What’s SUP? Stand-Up Paddleboarding!

SUP at Sunset

In the beginning of August, I tried out Stand-Up Paddleboarding [or SUP, for short] along with my boyfriend and some of our good friends. Initially, we had scheduled to do this for my birthday back in June, but it rained After a few times trying to decide on a schedule that works best for everyone [planning things gets much harder as time passes *ahem… getting older*; everyone just gets busier and busier!], we finally found a Saturday evening where we could all go and check out paddle boarding for the first time.

To start things off, 3 out of 4 of us don’t even know how to swim properly… [haha!] this automatically means surfing is unfortunately not an option for me. Although it looks fun, I can’t tread water and that wouldn’t be the greatest idea. I just can’t seem to bring myself to go any deeper than tiptoe level! [Anxious much?] I’ll just stick to floating around and swimming from point A to point B in shallow areas Plus, come on… I live in Toronto, not California. Because of this, I thought SUP was a great alternative to try out. I’ve been white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking before so as long as there’s lifejackets involved, it’s safe enough for me!

SUP 02 SUP 03 SUP 04

Enjoying our first time paddleboarding at Sunnyside Beach!

We booked our Intro to Paddleboarding Session with Toronto Adventures. It’s a two-hour session that starts off with a lesson to teach you the basics of paddle boarding. They supply the board, paddle and lifejackets. They also recommend to wear water shoes, but our instructors said it’s not really necessary so we chose to go barefoot [watch your step, though!]. Once the lesson is done, you may use up the rest of your time to paddle around at your own leisure. There are also other SUP instructors and rental groups available, but if you’re planning to go with a big group, Toronto Adventures can accommodate up to 10 people per two-hour session.

The water was pretty calm that day so it wasn’t too hard to get the basics down. Balancing on the board engages your whole core, giving you a full-body workout while you enjoy paddling along the water. Granted, it would’ve been great if the water was crystal clear – like Tobermory, for example – but this is Sunnyside Beach and when there’s heavy rain… you better watch out for those high e.coli level warnings. [Hey, just saying!] I guess if that’s the unfortunate case, they will cancel and suggest to reschedule your session if circumstances such as these arise, so you don’t have to worry about getting sick [or growing any extra limbs or anything crazy like that just kidding!]. Safety first! The joys of living in the city, huh?

Overall, we had a fun time trying to learn how to balance, paddle along and turn on our boards. When we got the hang of it, we even tried balancing on the boards on one foot and attempting to maneuver the board using a snowboarding stance. I would highly recommend trying it out as it’s very calming out there in the water. Hmm, I wonder what yoga + SUP would be like? That’s some hardcore balance and concentration right there…

If you get a chance, definitely check it out or put paddle boarding on your list of things to try out. Have fun!