Do It, Review It – Stand Up Paddleboarding

I’m constantly looking for fun new ways to get outside, be active, and enjoy each and every loved one and day in my life. That, coupled with the realization that we’re now knee deep in the month of August, made me hungry for an adventure.This Saturday, my appetite for such an adventure was satisfied when my three amazing, active, and fun loving friends and I decided to get our day started early with a trip to the Newport Beach, CA to test out the water and try stand up paddleboarding (or, stand up paddling or SUPing as some prefer to abbreviate).

Tiffany, Connie, Emily & I enjoying a wonderful day on the water!

I’ve gone SUPing once before (last summer), when Tiffany and I bought and redeemed a LivingSocial deal for a one hour lesson at Stand Up Paddle Co in Laguna Beach, CA. The lesson was great and mostly taught us the valuable basics. Stand up paddleboarding is done in the water while you stand on what looks like a larger than usual surf board – you use a paddle like you would in a kayak, except this one just has a paddle on one end and a handle on the other. We learned how to get in and out of the ocean, along with how to start on our knees and work our way up to standing. It was a mellow day on the water, so learning to tackle the waves wasn’t too challenging. Our instructor was a sun-kissed, very easy on the eyes, not from California kind of friendly surfer dude who was a nice addition to the “sorority big sis-little sis” chit chat and giggles while we paddled around. The thing I remember the most, though, was the feeling of absolute peace and quiet on the water. Even in our group of three, the water offered endless amounts of space and tranquility for “me time.” I loved it!

This time, four of us (pictured above) met up in Newport Beach, CA to try out Adventures Boat Rentals and paddle around Newport Harbor. The weather was perfect – sunny with a slight breeze, and overall, the place was really great. The staff was friendly and helpful, the prices were incredibly affordable (we spent $20 per person for an hour and a half rental), it had pretty good accessibility, and getting in and out of the water on the docks wasn’t as challenging as I worried it might be. Not only that, but exploring the boats’ bedroom and passing by all the fellow paddlers, kayakers, boaters and beyond was very pleasant!

The four of us all transitioned swiftly from our knees to standing on our paddleboards and I felt at ease going from standing to sitting to laying down to standing again. I kept thinking I must have improved since this same level of movement last summer would’ve landed me straight in the water! We even spotted a group of SUP Yogis (aka: people who do Yoga on paddleboards in the water) and tried copying them… we didn’t get far but it’s the attempt that counts, right??

As far as the workout aspect of SUPing goes, it seemed to differ for everyone in our group. Between the four of us though, we seemed to have almost every body part accounted for in the soreness discussion that followed our session. I found the best core/abs move (for me) occurred with I made sharp turns on the paddleboard (by holding the paddle firmly in the water on one side to turn the board in that direction – I hope that wasn’t a terrible description).

Summary
SUPing is super fun, can be done without breaking the bank, and provides a refreshing workout in the beautiful outdoors! With or without tons of company, it’s a peaceful break from the fast paced world we’re immersed in and it’s well worth an hour of your time! Take a break, grab a paddle, and get moving!

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