We feel so grateful to be back guiding tours in the incredible LaHave Islands again. This year we decided to take the leap and venture into Mahone Bay with more kayaks and a fleet of shiny new Starboard standup paddleboards (SUPs). Wait…what? Yes, a lot of kayakers turn up their noses at SUPs. Maybe some of you are among them. We have to admit, we used to be among the SUP doubters too! We were first tempted to give it a try as a platform for yoga (well Sarah was tempted). A paddleboard, it turns out, is an amazingly playful AND peaceful platform for an outdoor floating practice! It’s a great way to reconnect with your core during your practice and stay focused…or else be reminded to focus with a little surprise swim!
It also turns out that SUPs are really fun to paddle too…even for us kayakers! After long days out guiding in kayaks, or days seated in the office (yes unfortunately adventure companies involve office work too), we love getting out enjoying our incredible surroundings on the South Shore by SUP. It’s great to stand up! Paddleboards offers a new perspective. From a board you can gaze down into the tide pools and feel the movement of the water surface underneath your feet. A lot of paddling skills transfer over – blade control, bracing, edging, trip planning, risk assessment– and there are fun new skills to try out, like jumping into surf stance to catch a wave or to pivot around in a quick sweep stroke.
Many folks think that it’s going to be tough to balance on a SUP – but it doesn’t have to be at all! There’s a wide variety of board designs from super stable all-round boards, to boards designed for SUP surfing, racing, touring, whitewater, fishing…the list goes on! All to say that with the right board, SUP can be very beginner friendly, plus there are lots of new challenges to be had in the sport, if that’s what your looking for. Plus if you fall off playing around on your SUP, there’s no need to deal with a swamped boat – bonus! As long as you have the board attached to you with a leash (a safety must!), the board stays beside you in the water, you kick you feet like you were hoisting yourself out of the pool and you hop back on!
We still love our kayaks, but we’re also really enjoying sharing our SUP discovery with others this summer on the South Shore. Really though – you shouldn’t take our word for it. Try it out for yourself – especially you skeptics! We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
We have a fleet of high quality SUP rentals for you to take out for a spin, plus we're hosting a Starboard Demo Day in Mahone Bay on July 18th, 2016 (4-6pm), where you can test out a wide range of boards and different layups. If you are interested purchasing a board, you are welcome to try out a variety of boards before you buy - the cost of a one hour rental can be applied the sale of the board! We have inflatable and hard Starboard SUPs in stock. We’ll also be offering lessons and SUP yoga classes next month, so stay tuned for details! In the meantime, here is some SUPiration for you, if your curious, or already bitten by the paddleboard bug.
• This interview with Whitewater SUP guru Mark ScriverWe’re super excited that Mark is coming to Cape LaHave Adventures this July to teach an Advanced Flatwater SUP Instructor course.
• This article about SUP in Antarctica, by Meghan Roberts. (We snuck into a few pics … can you spot Scott and I?) Meghan operates her own SUP company in West Virginia Mountain Surf Paddle Sports LLC. Check out her offerings when you’re in her neck of the woods!
• Pups who SUP! Instagram feed