Guest blog by Mark Scriver
More people than ever before are trying out stand up paddleboards. It’s a fun, easy way to play on the water plus it offers a full body workout. You can paddle from surf to lakes to rivers. It is almost like walking on water.
The retailers are reporting a huge growth in sales and participation in the sport, which started early at the spring outdoor adventure and boat shows. Paddle Canada reports a record number of SUP courses this season. Their national instructional program has a lot to do with the exponential growth seen in this young sport.
Try SUP at Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre, Toronto
Many paddling symposiums, such as Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Paddlefests in Toronto, Barrie, Burlington and Ottawa, provide opportunities to try new boards or take lessons. Lots of SUP retailers now offer free demo days or rental boards. There are even SUP specific events now like Stand Up For CHEO, a fundraising event with a chance to try SUP and donate to a worthy cause.
At lodges, resorts and cottages, it’s common now to see kids splashing about, on or off the boards. SUP is a fun water toy for the beach or swim area. It is also an excellent paddling craft that many people are using to explore their local waterways.
Go touring on SUP Boards.
With a drybag or barrel on the deck, you can stray further than the dock or your own lake and go for a full day tour but remember to check the weather, tell someone where you are going, paddle within your limits, wear your PFD with whistle attached and dress for water conditions. A few outfitters are offering full day guided outings as well.
Northern Edge Algonquin offers SUP Yoga retreats
Many fitness SUP yoga programs are popping up around Ontario. Stand up paddling offers a great full body workout by involving legs and torso, along with shoulders and arms. Yoga and fitness instructors are developing exercise routines on stand up boards.
Paddling is a great warm-up and cool-down, for a morning or evening workout. People are participating in weekly SUP fitness sessions, instead of heading to the gym. And speaking of fitness, there is a popular Ontario SUP race series that is attracting serious racers as well as fit athletes that want to cross-train or simply try something different. Training for a race is a great commitment to getting regular exercise while enjoying the outdoors.