I've been intrigued by Stand Up Paddle boards for years now. But never having been very good at skateboarding and never having been on a surf board, I was always a little intimidated.
Finally, last year I gave it a go. We were up in Mammoth at Skye's Shakespeare camp and on one of our free afternoons we went up to Lake Mary and rented some boards.
We struggled and I feel in a few times, mostly while goofing around but we both feel in love with it.
I love being around water, but I'm not into fishing, rafting or boating so much.
SUP seemed like a perfect match.
Skye was up at her cousin's and did went out with them. They owned a couple inflatables.
She said it was awesome and the inflatables were just as easy as the standard ones.
I decided to get her one for her birthday and pick one up for myself as well. I could call it a reward for the job I just finished in NOLA or maybe Father's Day or just that it would be better to have two boards than just one.
When we were staying down in LA, the weather was absolutely perfect and the Pacific Ocean was living up to its name as far as being calm and peaceful.
When I jogged along the beach and saw people gliding along on their SUPs, I was super envious and was seriously considering grabbing ours and getting out there.
I'm glad I didn't for a lot of reasons.
Our time in LA was extremely limited. In fact there are several things we didn't get done that I wanted to and I don't know when we'll be back.
Dealing with getting properly cleaned off and folded back up while staying in a hotel could have turned into a real headache.
But most importantly, I think had I tried to get up in the ocean, even when it was relatively calm, I could have ended up getting a bit frustrated and regretting buying them in the first place. I might have been fine, but knowing how unsteady I felt at first on a glass-smooth lake with no waves or currents, I thing it could have been not so much fun.
Skye doesn't even have her new puppy yet and she's already figuring out how to train him to be up on the SUP.
I'm hoping to get my yoga skills back so that I could do SUP yoga. I think that would be a blast.
Skye's already a few steps ahead of me on that one.
The first time we went to try out our new boards, it was just Cindy and me. I started out by setting up Skye's board. After finally getting the fins in, it took around five minutes just to get the pump and the valve on the board hooked up. Then after pumping for what seemed like an eternity it seemed like the gauge on the pump was broken.
We got the pump out for my board and of course they were totally different and completely incompatible. So I just pumped to a point that I thought was enough.
That's about when it started to rain. A cold and windy rain with thunder booming ominously. We decided it was not the best day for our maiden voyage.
The next day I went up early and gave my board a try.
It seemed like the valve on my pump was broken as well until I got up to around 7lbs of pressure and then the needle began to twitch. I had to keep see-sawing away until I got up to around 11 psi. My arms were burning and I manage to break off a plastic tab on the pump that locked it in place.
But still I did manage to get out and cruise around the lake for around an hour. Luckily there were some folk onshore who had a bit more experience on SUPs than I and were kind enough to yell out advise. Slightly embarrassing but I did end up getting up on the board without falling in.
Until I was out in the middle and caught hit by the wake of a passing motorboat. That slight ripple was enough to upend me and send me into the icy alpine waters. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, warm and sunny so it was bracing yet refreshing.
We ended up out on Lake Mary a few more times and we saw improvement with each trip out. Being out on the water has always given me a sense of calm and peacefulness.
Our time up in the High Sierra's is coming to an end.
We'll be at sea level and in an urban environment the next time we are up and paddling. Looking forward to doing some SUP in NOLA.
I've heard Bayou St. John is a good place to go as well Lake Pontchartrain.
I sure will miss Mammoth though.