For me paddleboarding (like most things) tends to be a solo activity so even I was somewhat bemused to find myself signing up for a one day womens only Stand Up Paddleboarding event run by SJ founder of Girls Get Out There NZ.
In my defense I’d recently worked some overtime so had a little extra spending money and they had the special of all specials running, it was fate I tell you!
The Big Sup Day Out started with a meet and greet at 9am outside The Pumphouse which sits on the shore of Lake Pupuke. After the obligatory “get to know the group introductions” we were split into two groups – The Newbies & what would be referred to as the Fitness Group.
Although in the scheme of things I’m a relative newbie on a paddleboard, as I’m not a complete beginner I was put into the capable hands of Karen who was leading the “Intermediate” paddleboard group on a trip around the lake. Although it turned into a calm trip 3/4 of the way around the lake and then a full on head down, bum up paddle into a strong headwind straight across the lake to once again reach the sheltered and calm waters on the other side. It was quite the workout!
The next few hours were spent off the water. We first walked up to Ocean Culture for coffee and a very informal talk about boards and gear. After that we walked back to Lake Pupuke for lunch at The French Rendez-vous Cafe before heading back onto the water.
Our last session of the day focused on technique. After a land based talk the group hit the water to paddle laps while SJ (Head Coach) stood on the bank videoing the group so that she could supply us all with video analysis of our stroke and pointers to help each of us individually. SJ then joined us on the water and we paddled across the lake to a sheltered spot amongst the reeds to wind down with some yoga. Which those of you who know me will know was my fave part of the entire day.
Our final on the water lesson was how to rescue ourselves and others before practicing towing people back to dock. When we reached the dock we loaded our boards and toasted ourselves and our new friends before very tiredly heading home.
I had a really good (albiet very long) day despite the fact that I’m not big on “group sh*t” although I did find spending so much time off the water trying to make small talk with a bunch of strangers quite draining (as most introverts would). I will however say that everyone in my group was uber friendly and very supportive.
All in all It’s great day out for regardless of how much paddling experience you have (or haven’t), I saw women who had never stood on a board before whizzing around the lake by the end of the day and even those of us who had done some paddling came away with some things we could practice. Honestly, there is something for everyone.
If you would like to get out onto the water with a group of like minded women the next Big Sup Day Out is being held on Sunday 17th December at Lake Pupuke.
Get Out There Girls!
Till next time