Sunday, July 26, 2020

Adventures in Paddleboarding

When this whole pandemic started, I could see the writing on the wall. All work travel shut down (and is still shut down). While other people seem perfectly okay with flying to vacation, or taking long road trips, it doesn't feel respectful of the small towns to me. So I knew I would be staying here, for a good long time.

It seemed like a good time to learn something new, so I bought a paddle board. So far, I've been out on it three times. Trip #1 went like this: Slink down to the lake. Crap! Lots of onlookers, even at 7 pm. Also, a stiff breeze. I reluctantly inflated my board, because I was there, so had to try. Standing up seemed impossible, especially with an audience. I stayed on my knees, stroking pretty far out. This was fun. I spied someone else standing up. It looked and felt impossible. Coming back to shore, I tried to stand. That was a big nope. I slunk away in defeat, tempted to chuck the whole thing. But I had spent money on the board, so I had to use it.

The view is nice--when I'm not too scared to look past my feet.
For my next attempt, I decided to head for Kinney Lake. A reservoir owned by a ranch, it is frequented only by locals, mostly fishermen. Because there's no outlet, it stays warm, unlike the big lake, where a fall in could be disaster. Nervously, I launched my board.

Standing up at first is the hardest part, but after a bit I was able to stop wobbling and perform some semblance of a stroke. I was doing it! Happily, I circumnavigated the lake twice, scaring geese as I went. I knew a wave or a boat wake would be my undoing, but fortunately neither appeared.

Here goes nothing....
Trip number three was also at Kinney, though disappointingly the lake is getting silty. This time, an ambitious breeze ruffled the lake. I had to stroke harder to make a turn, and the waves under the board were disconcerting. But I was getting better, I thought. Maybe it was time to head for the big lake.

Not today, though. People who apparently have never heard of a pandemic crowded its shores, cars lined up farther than I've ever seen them. It was party central. I'll have to get up early and go down when there are just fishermen. Fishermen don't care. "You should drag a fishing line with your board," Todd says. Um...Nope! I'm not that good yet.

I don't know how people ever do yoga on paddle boards, or use them on rivers. (I've tried on a river once, and was able to stand up, but not going through riffles. No, just no.) But despite moments of terror, the paddle boarding is going well. I think.

14 comments:

  1. Glad you are liking it, and starting to get the hang of it as well. They really are quite fun. Definitely a supplement to hiking if you can find an uncrowded lake right now. Our lakes have similar issues.
    You keep practicing and I'll focus on rehabbing my shoulder, that way we can paddleboard and hike next summer.

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    1. you are probably way way more advanced than I am!

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  2. We have talked about paddle boarding a few times and getting a paddle board! Sounds fun!

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    1. get one! I never feel like I am getting exercise but I think I actually am.

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    2. I LOVE my paddle board!!

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  3. You can start packing it while hiking and get a double dose workout. I've seen a few photos on Instagram of this being done in the Trinities. My board is much too heavy and unwieldy. But I'm considering taking it for a drive.

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    1. my board is 17 pounds. So I think i could pack it. Good idea.

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    2. My board came in is own backpack. Huge by our standards but packable. I have no idea how much mine weighs.

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  4. I took a paddleboard class when I had to do an on-campus quarter at EOU, it was March and we wore wetsuits. I can't say I was all that enamored of it. It was okay, but I'd still rather kayak on a lake on a quiet still morning. sigh. I sold my kayak last fall when we sold the Enterprise house, never dreaming I'd be near enough a body of water to use it again and it seemed ridiculous to keep moving it around.

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    1. I sold my nice sea kayak when I moved from Alaska. I still miss it.

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  5. Oh I've always wanted to try SUP! And I'd be the same way - on my knees because my balance is terrible. I don't know how people do yoga on those things either. I enjoyed your recap of the first voyage. :)

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    1. I look ridiculous starting out. I now can stand but it isnt pretty!

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  6. I've only paddle boarded once, in Costa Rica and I was way out of my league. I def need to work on balance. Good for you getting out there. And I loved "people who have never heard of the pandemic" lol, seems to be the case lots of places.

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    1. I think paddle boarding in Costa Rica trumps much else. There is definitely a learning curve!

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