Standup Paddle boarding, sounds cool right? I experienced it first, 3 years back when my sisters visited me in Omaha. Recently those pictures popped up in the photo widget of my iPhone. I showed them to Harmit and asked her if she want to try it. The answer was obvious.
The last time we did it with Driftwood Paddle Adventures and experience was amazing. So we decided to go for them only. I purchased 2 tickets online from their sites for the 6:00-8:00 PM slot at Zorinsky lake. There was an option to select either Zorinsky lake or Standing bear lake. Last time we went to Standing bear lake, so this time I chose other. We were asked to arrive 15 min before with email confirmation. Just to give an idea to Harmit, I showed her a YouTube video about how it looks like. She was a little nervous, but I assured her it will be an easy game for her.
The next day we reached there before time. Our instructor named Abby greeted us and asked us to wait for a while till she gets everything ready. We were the only ones present for the activity. After few minutes, she briefed us about the sport that included balance, standup, navigation, turns, and safety precautions. Both of us were given a water bottle and waterproof wearable pouch to keep our mobile phones. She kept our car keys secure with her.
We went to the lake shore and Abby hold the boards for us to climb. Harmit went first and I followed. Once we sat up on the board, Abby suggested the areas where we can go. There was also an old couple boarding their boat from the bank. We practiced a bit there and once confident, stood up slowly on the board.
It was windy and though initially a bit scary, soon I started enjoying it. Just to be together, I circled around and came near to Harmit. She was still in a squat position and was trying to stand up. To my bad, there was a stupid log in the water pretty close to the bank in whose direction I was heading to. Even after putting all my efforts to avoid the collision, I failed. Suddenly everything before me got muddy and I was floating in the water, thanks to my life jacket.
Abby had instructed us how to climb on board in such cases, so I tried my best to climb over. But whenever I tried to climb, the board tilted and almost overturned. After struggling for 5-10 minutes, I asked Harmit to come close and hold one side of the board for me. I stayed in the water, half immersed and holding the board and paddle with both hands from one side. It took her another 5-10 minutes to come near as ripples due to her motion were pushing me away from her.
To be honest, I was a bit nervous being in that state, and thank god my glasses were intact even after my holy dip in the water. Harmit hold one side of the board and with little effort I finally made it. Abby also came near us after watching our struggle. Later she took some pictures for us and then left us to enjoy our time.
From there we started paddling towards the other end of the lake. I preferred to be in a standing position only, that was more fun. We covered a big loop in an anticlockwise direction and stopped at different points for some pictures or to just relax by floating for some time. We were the only ones with paddles in the lake. Harmit also tried planks and push-ups on the board.
It was almost sunset and we started paddling towards the bank. Once reached, Abby helped us to get down. We carried boards to their tour van and thanked Abby for the wonderful experience.
As per our habit, we didn’t bring any cash and we wanted to tip her. She didn’t have any credit/debit card machine, so we took her Venmo’s account details. She shared the pictures with Harmit and bade farewell.
It was a beautiful evening and we really enjoyed the sport. It’s a good workout as it requires both upper and lower body strength. They also have Yoga sessions, which sounds exciting. Probably one day we will try that too.
Activity Duration – 2 Hours (6:00-8:00 PM)
Location – Lake Zorinsky / Standing Bear Lake
Price – 25$ per adult
- A life jacket is optional, but I would suggest wearing it unless you want to swim.
- If the standup position is going difficult, you can always sit, lie or squat on the board.
- To stand up, you need to first come in a squat position with the paddle placed horizontally in front of you. Once confident, pick and hold the paddle in a vertical position and with its help stand up slowly.
- Knees should be slightly bent for efficient posture
- The paddle should be held with one hand on top and the other on the middle part.
- To turn the board, paddle opposite side creating an arc. That means the right side turn will require you to paddle on the left side creating an arc across the board.
- Don’t be afraid, it’s easier than it looks. Just enjoy!
We really loved it and I am sure you will also. Try and share your experience with us and in case of any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Happy Reading! Keep Traveling !!!