Trying Stand Up Paddleboarding for the 1st Time

As my friend and I were in the car on the way to our first SUP (stand up paddleboard) lesson,  joking around with the phrase “Whatz SUP!” seemed appropriate. We were both so excited to try this sport that was new to both of us.

As we pulled up to the park where our lesson was, we immediately met our instructor walking in the parking lot. She assigned all of us a board and then we hit the water.

Stand up paddleboarding SUP

My first challenge was that my board seemed to be moving in circles. Turns out I was standing on it backwards. After moving on from feeling like an idiot, I was on my way. The tricky part was turning around on the board while standing on it. As long as my knees were bent a little, it was easy to keep a good center of gravity.

As our group progressed down the bayou, we were then told we would be switching boards with each other to get the feel of different lengths/size boards. That was where the challenge came. You had to both park parallel next to each other, then place your paddles across the board, squat down and switch at the same time.

I’m proud to say I didn’t fall in while making the transition….that time. We had a few waves from boaters that we learned to take head on. The waves made it really fun. I think we really would have had a whole different experience on Lake Michigan. The lessons were taught on the Bayou due to unpredictablity of the big lake.

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On our way back to the shore our instructor had our group try 5 minutes of yoga on the boards while in the water. That was really fun and awkward to do in your swimsuit. Not sure poses like “downward facing dog” should be done in a swimsuit. Just saying.

After yoga we tried doing 360 degree turns on our boards. That was harder because you had to stand toward the end of your board as the front lifted in the air. Way harder to keep balance while moving and turning. When our lesson was over, my friend and I decieded to do a bonus round. We raced to a side of the lake which resulted in a crash of our boards and her in the water.

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Then we thought we would be super cool and switch boards while standing up.  That resulted in a pulled muscle while doing the splits and both of us in the water.

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Overall, we had a great experience and it’s something I would love to do again. If you would like to try SUP near Lake Michigan check out

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4 thoughts on “Trying Stand Up Paddleboarding for the 1st Time”

  1. Sounds like you had a great time, Nedra! One thing that I noticed in the pictures is that no one seemed to be wearing a life jacket or using a leash — definitely a good idea to use those in the future, even if you’re a really strong swimmer.

    I noticed that this is an older post and I’m curious if you’ve done much paddling since this initial experience?

    Happy paddling!

  2. This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing your adventure Nedra! I am also attending the Bloggy Conference in Cincinnati in September. Looking forward to meeting you.

    ~Sharon {}

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