Stand Up Paddle, Singapore
What have you been up to this Sunday? We’ve been stand up paddle boarding, and for two reasons:
1. It’s pretty awesome. The beach. The ocean. And – not to sound like the coffee-and-wine-swilling layabout that I am – the fact you don’t even realise you’re exercising until you wake up sore the next morning. (Although I’ve found my stomach muscles hold up better now I’m not falling off all the time.)
2. It’s the perfect Singapore-style training program for our upcoming ski trip to Japan.
That’s right! We’ve managed to convince several members of our extended family that it would be in their best interests to pack themselves onto a plane and meet us on the wintery slopes of Nagano this season, and I’ll be sure to let you know how that unfolds. (Before then, we’re off to Bangalore, and more about that soon, too. For now, let’s not digress.)
Who Went? The usual crowd consists of one 5yo, one 2yo, Mum and Dad, friends and colleagues J and P, and P’s dog, C.
Review: Most people who hang around near water from time to time have seen this by now, but for those new to the concept, it’s basically a cross between surfing and canoeing. You stand up (on the board)… and you paddle. The name’s actually pretty descriptive. It’s done either on flat water or (if you’re better than us and live nearer the surf than we do) in the waves. Update: for a full grasp of the idea, you can see a video of us in action.
We started off with a lesson from Rachel of Windsurfing, Kitesurfing and Stand Up Paddle, Singapore. Rachel’s a good choice if you’re introducing your kids to SUP in Singapore, as she’s got two under five herself, so she’s all over it – she managed to gently coax P from “I’m not sure I want to do that…” to “Let’s go again next week!” within the first hour. (If you click over to Rachel’s website you can see her SUP-ing whilst pregnant, and her kids SUP-ing by themselves.) Even Chop-Chop the dog relaxed pretty quickly, so we’ve found it’s not only suitable for most ages but also multiple species.
Highlights: Getting together with friends, getting wet, seeing a horizon more than sixty metres away, playing man-overboard, lessons on ecology and environmental respect, building balance and control, exercise that doesn’t feel like a chore. Update: we’ve also found it’s a good way to get some kids off to an afternoon nap.
Challenges: It takes a little practice, but not much. By the end of the first lesson, we were getting it. By the time we’d hired the boards another couple of times, we were standing with confidence. It look another turn or two to hone the steering so we could get along without zig-zagging too much. It’s definitely easier when the sea is calm.
Three-ish (ie. Six) Photos:
Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. Just telling anyone who might be interested.
Update: J sent me through a couple of photos to defend the honour of herself and P. Here they are, actually standing up and paddling: