Being an avid fan of stand up paddleboarding I think this is one of the best articles and collection of info and videos I have ever see.
I wanted to share this with you if you’ve never experienced the health benefits and general overall fun of Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Because I love being on and around the water, I was interested to hear about another way to enjoy Michigan’s many beautiful lakes: stand up paddle boarding. “It’s fun and easy,” said Mark Beauman, a SUP enthusiast and teacher at Grand Ledge High School. An avid windsurfer, Beauman picked up SUP a few years ago, after his friend, Bob Pratt, introduced SUP to the windsurfers at Lake Lansing. Pratt was the first in the area to SUP and has taught dozens of people how to take their workouts to the water. Pratt and Beauman alternate between the two sports, depending on wind conditions. “I can be on the water all the time,” said Beauman. “When it’s windy, I windsurf; when the water is calm, I ride an inflatable stand up paddleboard.”
Beauman invited me to the SUP demo sponsored by Summit Sports last August at the MSU Sailing Center at Lake Lansing. Since I’m not athletically-inclined, I was skeptical. But I was willing, and Beauman assured me that I was able. “You just need to have good balance,” he explained. “It’s a fast learning curve. It takes a few minutes to get the hang of it, but soon you’ll be tooling around like a pro.”
SUP is similar to rowing a surfboard while standing. In fact, SUP is an ancient form of surfing. Minimal equipment is required: a board (around $1,000 and up), a paddle (around $200 and up), and a personal flotation device or pfd (about $50-$100). Sandals or water socks can be worn, but for better balance and control, paddling barefoot is recommended. Although SUP equipment rentals are available in Grand Haven, they’re not currently available in the Lansing area, so SUP demonstrations are the best way to test drive equipment and determine your affinity for the sport.
The day I attended the demo at Lake Lansing, the water was a bit choppy. Even so, after listening to a few minutes of instruction, I was able to stand up on the board easily, get my bearings, and make some progress. Although I felt a bit wobbly and it took a while to coordinate my paddling, I didn’t fall in. According to the instructors, the trick is to stand with knees slightly bent, put weight on the balls of the feet, paddle close to the board using straight arms, and look ahead rather than down. With the headwind that day, I didn’t get very far, but with practice, I could see myself tooling around as Beauman predicted.