This weekend we were gifted with some unexpected free time together after a work project J was expecting was delayed. Since it was too late in the day to go on a long hike, we decided to head over to Jericho and see if we could find some stand up paddleboards to rent. It’s something we’ve both been wanting to try, and with the Folk Fest on we figured other beach activities might be quieter. The ocean was calm with a very gentle breeze, making it perfect weather.
Initially, we both felt wobbly in spite of the fact that the huge boards are extremely stable. SUPing is billed as a great core activity, but to begin with we both felt like we were carrying the load in our legs – J in her feet, and me in my calves. It took fifteen minutes or so for us to learn to trust the boards (and ourselves) and let the tension go. For me, the biggest adjustment was realising that this wasn’t a twitchy little windsurf board and that I didn’t have to overcompensate every time I hit a wake or wave.
As we got used to the boards, it became clear that J has a natural talent for SUPing. She zipped away from me and past pretty much every other boarder out there, including people who clearly had a lot more experience than us. I trundled along in her wake, grateful that my cranky shoulder seemed to be tolerating the activity but very conscious of how weak my upper body has gotten over the months I’ve been nursing the injury.
SUPs are sort of forcefully relaxing. Especially when you’re learning, the pace is very measured and the dip of the paddle in and out of the water is hypnotic. It’s also a very different perspective. I expected it to feel a lot like kayaking, but it really doesn’t. You have the same benefit of being out on the water and away from the land and the crowds, but the standing position completely changes your view of the things around you and your own perception of your movement through the water. We both loved the feeling of peace and calm that came from being far away from the shore, but close together on our boards.
This is something we’ll definitely do again.