Those of us who are new to stand-up paddleboarding are in good company. There are thousands of people who are just now discovering this addicting activity. It’s a healthful addiction, of course. I still run into people who see me “walking” on water and ask, “What is that thing?”
I refer to SUP as an activity, because I hesitate to call it a sport. Certainly, SUP can be competitive and many enjoy racing on their boards. That is something I have yet to discover. But it seems to me the real beauty of boarding is that you can take it at your own pace. If you never paddle any faster than the speed at which you might walk along the beach, that’s ok.
When I first discovered SUP about a year ago, I immediately thought that it would be a great activity for the region in which I live – the heart of the Great Lakes. While SUP is definitely catching on faster in warmer climates, Great Lakes SUPers are growing in number. This is in spite of the fact that we live in a place where many don’t believe the water is suitable for swimming until about August, if it ever reaches a tolerable temperature at all. There are ways around the cold water, of course. SUP enthusiasts can learn a lot from generations of sailboarders when it comes to dressing for the weather.
I live along a 75-mile river that connects Lake Superior with Lake Huron. It is prime territory for paddlers of all types, but after purchasing a board this summer, I’ve found it to be uniquely suited for SUP. There is always somewhere a boarder can go to get out of the wind and find calm water on the river – if it’s flat water you desire. If you enjoy riding waves, we have those, too.
No matter what the condition of the water, there is plenty of it and I am heartily enjoying my new explorations of this long-familiar territory. Stand-up paddle boarding has given me a greater appreciation for the river that I have traveled for many years while hunting, fishing, boating or just hanging out for a picnic. I’ll do my best to express some of that newfound joy through this blog, and I hope you will come to appreciate it, too.
See you on the water!