Saturday, September 3, 2011

First 1.5 Hours on a Stand Up Paddleboard

My obliques will be crying uncle tomorrow, but before I lose the capacity to do whatever it is that oblique muscles do, a few thoughts on my first time out on a stand up paddleboard.

It was rad.

When my friend Ben asked whether I wanted to get out on SUP this weekend, my inside voice thought that Ben had turned into an late 90s wannabe rapper. Then, when I realized what SUP stood for, I told him I was game as long as we weren't on a waterbody where I might wind up with a third arm if I fell in (aka, the Potomac in Georgetown).

On tap this weekend for my Army 10-Miler training was a short run and cross training to cap off a step-back week that left a lot of quality to be desired. No need to relive that. I did the run this morning, and by 9:30 am, Ben and I were waiting for the surf shop to open so we could pick up our boards. 

At least it doesn't look as ridiculous as the boards did on a Golf.
We got some beta from the guys at the surf shop, did our own exploration, picked up a parking permit for the landing where we wanted to put in....and then fueled ourselves for the paddle.

Way too excited to be at an open-air bar for lunch.
About all we had decided was to paddle in protected water, off Maryland's Eastern Shore. We drove down a road that abutted the Wye River, looked for public access to the water, and came upon a landing road (preceded by a country store operated by a not particularly nice proprietor). Bingo. We put in. I wobbled in a table top position.  This was the extent of my yoga practice on the board. After a few tentative strokes in a kneeling position, I popped onto my feet. Well, "pop" is too active a word. It was more of a gradual metamorphosis from a crouch to not as much of a crouch. The judges on So You Think You Can Dance would have been super impressed with my interpretive dance with a prop. 

I can't wait to see how my obliques feel tomorrow.
Once on my feet, we paddled for an hour into a headwind. Holy resistance training! Thanks to the headwind, I was pretty sure at times that my paddling was futile. It's a good thing that several motor boats puttered and not so puttered at us to provide the illusion that I was moving forward. And, I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that we turned around at the Aspen Wye River Conference Center dock. Nerdy factoid: the 1998 Mideast Peace talks were here.

The best part about starting out into a headwind, obviously, is the return, which took half an hour. I even caught a few waves on the way back, and we came in to the landing as the local fishermen and crabbers brought in the day's catch.

Now about those obliques...


  1. Thanks for the report.

    Shops all over Vermont rent these things, but we have yet give them a try. Too much like the treacherous paddleboat, which promises a lovely hour on the water but delivers instead a miserable hour just ABOVE the water.

    Plus, our own pristine Echo Lake has recently become third-arm territory, thanks to Irene...

  2. Sounds like fun. I wonder if I can do that on a Mississippi Delta bayou. Not worried about growing the third arm, just about losing an arm to a gator.

  3. Michelle, I bet a bayou would be fun to explore on SUP, but yeah, the arm is a nice thing to retain.

    Jon, I haven't been in a paddleboat in *years*, but my memory of them includes perpetually wet feet and butt, and being bored after about 20 minutes.

    As for the morning after, I feel pretty good!

  4. So glad you enjoyed it! We did some SUP on our honeymoon and LOVED it. Can't wait to do it again.