“There is a great Ohana (family) vibe to this sport” Tim Balasiuk, owner of Paddle Niagara says. “It just seems for some reason or another, people want to stand up and paddle. Once you try it, you’ll see why.”
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a full body workout that consistently engages all the core muscles and the balance muscles. It is a combination of surfing and outrigger canoe paddling, and originated, like many other water sports, in Hawaii. It may take a couple of tries (and spills in the water) to get your technique down, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked. Stand up paddle boarding is the fastest growing water sport in the world, and that is due to the fact that it is relatively easy to learn, it’s fun and it is great exercise for all ages.
SUP came about after surf instructors and photographers used it as a way to get a higher vantage point to observe surfers from. A surf style board is used, along with a long paddle. It can be done on everything from flat-water lakes, to beaches to open water to waves.
Paddle Niagara, a company that launched in the summer of 2012 is already spreading its wings opening a second location this summer at Sherkston Shores on Lake Erie. Paddle Niagara is the first of it’s kind in the area, and offers introductory lessons, rentals, social paddles and a ton of special events from Paddle Pilates by Pilates with Jess to beach clean ups starting June 8th.
According to Tim, “Paddle Niagara was created to offer a perspective of Lake Ontario and the Niagara River you cannot find anywhere else in the Region.” The company offers everything from lesson and rentals in Lake Erie, to lazy floats down the Niagara River. It’s a great opportunity to get out and experience a whole different side (and view) of Niagara.
The boards used by Paddle Niagara are all soft top, which are very comfortable, and have the same consistency as a yoga mat. Having the cushiony top to the board makes it a little bit easier to balance, and a little less intimidating when it comes time for the first couple of inevitable tumbles. Paddle Niagara explores numerous waterways, including Lakeside Park, Lake Erie and various spots in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
It’s really a sport that everyone can enjoy. It’s a good workout, but you’ll be having so much fun, you might not even notice. It also is a great activity for whole families to take part in. Tim notes that, “the most fun we had last year was getting families out on the water.”
Tim also says that, “ a big part of what I love about SUP is the community. It seems like everyone is eager to help you get on the water knowing you will love it as much as them.”
Everyone is easy going and nobody expects anybody to be a superstar, so hit the water and experience a great new way to have fun, stay cool and get fit. #GETONBOARD
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