Outdoor Adventure

Getting on Board

Michael Zhang
Guest blogger Michael Zhang is a professional writer and translator (in Chinese) based in Toronto, Ontario. Michael writes and translates regularly for media both in China and Canada on traveling, lifestyle and culture. His translated works are included on The New York Times Best Seller list and as columns in National Geographic Traveler magazine. He loves traveling, photography and outdoor activities.

I have to admit that, though I love water sports, I’m not a super skillful aquatic person. I have a good sense of balance when feet on the ground, but it’s a different story when I’m on this new thing, called SUP.

Stand Up Paddleboard (or Paddling), aka. SUP, is fairly new to Canadians, but now it’s super duper popular among water-loving fun-seekers. I got a chance to learn SUP at Toronto’s beautiful Harbourfront. A day of “Alright, I will give it a shot.” turned out to be an experience of a lifetime.

My instructor was Alex. We were taken out on a boat to a little tiny bay along the shore of Toronto Islands. Alex was a fun guy. He once lived in Qingdao, China, so we started chatting in Chinese. What an icebreaker!

Task #1 of playing SUP is to get onboard. I walked my board, which was attached to my ankle with a “leash”, to some shallow calm water. Step by step, I was on my stomach, knees and finally my feet standing on top of a board that’s longer than me, holding a paddle, well, longer than me as well. Blue sky, sunshine, just a little breeze and the ever-charming Toronto skyline made me feel like I was standing on top of the world.

Before then, I never realized how much fun you can have when you fall into water from somewhere other than a dock. If you want to have some hot summer fun, why not try SUP and get wet and cool just in this town called Toronto

Click here for exciting Ontario stand-up paddling adventures.

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