The title of this post is so cheesy, I apologize. I couldn’t help it though.
If you haven’t noticed through earlier posts, I tend to spend a whole lot of time working out outside during the summer months. My gym/weight room visits have been few and far between for the past few weeks (I know, shame on me), partly because the gym was closed last week, partly because of my back, but also because I have a hard time being cooped up inside when it’s so darn nice out. Even on days when I do make it to the weight room, I’ve been riding my bike there so I can still take advantage of the beautiful Boston weather!
Although stadium runs have been taking over my life (in a great way) lately, there is one other outdoor workout that is at the top of my list, way above all others:
Stand Up Paddleboarding (or SUP, for short. Now do you get the title?)
If you’re not familiar, a SUP is basically a much larger version of a surfboard on which you stand, balance, and paddle around. (The name pretty much says it all). I know it sounds easy, and it actually can be as easy or as hard as you make it. As with any workout, you get out what you put in! You can do this in calm water (ponds, lakes, rivers), or for a little more wild ride, out in the ocean. I’ve done both, and they’re both such different experiences I’m not sure which one I prefer more.
I first tried SUP out in San Diego in 2009 and instantly loved it. Although I’m pretty sure I could do anything in San Diego and love it, but I digress. When I came back after that trip, I searched and searched for places that I could rent a paddleboard here on the East Coast, but it turned out to be extremely difficult to find them. While the sport was already gaining popularity on the West Coast, us Easters (you like that term?) hadn’t quite caught up to the game yet. I did end up finding a few surf shops at a couple of different beaches who each had 2 paddleboards to rent out, so with first come/first serve, it was still difficult to actually get ahold of one.
Fast forward to 2010, when there were some local river/lake kayak companies who were starting to rent out a few paddleboards. Fast forward again to this year, and it seems like they’re everywhere! The local Boston company, Charles River Kayaks, now has a ton of them available, and I see people out on the Charles on them nearly every day. It’s definitely picked up in popularity here, although I can’t speak for other areas of the country, especially those areas away from the coast. I’m even seriously considering buying my own at this point, because I love it so much, I live right next to the river, and renting for $17/hr adds up pretty quickly!
So why should YOU try SUP?
Not a good enough answer for you? Ok then…
I have 2 answers for you here: 1) It’s FUN! and 2) It’s an excellent full body workout!
Not only is it an amazing workout for your shoulders, arms, and back, but your core also gets an ass-whooping. Depending on how long you go out for, and also depending on the type of water you’re in, your legs can also get a killer stabilizing workout. For example, last time Will and I went out on the Charles River here in Boston, we were paddling for 2 hours straight… and when I finally stepped off the board, I could hardly move my legs (lets not even mention how sore my lats were the next day).
Also, if you happen to be local to Boston, paddleboarding down the Charles lends itself to an amazing and unique view of the city and skyline. It’s an excellent way to spend an afternoon, or if you weren’t paying by the hour, you could make a whole day out of paddleing, picnicking somewhere, and paddling back!
If you live near either coastline, check out the local surf shops for SUP rentals. Or if you live near a lake or relatively calm river, it’s definitely worth checking out the local kayak/canoe rental places as those are starting to offer SUPs pretty regularly now.
And with that, I’m off! It’s my first day back at work after having the entire two months of June and July off, so I’m sure I’m in for a rude awakening!
Have you ever tried paddleboarding? Does it seem like an activity you would enjoy? Do you do any other water sports?