My friend Hannah and I bought a Groupon about a month ago for a stand-up paddleboarding (SUP!) lesson in Toronto. Paddleboarding seems to be all the rage around here these days, so I have been intrigued to try it out for a while. When Hannah alerted me to a Groupon for it we snatched that baby up!
We figured it would be a good workout and a fun new thing to try, so yesterday we cashed in our Groupon and hit up SUPGirlz on the beaches in Toronto for a 90-minute lesson.
We were excited.
And I just need to say that the beach in Toronto is beautiful! I do not go there very often because it’s not that close to me, but there are cute little shops all along the strip and the waterfront is gorgeous.
Now about the paddleboarding. I don’t have experience with it per se, but when I was growing up my bestie Lisa and I used to spend our summers on her windsurfers. We would take the sails off and grab canoe paddles and use the windsurfers to paddle across the lake. Sometimes standing up. Sometimes we would even attach the windsurfers to the boat and stand on them while holding a waterski tow rope and just cruise around the lake on them (not leisurely though, we were basically waterskiing on windsurfers).
So paddleboarding was not a completely foreign concept to me. But I have never been paddleboarding like this:
It is similar to canoeing, but you are standing on a board while paddling. I was slightly apprehensive about it because I do not have the best balance. My bestie’s dad, Daddy Brook, used to call me the Watermelon, because whatever water sport we were doing I seemed to kinda just roll off the equipment all off-balance like a giant watermelon. It was a flattering nickname.
There were seven people in our class, and our instructor did some fake land paddling with us before we were ready to take out our boards and hit up the bay. The paddleboards were basically like surfboards, only more wide.
After we got the paddle motion down, it was time for the real thing. We took our boards into the water off the beach and just paddled around for about an hour.
Our instructor was so helpful, and I’m really glad we took the lesson and didn’t just go out on our own. She kept mentioning that it was normal to feel unsteady on your feet when you stood up, and I’m so glad she did because my leg muscles felt so shaky and weird at first I would have assumed that something was wrong with me and I was going to collapse.
She also taught us how to do yoga on the paddleboard!
Just a few basic poses, nothing too crazy. But even without the yoga it was a pretty crazy core and upper-body workout.
I am happy to report that both Hannah and I seemed to be naturals! I was definitely the first one to fall in the water though. I like to think I was just breaking the ice for everyone else so they would feel safe falling. Hannah fell second, and actually, we were the only two girls in our class who fell off their boards. Two other guys in our class fell also, but the other girls stayed upright. I think this is because Hannah and I got a bit cocky and tried to go really fast and lost our balance. And one time I fell because a bee was after me, so that was obviously not my fault.
Also, I need to just take a moment to apologize to Lake Ontario in Toronto, because yesterday I mentioned that I thought it was sketchy. It was genuinely beautiful, and the swimming conditions were perfect. The water was calm and clear and I didn’t see anything funky in it. My office bestie Lexy pointed out yesterday that I should probably give Lake Ontario a break, as she grew up swimming in it and does not have any extra limbs.
So my mistake. It was fine. All is good, and I am not currently growing a third arm. I’d swim in it again.
And I am definitely going paddleboarding again. I really loved it. It was so much fun. I wish it wasn’t so expensive or I’d go all the time! Hannah and I left the beach wet and happy, and already making plans to go back.
Have any of you guys ever tried it?