Trying new things makes you feel good. FACT. If those new things are in the outdoors then they make you feel fantastic! I’d been wanting to try stand up paddle boarding (SUP) ever since I’d seen folk bimbling around the harbour while living in Tauranga, New Zealand. It looked so peaceful and elegant and an all round great way to get out on the water.
It has been some time since I left New Zealand but finally this weekend my stand up paddle boarding dreams became a reality. Under the expert tuition of SUP Bristol I gingerly took to the water in Bristol Harbour. After some orientation on land it was time to get going. A seated kneel became a half up half down kneel and then suddenly via some sort of modified downward dog yoga pose I was standing! I was actually doing a sport correctly within 30 minutes of having started it and it felt amazing!
My new found confidence was pretty solid although I did take a small wild swim in the harbour trying to win a 360 degree turn race, nearly all of my fellow participants managed to stay dry but where’s the fun in that!?
A 90 minute paddle took us on a pretty full tour right from The Cottage Inn to Thekla and back. Seeing familiar surroundings from a new perspective on the water made me see my city with fresh eyes. I never realised just how many independent pubs there are around Bristol harbour or how many fantastic houseboats are moored. We also discovered working shipyards and the headquarters of Severnside sub aqua club – I mean who knew we had one!
I loved the sensation of gliding along the water powered only by my paddle. It felt like exercise the next day but at the time just felt like what my body was designed to do. The very nature of the way you move on the water encourages you to take your time and to see things you would normally pass by. The whole experience was incredibly relaxing. It felt like great cross training for yoga, climbing and cycling too – a strong core is almost guaranteed – much more fun that sit ups.
I can’t wait for my next time out on the water, I might even combine two of my passions like these guys…. I also heard a rumour that it might be possible to paddle board all the way to London….
Who fancies an SUP adventure?