Covid-19 has been a shared period of insecurity and sadness, but this pandemic has also been, possibly a once in a lifetime moment, where the whole world has pressed pause and been in a state of unified stillness. A beautiful time to discover new passions and attempt unorthodox adventures. A time of self-discovery.
Whilst many found solace in cliff walks, others took to our oceans, canals and lakes. Paddleboards began selling out left, right and centre. Webinars discussing the art of paddle boarding rose in popularity. Paddle boarding was named the ‘sport of 2020’ by suppliers. The world went nuts for it – and I am here to shine a light on why that might’ve been.
Let’s be honest, for a week or two, many of us had sworn ourselves to becoming the next Olympian through home workouts and running. But we soon realised that making three banana breads in one day was far more fulfilling than turning the living room into a sweat session. Pre-lockdown, people tended to view paddle boarding as a holiday activity, something yogis do to enhance their balance, but when lockdown life became the new life and social distancing was introduced – many of you put down your baking trays and dipped your toes into the world of paddle boarding.
Paddleboarding can be a full body workout – when shown how to carry out the correct technique – yet the beauty of this sport over lockdown was that it strengthened people’s rapport with Mother Nature – an organic stress relief! The well-known feeling of success that the many of us were lacking after not coming home from a hard day’s work was readily replaced. Paddle boarding fuelled this sense of accomplishment through progression in baby steps; each step forward emitting an endorphin rush that the majority found addictive.
The wonderful thing about SUP is that it’s not too overwhelming, there is no ‘right way’ to start; although there is a smart way. Taking a lesson or course (such as WSA’s ISUP Smart course) post-lockdown will not only perfect your technique, but ensures you are equipped with essential safety skills that could be life-saving later down the line.
But for now, keep doing what you are doing. Not sure you are ready? Practise your technique in the garden whilst your kids throw the hose over you. Trying to perfect the balanced stance? Have your family lob couch cushions at you whilst you remain zen. Not feeling confident that you won’t fall off? Start on your knees and work your way to standing, falling off is inevitable (but it’s the fun part too).
On top of all of this, paddle boarding offers our minds the much-needed time to switch off and just be. The ocean is an expansive area of unknown; much like the pandemic – we can’t understand it – and yet we grab our paddle and voyeur out anyway.
There is a whirlpool of options waiting to lend you a hand in your SUP journey – whether a 1-on-1 lesson with one of our qualified instructors or an infamous Harlyn adventure tour with your closest friends and family – the choice is yours.
We, Harlyn Surf School, are jumping up and down at the thought of seeing all of your faces soon, we’ve got our SUPs and paddles at the ready and can’t wait to see you all!