What’s S.U.P?

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Written by: Erin Worgan

So what’s S.U.P? Well, S.U.P stands for Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding, which is a fun water sport activity that’s really making waves these days. It’s an easy to learn pastime that lets you get outdoors and it has been enjoyed on the waters at Kelso for the past few years.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding began in Hawaii as an activity for surfers to keep physically fit and athletically strong during the winter season when the water and the waves weren’t choice. They realized that it was a good method of conditioning and kept them balanced. Not to mention it’s fun!

people stand up paddle boarding

One of the biggest aspects of SUPPING is the first moments where you stand yourself on the board and attempt to stay dry. Though it may not seem like it in the beginning, these boards are actually quite steady and allow you to balance. The ones available for rent at Kelso are beginner level boards meaning they are especially stabilized for easy balancing when getting on and off the board. One of the things I learned pretty quick when taking out the paddle board this week was to know your current! You should always try to travel against the current during the first half of your journey, and when you reach what you feel is your halfway point it makes things a lot easier to turn around and travel with the current on your way back to your starting point letting the water help take you there.

Now, I don’t know about you, but my favourite kind of workout is the kind where I don’t even realize I’m doing one! The scenic views of Kelso Lake definitely distracted me from any physical exertion I may have been doing, and it wasn’t until much later that I even noticed what a good exercise I had gotten (along with two tired arms). This activity has a very low impact on joints including the knees, hips, shoulders and other ligaments. You will get a workout without putting stress on your body making this an ideal experience for explorers of all ages!

stand up paddle boarding

Nearly every muscle of the body is used when SUPPING. This activity allows for a constant core workout as your back, abdominals and leg muscles will be working to stabilize the board, while your shoulders, arms, and back muscles will be hard at work paddling and propelling you through the water. It’s surprising how tiring it can be! Stand up paddle boarding is a moderate aerobic exercise, which therefore improves cardiovascular health over time. Although paddle boarding has a certain level of physical exertion it is still a very calming experience. Much like the laid-back Hawaiian lifestyle this activity was born out of, SUPPING is very relaxed and allows for some much needed serenity. It has been said that paddle boarding is a great stress reliever and on the peaceful waters of Kelso Lake it’s sure to relieve all the stresses of the day.

A recent trend in the paddle boarding world is to practice yoga on the water. Yogis have been taking their flows to the paddle board and are now practicing while balancing, which adds an additional challenge to their workout, while taking in the beautiful views of the lake.

If you’d like to give SUPPING a try you can rent one of Conservation Halton’s Stand-Up-Paddle-Boards at Kelso Lake for an hour or two and see if it’s for you! Rental costs just $20 for one hour or $35 for two. For more information you can visit http://www.conservationhalton.ca/boating. Boats are on a first come, first serve basis.
If you have any photos of you or your loved ones paddle boarding at Kelso just tag us on Instagram, or Facebook, or tweet at us using the handle @CH_Comm, because we’d love to see you on the water this summer!

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