising on her board. Luckily I wasn't last.
We finished our first loop around the quarry and headed back into the cove. Now for the real challenge of balance. We held the paddle behind our necks and did squats, pushed ourselves in sit ups and held planks until we couldn't hold anymore and this was just basic training. We finished off the class with another paddle around the quarry and got a nod of encouragement from our Coach Jody.
She said we were ready for the next level, a SUP class called Hard Core.
I left that day feeling exhilarated, we had done something new and we were pretty darn good at it. I can't wait to get back up on that board.
Ready to take the challenge? Stand Up Paddleboard classes are offered on Friday nights and Saturday mornings at Pure Austin at the Quarry Lake location. They're also offered through Austin SUP ATX or Austin Paddle Sports.