How It All Began
My buddy Jane and I have a habit of entering events without really knowing what they entail – and my discovery of stand-up paddle boarding happened in just this way . I messaged Jane and suggested we enter an alternative triathlon (as quite frankly we are both terrible swimmers ) where the swimming was replaced with this activity called SUPing – which looked pretty cool in a ‘surf dude’ way. Entries done, kit packed we headed off on our girls weekend away mini adventure!
On arrival we quickly realised what this first section of the event entailed – stand up paddle boarding 3km around a Welsh lake in rather a strong wind…we had never even seen a paddle board before …. nothing like a bit of winging it !!!
We set off from the start line on our knees, wondering how the heck we were actually supposed to stand up, let alone steer this wobbly SUP we were on. A lot of cursing , minor panics about crashing in to the edge and a huge amount of slightly hysterical laughter – we braved it – we stood up!
We then braced ourselves ( feet planted !) and cracked on with trying to paddle without propelling ourselves off . 3km later we returned onto dry land…charged up the bank with a huge smile ready to jump on the mountain bikes.
I can’t deny it was a slightly awkward experience to start with, but it was also truly brilliant !! The sense of adventure and excitement from the start was quite unique, we were buddies out together on our paddle boards in the middle of a glorious wavy lake – laughing hysterically at each other , getting equally frustrated at times at our inability to do it, and yet feeling like we were amazing super humans at the same time – simply because we were doing something so unbelievably different , and actually achieving it !
That hour on the paddle board is what got me hooked. I felt totally refreshed yet physically tired after an hour of paddling – but most of all, I wanted to go again and soon !
Fast Forward: This Is Where The Exercise Part Comes In
Paddle boarding is pretty cool – you can simply hire or buy a stand-up paddleboard, and take it for a tootle around a lake or down the river , and almost anybody could do this and get that lovely sense of freedom and escapism the water gives you …….but if that’s a little sedate…. you can of course take it a little further !
SUP Fitness (SUPfit) does just that. We lose the walls and take your workout to the water on the paddle board, giving you an effective full body training session, in a location that gives a sense of space and freedom.
When you exercise on land you have a nice firm base ( ground !)…..but then transfer those same moves to a wobbly platform, and boy is it new challenge!!
The exercises improve:
your core strength
your cardio performance
and tone those legs superbly!
Add that to the back and shoulder muscles required to actually paddle the board, and you leave a session really feeling the benefits. Plus of course you are outside in the fresh air and sunshine – and simply nothing is better then exercising outdoors for your mental and physical health.
What to the sessions actually involve?
A standard SUPfit session is effectively a circuit training class on the water. We use cardio exercises to up that heart rate, bodyweight moves to get those joints and muscles working and also add resistance bands to the boards to give us additional strength core workouts. We mix the sessions up to include sections of stretching and controlled work, with high intensity bursts to keep us on our toes !!
Workouts can also be tailored – so if you’re a private group wanting to take it a little slower, that’s totally fine, we can strengthen and stretch at sunset and all the benefits can be achieved at your own level.
So if you fancy something a little different, want to keep your workouts fresh and want to work hard and laugh at the same with your friends – why not try the fast growing sport of paddleboarding, and give SUPfit a try ?
If you enjoy it as much as I love teaching it – you will leave the water a stronger, happier and more chilled version of the person that arrived!
Tallington Lakes offer SUP Taster Sessions to introduce you to the basics of stand-up paddleboarding. More information here, or call 01778 381151by