By Jan Lambert
I've always enjoyed getting out on the water, but at the end of this summer I purchased a stand-up paddleboard, or SUP, and discovered a whole new world of fun and fitness! This is a new sport just starting to catch on in these parts. You stand up on what looks very much like a large surfboard and propel yourself with a long paddle. It takes a few tries to master the balancing part of it, but before you know it you'll get over your beginner's wobbles and have a great easy way to glide silently around our many beautiful ponds and lakes ( I haven't tried any rivers or the ocean yet, but it can be done!)
As a nature lover I love to explore, and I love the way my SUP is so versatile--I can stand, kneel, sit, or even lie down on it to get interesting shots with my camera( which must be waterproof!) I purchased an inflatable model, which makes it very easy to handle by myself, because I don't need to lift it over my head, just deflate it and put in my car. But my husband likes his solid board better than my inflatable-it's just a matter of personal preference.
So far I have paddled on at least 20 ponds and lakes, and I have seen and heard many loons and other birds, and enjoyed saying hello to other paddlers. Now I can't wait for Spring to come!
This is how I get up on my standup paddleboard, without even having to wade in the water. This is an advantage in New England where the water is cold most of the
year! I have an inflatable model, which makes transporting and storing the board a snap, and I also like the way it makes me feel flexible and connected to the water.
(Hover your mouse over photos to view captions. Click on first photo for large image slide show.)