Standup paddle boarding (SUP) seems to have blown up in the past few years. I’m always down to try out new fitness trends, so I was definitely going to add SUP to my bucket list . When I was researching fun things to do in Halifax, I came across St. Mary’s Boat Club and their free paddleboard, kayak, and canoe rentals.
When we arrived at St. Mary’s Boat Club, it took us a few moments to figure out where the main entrance was located. Once that was taken care of (back entrance on the lower level), we waited for the staff to check us in. There were a few people in front of us, so we got to enjoy the view of the Northwest Arm for a few minutes.
When we got to the front of the line, we were asked what we wanted to rent. Luckily, a few people had just returned their paddleboards, so we were able to snag them. There was some sort of school group that had all of the canoes out, so you may have to be flexible with your activity. The rental was for one hour, and all we needed was our driver licenses which they kept for the duration of our rental. They provided all of the equipment (including lifejackets), and gave us a brief lesson.
To get onto the paddleboard, we placed them beside the dock and carefully placed our knees on the board. We were instructed to stay on our knees until we got far enough away from the dock – to avoid falling over and hitting our heads. After a few minutes of getting comfortable on the board, I tried standing up. This was much more difficult then I expected. You have to get up very quickly in order to maintain your balance, while ensuring you place your feet on the centre of the board. It’s quite difficult to move your feet after you stand up, so try to get it right. Once I was standing up, it was relatively easy to maintain my balance (expect when a motor boat drove by creating huge waves).
Getting back to the dock was a little bit of a struggle. Luckily, I had my boyfriend with me to help stabilize the board as I got off. We dragged the boards back onto the dock, and the staff took care of the rest. Before we left, I jumped off the dock for a quick dip to cool off.
SUP is definitely a great sunny day activity (especially when it’s free). I plan on going back next Summer and taking out some kayaks. Let me know in the comments below if there are any other fitness trends I should try!