What’SUP – Paddleboarding in Vancouver

Discover Outdoors SUP3

Sunset Paddle English Bay Photo: Rob Weiss

I have been paddling for as long as I can remember.  From the rugged northern lakes of Algonquin Park in Ontario, to the white-water of Alberta’s magnificent rivers and the natural oasis of BC’s oceans, I have yet to meet a body of water that I haven’t wanted to paddle.  Honestly, when Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) first came on the scene, I thought they were a little silly.  Why would one choose to stand up on a board, when canoes and kayaks are viable options?  Eventually, I decided it was time to be mature, try Stand Up Paddleboarding and discover for myself the attraction of the sport.  After all, how could so many people be wrong?

Over the years, I have become accustomed to loading my kayak hatches with luxuries and special treats including fresh fruit, veggies and even the odd bottle of wine.  The paddleboard left me feeling a little naked…just me, my paddle and my trusty lifejacket against the elements.  However, I was delightfully surprised by the stability of my “beginner” board.  It was a strange sensation to be standing on the paddleboard with my centre of gravity so high. I felt like I could tip at any moment, and dump I did!  Clearly, a certain level of skill and mastery is required.  Tentatively, I tested my sea legs.  “Engage your core,” my instructor bellowed.  Sadly, my core has been missing in action since the 90’s so utilizing my aging muscles was easier said than done.  Nevertheless, I fearlessly embraced the concept of core conditioning and began to paddle my heart out.

Discover Outdoors SUP2

Jericho Beach Photo: Rob Weiss

“Supping” proved to be a low impact, stress reducing exercise outlet and of course just one more opportunity to connect with nature, a natural extension so to speak of my love of the outdoors and paddle sports. My balance was put to the test and I can vouch for the “full body workout” that enthusiasts claim as a benefit of the sport. Needless to say I was quite stiff and sore after a day on the water.  For experienced paddlers, SUP can certainly offer an intense cardio workout.  Unfortunately, the only time my heart rate quickened was when I was teetering on the edge.

Discover Outdoors SUP4

Creekside Paddling Centre Photo: Rob Weiss

Best Places to SUP in Vancouver

Possibilities are endless!  Some of the more popular Vancouver beach SUP locations include Deep Cove, False Creek, Kits, Jericho Beach, English Bay and Spanish Banks.

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Ecomarine at English Bay Photo: Rob Weiss

Looking to rent?

Interested in paddleboarding for a day, but not quite ready to purchase a board?  Why not check in with Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak Centre or Eco Marine Paddlesport Centres.  Rent your gear and enjoy a fabulous day on the water.  Remember to engage your core!

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