But I know what you're thinking, "Jenny, the only body of water in my area is absolutely disgusting! Only someone hoping to develop super-human powers would dare submerge themselves in that waste filled sludge-pit we call a lake." I used to feel that way too. Still do, in fact, because the nearest lake to me is pretty unsavory. Fortunately, stand-up paddle boarding is so easy that there is minimal threat of coming in contact with the water (assuming, of course, that you are both careful in your movement and have the foresight to not venture out with an obnoxious acquaintance). The board is so large and buoyant that as long as your feet are firmly planted and you avoid any sudden movements, it's fairly easy to stay balanced (the only issues I had were at the very onset as I was acclimating to my sea-legs and whenever I would get startled by a fish, wasp, or beer can). Furthermore, it looks pretty difficult, so all of the kayaking passersby are duly impressed with your wave riding prowess!
When Jason and I went paddle boarding this past weekend, we spent about an hour on fairly calm water, which was a good way to get used to the movements of the board and work on our technique (involving basic standing and paddling). We never actually ventured out into the lake, but kept to a nearby connected passageway (which probably only compounded the whole this-water-is-disgusting issue). While I may have been too afraid of waves/fish/boats to brave the slightly rougher water of the actual lake on my first outing (with full intention of conquering it at a later date), I know that there are quite a few paddlers that are brave enough to surf the ocean. In fact, I think Hawaii (and probably other places as well, maybe) has annual events where people traverse fairly large distances on paddle boards (yeah, I'm pretty thorough and detailed with my research...). Recently, Justin DeBree of Florida set the world record for longest stand up paddle board journey with his trip from Key Biscayne to St. Mary's Georgia (a total of 420 miles), as well as the world record for most miles paddled in one day (49 miles)!
|As I do not have a waterproof camera, and anticipated much more falling-into-the-water, |
I had to steal these pictures from the internet.
I was actually thinking of how pleasant of an afternoon stand up paddle boarding could make, given the right circumstances. Just imagine it: grab a group of friends and pack a picnic. You could easily enclose your foods in a water proof bag or backpack (for safe keeping in the event that you and your belongings topple into the water). You could all paddle for a bit until you find a good stopping place, then either park your boards or just sit on them and float on the water. You could have your nice picnic, chill out for a bit, then paddle back. If you get too hot (because seriously, I may have not fallen in the water this past weekend, but I was still soaking wet from sweat), you can always jump off the board, take a dip, then remount and keep going. Of course, this scenario is only desirable if you've found a body of water that you can see more than an inch into... but I think it would definitely be worth the search. Or hey, you can always still risk it and hope for radioactive powers.
Have you ever been stand up paddle boarding? Are you terrified of what unnatural things might be in your local lake? What about the natural mysteries of lakes, such as that of Loch Ness?