Have found a new hobby that I’m addicted to: Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP).
So much fun! I’ve gone two weekends in a row now.
It’s been something that I had wanted to do for ages but never got around to until this summer. I had a sneaking suspicion that I might be half decent at it. I tried it for the first time a couple of weeks ago down at Koshigoe (near Enoshima). I got a lesson for a couple of hours and then had a bit of practice on my own. I was on an air SUP board which is a little trickier. And it was down at a surf beach where the conditions were a little tougher. Paddling is easy. The hard part is standing and balancing. I fell off the board so many times and ended up with major knee rash from the amount of times I had to heave myself back on the board.
Fast forward to the weekend just gone. I spent the weekend at Shiga prefecture for another open water swim race (that’ll be a separate post). I spent my time at Lake Biwa. With my newfound addiction, I researched on the Internet for SUP board rentals at Lake Biwa. I was in luck!
Found an awesome little water eco sports outfit that did SUP board rentals. Super cool, nice people. They even gave me a free ice-cream! They drove me down to a nice area of the lake where I went and SUPed. It was only my second time and it was out on a flat lake so it was soooo much easier. And I had proper board. Managed to not fall off once!
SUP is such a good workout! Really works the calves, and if you look at talented SUPers they have well-built calves. Being short (like myself) also helps because you need a lower centre of gravity to maintain your balance. It’s also quite the core workout. Being short and stocky, I have a bit more natural advantage, so I didn’t find it so difficult. I just need more practice and practice to work on my speed. Haven’t quite got up to SUP surfing yet!
Having since partaken in SUP, I’ve gone all OCD and have been researching all about it on the internet – mostly places where I can get rentals (SUP boards are expensive to purchase!). There are also SUP races which I might be tempted to do next year. In particular, there is an awesome event called “Paddle Mix” which is a 1km open water swim + 1km SUP + 4km run. That is totally my cup of tea!!!! I definitely want to enter it next year.
It’s such a bummer I live too far from the beach. It takes 2 hours to get to the closest beach from Tokyo. And it’s an expensive hobby. I guess it’s a little bit like snowboarding but on the water.
Here are some action pics of SUPing at Lake Biwa, ah fun summer days!
The shores of Lake Biwa – the largest lake in Japan:
Out in the middle of the lake (I had my waterproof camera with me):
Nice flat waters – ideal for starting out.
Me out on the water:
A pro SUPer in the making, mark my words:
It’s so relaxing, just being out on the water, paddling away.
Sunset over Biwako:
What can I say, I had an uber SUPer weekend!