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TRAIL RUNNING

All paddleboarders, please stand up

Updated: May 23

If you have ever been flung off of a surfboard or capsized in a canoe, you might have an aversion to some of the more common water sports, knowing the intense hours of practice and training required to achieve proficiency.


This is NOT the case with stand-up paddleboarding.


The whole thing is easy. From finding where to go SUP to purchasing or renting your own, to actually doing it. After reading this article, you could be on the water within a day.

Now, this is not to say that you’ll be competing at the Olympic level (the sport is making inroads), but if you’re looking for a couple of hours of fun at the weekend, you’ll definitely want to give SUP’ing a go.


My First Time


I was tasked with writing social media content for a versatile SUV. Now, what better way is there to show versatility than to show versatility? Having filmed, photographed, and shown running, cycling, and hiking to a standstill, it became clear that it was time to introduce something new into the mix.


Terence from AdventureLife had been offering his SUPs for extramural use for a while then and jumped at the idea of using them in our shoot. Any excuse to get out on the water! But hey, it’s work, right?


After filming most of our other scenes for the day, we found ourselves at Emmarentia Dam with the SUPs inflated and a little time to spare.


I made my way to the water’s edge and tentatively placed my foot on the SUP. This was it. I’m either stepping on like a pro or taking an involuntary swim. Swiftly, I stepped on with my second foot and lowered my centre of gravity in preparation for the balancing act I was certain would ensue. However, there was no need.


It was really that easy. I grabbed the paddle and started making my way towards the centre of the dam. In no time at all, I was paddling as fast as I could, attempting to sit down and changing directions at a whim. What fun!


It wasn’t quite the end of the workday, so I had to head back to shore way sooner than I would've liked, but I knew I’d be back.


I Came Back


It wasn’t even two weeks until my birthday and I asked if we might head back to the dam with a couple of friends and spend the day SUP’ing. Terence agreed but said we need to go a little harder than that.


Two boats, two SUPs, a bag of charcoal, and a couple of mates. The recipe for an awesome day out.


Although years have passed since our “wild” youth, it took no time at all for the challenges to start being set. From diving into the water to catch the frisbee to paddling your hardest to escape a forced capsize. The ease and freedom allowed by a SUP allow for endless opportunities for fun and shenanigans.


How To SUP


Watch a YouTube video. If you have no expert or experienced SUP’er in the vicinity, watching a couple of YouTube videos will give you a grasp of the basic techniques (hey, you could just wing it, but if you’re keen to at least look like you know what you’re doing, perhaps go for a basic overview).


Where can you SUP? Anywhere. Anywhere there’s water and you’re allowed to use it. There’s whitewater SUP’ing, sea SUP’ing, lake SUP’ing, and, dare I say it, pool SUP’ing. It may be a little distance from you to your ideal SUP’ing location, but with inflatable SUPs that are easily carried as backpacks, it’s not a difficult journey.


I’ve spoken at length about iSUPs (inflatable SUPs) because we live in the city, however, there are many varying lengths and materials to suit your specific needs. If you’re looking for a competitively-priced and easy-to-store-and-use option, then take a look at these beginner boards from Decathlon.