When I was in Brisbane for work last year, my friend Swathi took me to Byron Bay and we saw a tiny Asian girl standing on a surf board, only she wasn’t surfing, and she had a paddle in her hands! She looked like she was having so much fun, paddling into the sea, braving the sun and the waves. We didn’t know what she was doing at the time, but I found out later than it was this thing called Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Boarding! V and I thought we’d try it out, so we signed up for a beginners’ course and went for it this morning.
We met up at Point Walter, along the Swan River at 7 am. It was a cool, lovely morning, and despite not being a morning person, I was quite excited. We started by paddling upstream and upwind, because our instructor Kenny told us the wind could pick up very quickly once the sea breeze started blowing in and if you started off going downwind, you might not be able to return to your starting point. It was harder than I thought, paddling upwind while standing up on the board, because your body acts like a sail and the wind keeps pushing you and your board back. On top of that, you have to maintain your balance. My balance is OK, but I do not have much power in me. Hmm, that’s actually an understatement. My strength is pathetic. I could not even lift the board and carry it around myself!
We practised getting onto the board, going from a sitting position to a standing position on the board, the correct paddling technique, braking, making a pivot turn, and oh, we enjoyed ourselves!
Some of us fell from the board into the brackish water. Tee hee!
The guy on the background is our instructor Kenny. The girl in the green wetsuit is Annet. They ran the course together. Kenny told us he was Dutch and only moved to Australia last October. Needless to say, he was definitely enjoying the weather and the lifestyle in Perth!
Here’s Kenny with his green lips (he puts on green lip balm)! If I didn’t hear him speak, I wouldn’t guess he was Dutch. He’s the quintessential Australian dude with his tousled blond waves, tan, and beach shorts!
V and I loved it and are thinking of signing up for the intermediate course in the next few weeks. And when my sisters come and visit, Stand Up Paddle Boarding will definitely be on the list of things we could do together. It’s one of those things that you forget is actually a sport, which is the sort of things I love because I can’t be bothered to exercise but appreciate adventure and fun outdoor activities once in a while. If you’re anything like me, you should check it out!