Never fear, I haven’t allowed my few days on Queensland’s Gold Coast to turn me into some laid-back beannie-wearing surfer type (a girl can dream though, right?!); and I am most definitely not talking about supping in a way that involves an evening meal in a quaint English village.
No indeedy… rather I’m talking something that will appeal to my adventurous and fun-loving readers.
Stand Up Paddleboarding. (Or SUP, to we in the know!)
The first time I came across SUP, it involved a picture of Jennifer Aniston and an article citing it as the secret to her great body. Now, I suspect the magazine took some artistic licence there (why let the fact that she eats well and exercises like a demon get in the way of a good story?!); but… it’s true that SUP itself is a water sport which offers a good workout for your core (because it’s all about balance) and arms and shoulders.
Queensland’s Gold Coast is famous for its gorgeous beaches, theme parks and tanned, toned and glamorous peeps. Indeed, I’m sure there must be some unhealthy types getting about but all of those I saw walking, running and cycling near the beachfront all looked pretty amazing. Of course the lifestyle lends itself to all things sun, sand and surf related. Which is why yours truly, along with some fellow bloggers, had an opportunity to try SUP with local surfing coach (and Tai Chi instructor on the side), Brad Holmes.
I feel compelled to mention that Brad’s been around for yonks, but I don’t want to imply that he’s a mature gent. Indeed, he’s far fitter and healthier than moi… however, he has been teaching surfing (and more recently SUP) since 1992.
After a briefing and demonstration we were on our merry way. And by we, I mean everyone-but-me.
Actually that’s not true. Brad initially had us just getting up onto our knees and we soon discovered that the secret’s in the mount. You basically need to push the board along the water and leap onto the board (on your knees) at the same time.
I did (eventually) manage this.
As a one-time rower however, I struggled a bit with the paddle. Even when kneeling, the SUP paddle is used in a more upright way, whereas I was trying to row (as if in a boat) and change hands on each stroke. Sadly my quad muscles ached when kneeling so I sat back on my haunches and paddled about for a while.
My fellow bloggers and SUPPERS (Nicole from Planning with Kids; Belinda from Save Mum’s Sanity; Eleise from A Very Blended Family; and our host Shelley, from Tourism and Events Qld) managed to get on their feet in no time.
In fact, although they all managed the occasional slip into the water, they mastered the SUP art so quickly some even attempted some SUP yoga. Although that was ummm…. less successful.
Brad informed us his better students (or his regulars) actually do Tai Chi out on the boards. (Yes, well….)
Despite my measly attempt, my quads were killing me the following day, so I can only imagine what a great (and low impact) workout it was for those who paddled about for an hour or so!
My lack of confidence and self-consciousness meant that I headed in a lot earlier than the others, but I’m pleased I gave it a go!
I’m actually very fortunate in that there’s a SUP company in my (not-so-new) hometown of Hervey Bay so, I’m thinking as summer returns in full force I might have another try. Fortunately the experience also reinvigorated my interest in doing some kayaking, so that’s on my #ToDo agenda as well.
Have you tried Stand Up Paddleboarding? Or surfing? Or anything requiring balance?
Are you a lover of the sun, sand and sea?