When lululemon ambassador Jenn Thiel first went stand-up paddleboarding, it was at the Jericho sailing club on a first date. She instantly fell in love with paddle-boarding but, unfortunately, not with him. That was over two years ago and she's still in love. To me, Stand-Up Paddleboarders will always look like Venetian gondoliers doing 'weekend casual'. For aeons, people have been standing and paddling on the canals of Venice, the rivers of America and amidst the waves of Hawaii. All you need is water, a board, a paddle and abs.
steep learning curve
Although Jenn's experience as a surfer undoubtedly came in handy, the learning curve for paddleboarding is steep (steep is good). The boards have a lot of grip and aren't top-heavy like kayaks; plus there are tons of variables to make the sport as easy or as challenging as you like:
- start by kneeling (the paddle lengths are adjustable)
- try a different size board; the wider it is the more stable it'll be
- flat water is easier; choppy is more difficult; and surf and journeying (travelling on long trips) is for advanced paddlers
what to wear
On her first date, Jenn she was out there in a bikini. That's awesome on a sunny day and if you start to overheat on your workout you can jump in the water to cool off. Most rentals are for an hour to and hour and a half so if the weather or the water's a little bit chillier, a rash guard or a shorty wetsuit might be advisable. Once you know what you're doing you can switch it up. You'll see a lot of paddlers in shorts and a top.
the best kind of workout
Stand-up paddleboarding works the entire body because you're constantly making micro movements to stabilize yourself on the board. The day after, while her date nursed a broken heart, Jenn nursed sore muscles. "I woke up and I was like, 'why are my abs sore? I think, at least partly, it was from laughing so much." You steer with your paddle, which means steering with your abs, your arms and your back. "It really gets you're heart rate up," says Jenn. "Even when you're having fun it's still a workout but you can make it a super workout too; you can even have races - you go faster than you'd think."
Jenn says that her favourite thing about being on the board is that it feels so zen (looking at her photos we can see why). Watching a sunset out on the board would be unreal! We're looking forward to finding a piece of that serenity for ourselves.
- Discover even more reasons to love Vancouver.
- Explore the Paradise Beachwear.
- Check out the Oceanman race in August in Vancouver.