Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Or maybe a new way to get that body that looks like Thor’s?!
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is one of the new fitness crazes to hit our shores. The likes of Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Garner have been paddleboarding for years so there could just be some credibility (or fun) behind it.
I headed down to Vaucluse Bay one morning to try SUP out and, after my short arms eventually managed to carry the b board to the water, was surprised by how easy I found it. My friend Courtney and I had a quick trial on our knees before managing to stand up and paddle. We had a few death wobbles at the start, especially when we got too cocky & confident, but we were quickly paddling out of the bay to the headlands.
It’s a little bit like surfing but the board is wider and longer than most surfboards which makes them much easier to balance on. Apparently SUP originated in Hawaii and was actually an ancient form of surfing. We gave our cores a great work-out and got a bit of a tan (skin cells in trauma, I know) at the same time because it was such a stunning Sydney day. What was even better was that we could check out the Vaucluse real estate on the waterfront up close! And we may have even had a daydream about which house we would own … one day
It was a really relaxing but decent work-out. If you’re looking for an adrenaline-rush, try surfing or skydiving! But if you’re keen for an enjoyable way to work your core, thighs and arms and have over a couple of hours spare, then check out SUP.
Cost: About $40 for a 1.5hr lesson. Look out for a discount from one of the Daily Deals sites though.
Where can you try it? There are great SUP teachers at Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Manly and Sans Souci. You can probably rent boards from lots of other places as well.
Last Saturday I joined a room full of keen (and hungover) industry types to hear what Mark Pollard had to say about strategy (no pressure Mark!). We donned our athletic gear in preparation for our mental work-out, which was lucky because we really did get worked hard!
I completed my first ever ocean swim this year: the Cole Classic 2km. I joined a record number of other keen swimmers – 0ver 4100! – to brave the Shelley Beach to Manly adventure as part of Australia’s largest ocean swim.
I didn’t train as much as I should have so was a bit anxious about jumping into the 2km without a 1km (or less!) under my belt. I looked to Scot Ennis, a regular Cole Classic competitor, who told me I just wouldn’t have the sense of satisfaction if I only completed the 1km and with that, I signed myself up for the 2km!
Scot was right. The 2km was achievable, if long! And the sense of satisfaction was pretty good, even though I didn’t get an amazing time (44mins).
I certainly don’t consider myself an expert ocean swimmer but here’s a couple of quick tips for those thinking about venturing into the ocean for their first competitive swim:
- Train: It sounds really obvious but it’s something I think most of us (me in particular!) are a bit slack with. Get out there and practice swimming. Not just in the pool either, train in the ocean so you get a feel for the waves and currents. 2km feels a lot longer in the ocean than in the pool!
- Mark the course with major landmarks on the horizon: arrive early on race day so you can spot all the buoys that mark the route. Then look for landmarks (big buildings, obvious trees or boats – just be careful they don’t move during your race!) that correspond to the line of sight you’ll be following to reach the buoys. The hardest part about an ocean swim is not knowing where you’re going and all the associated metres swum in the wrong direction and the energy wasted as you keep checking if you’re heading in the right direction. Picking out the landmarks should make it much easier for you to know which direction to swim in. If you know someone who has swum the course before, they might be able to give you insider’s tips on which landmarks to look out for.
- Swim wide: ocean swims can be chaotic, especially at the start, so avoid all the flying legs and arms by swimming wide of the pack. It’s worth swimming a few extra metres during the course to keep your body in-tact!
What is holding you back from doing an ocean swim?
Or if you have already done an ocean swim? What are your hot-tips?