Get ready to SUP in Cape Town

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world and it is quickly taking hold in South Africa, not only as a sport, but as a fitness-orientated pastime as well. Like surfing, part of the draw is the physical element, without it ever feeling like a workout. But unlike surfing, it doesn’t take very long to get to grips with the basics.

I honestly thought I would start this article with a hilarious story about falling into the canal. I generally have the balance of an 11-month-old baby, so I was treating my first foray into the world of SUP with some trepidation.

Turns out my balance is not that bad… that, or even an 11-month-old baby could SUP.

Regardless, there were no major incidents, apart from the odd wobble and near accidental submersion at the start of the lesson, it did not take long to get going. We weren’t going to be winning any races, but we picked the basics up quickly enough.

Stand-up paddle boarding

Under the watchful guidance of Jacques, of Adrenalised Boardsports, Kelly and I were put through our paces. Starting on our knees, we moved in a circle for a few minutes, before eventually moving into a standing position, repeating the circular trajectory, and then finally being adjudged ready to head out into the canal system at the One & Only.

The joy of SUP is definitely the ease in which you can pick it up. Taking it into open water will obviously be more difficult, but with the placid nature of the water and the expansive width of the canal itself, it was seriously easy-going.

But don’t be fooled, while it isn’t hard to get the technique right, it is one heck of a workout. Granted, I was wearing a wetsuit on a cracker of a day, but I was dripping with sweat within minutes, and by the time we turned the first corner, my quads were starting to shake a little too tremulously for my liking…

Thankfully, the fatigue did not rob from the experience and there was certainly something zen-like about gliding across the water, paddle in hand, and being able to enjoy the surroundings from the vantage point of the water.

The Mother City is always on display and there is something to be said about changing up the view. The water is definitely a good place to start.