I had been wanting to try SUP (the cool-kid acronym for stand up paddle boarding) ever since I saw bikini-clad teens making it look easy in Maui four years ago. So I was excited to see the large, flat boards at Kal Beach near Vernon at the north end of the Okanagan Valley. We soon discovered nearby KalaVida Surf Shop, which rents them by the hour ($25), two hours ($35) half-day ($45) or full day ($65). We opted for the half day and, with zero instruction, were soon paddling all over Kalamalka Lake. (Tip: stick close to shore to check out all the fancy lakeside houses!)
I had heard that SUP was easy, but also that it’s a great core workout because you have to engage your abs the whole time to stay balanced on the board. Though I found this to be true, it wasn’t tiring like I’d expected (the lake is quite placid), and I was able to paddle around for 30 to 45 minutes at a time, no problem. If I needed a rest, I sat down and paddled. When I overheated from the sunny 33C Okanagan weather, I just jumped off the board into the lake. By day’s end it was my legs and arms — not abs — that were tired.
High: Posing as a bikini-clad paddle surf chick.
Low: No Low. It was all good. Best beach day of the road trip!
Outcome: SUP is fun, but perhaps more of a novelty that a life sport — I’d like to do it some more before I invested in a paddle board. Give it a try though; you’ll like it.