I first learnt about Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) in a Women's Weekly. I saw images of various celebrities enjoying the calm waves of Honolulu, in what appeared to be, an easier version of surfing. It had to be right? You have a steady board AND a paddle to assist with your balance. And surely no sane celebrity would be participating in exercise on their holiday, that's not what holidays are about.
Well it certainly wasn't long until I noticed more and more SUP appearing on the Gold Coast. The fantastic weather and abundance of waterways certainly make the Gold Coast an ideal spot to participate in such an activity.
Although the Gold Coast's waves are a little less forgiving at our beaches than Hawaii's, our calm canals are perfect for beginners. Being a Gold Coast local and never tried surfing (sacrilegious I know), I thought this was the best option for a trial run.
We began our morning meeting delightful Linda (owner of Go Vertical SUP) at Budds Beach, one of the Gold Coast's little hideaways. Budds Beach is located behind the high rises of Surfers Paradise, and faces some of the Gold Coast's multi-million dollar waterfront homes. After sorting out our prepare-to-get-wet attire complete with sunscreen, we were ready to run through the paces of SUP.
Linda demonstrated the basics of how to stand on a board, the correct way of gripping a paddle, how to get moving, dealing with waves and very importantly, how to turn. Watersports certainly isn't one of my strong points, so I was completely expecting to be in the water, not long after standing up, if I even got that far. Obviously Linda is very good at her job, as my first attempt to stand on the board was a success! In one swift move from kneeling to a standing position, I was comfortably balancing on the board (which are extremely sturdy mind you) and ready to start paddling.
What did surprise me, is how relaxing and serene floating on a calm body of water can be, even though it could be regarded as exercise. How intense you make your movements is totally up to you, and Linda can be on hand to help guide you in perfecting your technique for maximum power. But if you'd prefer to just idly go with the flow and paddle intermittently, it's a great way to relish in the Gold Coast lifestyle and relax. Linda mentioned that she regularly hires paddleboards to busy local mums, who make the time to take five and count their precious moments alone for 'me' time, as well as doing something good for their body.
After a couple of hours on the water, it was time for us to return to the shore. Amazingly, dismounting from the board was the only point I actually went into the water. As it was such a hot day, I wouldn't have minded falling in after all.