The world’s fastest-growing water sport is making waves locally.
Originally used as a way to travel further distances in the ocean without getting as fatigued as one would while paddling with one’s arms and lying prone on a board, paddling while standing up may seem inefficient, unstable or silly to people who haven’t yet tried the sport.
Once you try it, you may fall in love with stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP.)
The ancient Polynesians used long paddles on their surfboards to steer and travel across the sea, but the sport experienced a modern resurgence in 2005 when Californian surfers brought back the paddle.
Quesnel water-lovers have been turned onto SUP for several years.
The perfect balance between quiet water travel, great views and taking a portable swim platform along for
the trip are some of the things people love about it.
SUP also offers a great core workout, giving paddlers a nice crunch with every paddle-stroke and the continuous need to engage all of those important balance muscles that give us good posture and keep our muscles long and strong.
The Cariboo is an ideal environment for SUP, with lots of pretty lakes, mellow rivers and little other traffic on the water.
On any summer evening, you will encounter people SUPing on Dragon and Ten Mile Lake, but many paddlers also travel a bit further to explore wilderness lakes such as Bowron, Ghost and Cariboo Lakes.
When choosing your new board, there are two types to be aware of. Displacement boards tend to be thicker, more tapered and are usually 12 – 14 feet long.
These boards glide through the water efficiently, quietly and much faster.
The other style are all-water boards, and have a wider, more rounded tip.
These are popular among those who want to go out for a gentle cruise or do yoga on the board. They tend to be slower and make more noise on the water, but are a stable, easy way to get out on the water.
Mellow paddlers love that if you get tired of paddling, you can lie down, swim or paddle while kneeling, and take your dog or kids along for the ride.
We are fortunate in Quesnel to have a local SUP dealer, selling four of the top SUP brands: Coreban, BOGA, Kahuna and Starboard, along with all of the necessary accessories.
Rocky Peak Adventure Gear is the only SUP dealer between Kamloops and Smithers in the north and have been busy this summer, meeting customers on the shore with a selection of boards to let them choose which one has the right feel for them.
With the hot, dry summer continuing, there is still lots of paddling season left in the Cariboo.
Whether for fun, fitness or just to sunbathe on a lake, you have got to try it.
Stop in at Rocky Peak Adventure Gear, 337 Reid Street Quesnel to check out the new boards.
–Submitted by Brenda Beatty