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Monday, August 2, 2010

Stand-up paddling!

My name is Tolly, and I have never been naturally athletic.

Active -- yes. Gym-attending -- yes. Exercise-performing -- yes.

But agile and competitive and skillful? Not so much. I tried a lot of sports growing up, and finally settled on dance team. Which isn't really a sport. 

Also? I slip on things, such as the ground. This happened twice on Saturday while walking down to the greenbelt.  I think it's because I get caught up in conversations with people, and forget to focus on the task at-hand. In this case, my friend and I were debating the merits of Madonna's Ray of Light album.

Me: "I would be willing to revisit Ray of Light, but I just don't think it's the JAM that Like a Prayer is."

My friend: "But what about that great music video from Ray of -- Ray -- er, TOLLY?"

(conversation ceases while I fall backwards)

Me: (whimper)

My friend: "Are you ok?"

Me: "I am carrying too many things and it's throwing off MY BALANCE."

My friend: "Oh." 

Me: "Here, take this towel, that way I'll be more evened out."

The laws of physics now applied to the situation, we continued our walk, and MY BALANCE seemed to be doing just fine. Until five minutes later that is, after we had moved onto Lady Gaga, and MY BALANCE decided to land me on my ass again.


But I do think it's important to note that this kind of thing always happens to me on land. On water people, it is a different story.

Take stand-up paddling, which I tried for the very first time on Friday evening. Will Mills, editor of the soon-to-be-launched Outdoor Adventure Mag, set up a little demo for a handful of friends at Rowing Dock, where Austin Paddle Sports is located.

Now if you're anything like me, you've always idolized those people down below on Town Lake, enjoying themselves and laughing in the sun, while you almost die on Lamar bridge, dodging stressed-out and angry motorists.

But stand-up paddling enables you to be ONE of those people. The ones not caring about road rage because they are in the water, happily rowing along!

Our little group had two instructors, Reid and "Kahuna," whose real name I believe is Chris. There were about eight of us, and they taught us how to get on our board, stand up, manage our paddles, and not fall off.

I failed to bring a camera that day. So, you'll just have to imagine that these two people were in our group.

This picture actually comes from Austin Paddle Sports' website, which you should definitely visit if you've been curious about stand-up paddling. Our instructors were so cool and nice, doing a good job of both teaching the group, and hanging out one-on-one with people for some individual attention. Lessons are $20/hr, and after you have one lesson, you're pretty much ready to go. Each board rental after that is $15/hr.

Overall, I have to say that stand-up paddling is not nearly as challenging as I thought it would be!  Maybe because MY BALANCE performs a lot better on water.

 I had so much fun on Friday that I went back yesterday. Here are some pictures I took.

Kind of like with kombucha, and that fact that I want to coerce all of you to make it so we can share mothers, I also want to convince everyone to try stand-up paddling so I'll have some buddies to go with. Chris Apollo from Republic of Austin, Adi from Mind of Adi fame, Dan Gentile, editor of Thrillist Austin, and the cute girls from SeeSaw Austin are all expert stand-up paddlers now, and I will seriously probably go again this week.

Which is crazy!  I never get this pumped about recreational sports.

who wants to try it?


Hipstercrite said...

Funny. A bunch of us were JUST talking about this on Saturday. I was working near Town Lake and watched all the stand up paddlers. I would like to do it sometime!

Marie said...

You make it sound so fun! I'd love to try SUP sometime.

@ggroovin said...

Cool! BTW- @Rocknrealty shared this with me, and I'm gonna try to take advantage of it:

FREE SUP clinics/lessons every Tues morning in Aug! w00t! =D

@ggroovin said...

That's Free SUP clinics/lessons every Tues morning in Aug for members of this meetup group.

(Hope that attempt to stick HTML hypertext link works! =P)

EMQ said...

My husband is really into paddleboarding...I wonder if I could use his to SUP on when we get back to town...

Adi Anand said...

yes, I am already missing that exhilarating feeling, hopefully as I get more experiences, the exhilarating moments will far outnumber the wobbly ones :)

Andrea Eames said...

Yay! I'm moving to Austin in a couple of weeks from New Zealand, and I can't wait to try this. Looks like fun!

rise said...

Just like I'm the newest member of the Austin Underground Kombucha Network (thanks for that mother)....I need to join this SUP revolution too!!

Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to try this! I'm a little sad to hear that its $15/hour. (That's not to say that it isn't worth it. I'm just broke.) For those of you on a budget, the canoes at zilker are $10/hr and you could split that $10 with whoever is joining you in the canoe.

-Michelle F.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Hipstercrite and @Marie - Seriously, I might go this week. Like, Weds. You two should try out that meet-up group that @ggroovin linked to!

@Ggrooving - You rock. Thanks!

@EMQ - Oh now see I have no patience for paddleboarding. But admittedly, regular paddleboarding is probably a better workout for your legs.

@Adi - Wobbly shmobbly. You were a master by the end.

@a cat of impossible color - First of all, great commenter name? Secondly, your style is INCREDIBLE! I'm drooling all over your blog right now. And thirdly, wow! Welcome (almost) to Austin. You will love it here...everyone does.

@Rise - Yes you do! Let me know how your kombucha turns out. I just started a new batch.

@Anonymous - Girl, I totally understand. My husband is nervous, for that very reason, about my enthusiasm...but anyway, check out that free lesson Meet-Up group! That way, you can get a little taste, and decide if the $15/hr for SUP really is worth it or not.

I'd also just like to say that I giggle every time I write the acronym "SUP."

Unknown said...

Unlike kombucha, this is a trend I can deal with. I wanna go!

Jodi said...

I want to try this too! I'd be up for going as long as you promised not to take ANY pictures of me standing up in my bathing suit.

Anonymous said...

If you want to hook it up - just call Reid or Kahuna! 512-777-8958!