Paddle Boarding or more specifically SUP (Stand-up Paddle) Boarding has become my new addiction, even though I am only on day four I am pretty sure I’m in for the long haul. I have been wanting to try this sport for some time now and had plans to do it on our last California road-trip instead of surfing(which I also really want to try, but am freaked out by the whole shark aspect of the sport). I had scouted out a couple of companies down around Santa Cruz where we were supposed to be headed this year and was already to go try it for the first time, but if you have read my previous post you know that our trip was canceled.
So, in an attempt to salvage my now “staycation” I went in search of a local rental/lesson board shop here around the Olympia area. Lucky me I found West Bay Paddleboards and Owner Chris Fry. I called Monday morning to see if I could get in for a lesson, “yes” he had an opening at 2pm.
I was pretty nervous, afraid I was going to make a fool out of myself, drown or I don’t know, run into a boat. Chris gave me a demo of the basics, how to get on, how to stand up, how to turn, paddle, stop and emergency brake. He then walked me through getting on the board and paddling around on my knees a little bit to get used to the paddling strokes and the feel of the board. Then it was step by step on how to stand up, the next thing I knew I was standing, with my heart pounding and my paddle in the water heading out in the open water. Oh my goodness, even through my fears, I knew I was going to love this.
My second day I went out by myself and paddled around in relative silence watching the seals sun themselves on the log piles and seeing a few of them bob their heads up to take a look at me. It was a great day on the water taking in the view of my city with the capital shining in the distance, the marina full of boats softly bobbing in the light waves and the huge rock in the harbor with 3 herons looking for their next meal. It was a lovely feeling of freedom and pride and happiness all rolled into one.
Day three was another perfect day and I decided to test my comfort zone a bit and headed out the furthest from shore and my dock that I had been so far. I got a bit concerned when a big black sail boat was heading right in my direction, but I busted it into high gear and got the heck out of the way. Then some out of towner who clearly wasn’t paying attention to the “no wake zone” came flying through the bay so I got to make my way through a couple of good-sized (well for a beginner on her own they were good sized) waves. I was definitely feeling more confident by the end of my third ride.
The time alone on the water seems to help me clear my head, begin to set some priorities and help me start thinking more directly about the things I want in my life. Yes, it was that good, plus it got me off my ass!
Have you been waiting to try something you have always thought would be fun?