First Love of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Written By Andrew Cassidy

Stand up paddle boarding is known for yielding transformational changes in people's lives, especially in terms of their behavior toward bodies of water and internet browsing, to name a few. Are you one of those people?


The author spending some quality time in this 'other' office. Photo: Mark Onorati.


NEW SOTH WALES, Australia – I was driving up the highway the other day, doing 100 clicks and I went over one of those little bridges spanning a small river. Looking down I could see a crystal clear reflection of the surrounding trees and grassy fields on the river's surface. Perfect glass. Not a breath of wind to create even the slightest ripple. Perfect paddling conditions and I had boards on the roof. Suddenly an overwhelming feeling of euphoria came over me - from deep down inside. It was just like falling in love all over again [big sigh] ... Hang on! What? Falling in love? It was just a freaking river, on the side of the road. It didn't even have waves ... or breasts - it was just a river. What's that about? It's about this thing inside of me. The SUP bug. Eighteen months ago I wouldn't have even seen the river but this whole stand up paddling thing has put a whole new perspective on all kinds of things.

A similar thing happened a few months ago when I was sitting on a bus on my way to work in the city. We went past a beach with a one foot wave breaking a fair way out. Just a slow little wave, that nobody really cared about, rolling it's way to shore. That wave looked so beautiful in the morning light. I almost had a tear in my eye with my face squished up against the glass watching this little gem disappear from view as we rounded the corner on our way to the concrete jail house. Heartbreaking stuff. What's wrong with me?

My wife, half jokingly, tells me she thinks I love SUPing more than her. Don't be silly darl. It's just a sport, hobby, pastime, lifestyle, passion ... love affair - ohhhh, maybe that's where she is coming from.



Casso wasting no time transitioning from getting off the bus from work to getting out there. Photo: Mark Onorati.


Here's a little test to see if you too have it bad - like me:

  1.  Do you start to get a little edgy when you go for more than 12 hours without logging onto the SUP forums?
  2.  Do you disregard doctor's orders to keep out of the water because there was a fun little glassy wave on the point with no one out?
  3. Do you see the wake of a boat and think to yourself - hmmm, I wonder if I could paddle onto that?
  4. Do you miss total conversations with family members because you are on a completely different planet - thinking about how to perfect that backhand kick turn?
  5. Do you mentally convert your income to the number of SUP boards earned in a month?
  6. Do you constantly think of employment opportunities or business ventures which will allow you to work in the industry or give you maximum water time?
  7. Do you think about shaping your own SUP board even though you're not that good at hanging a picture?
  8. Do you have the SUP Connect shortcut on your first level of internet favourites?
  9. Do you get a bit antsy when you can't find any good, new SUP video clips on YouTube?
  10. Do you have a dedicated SUP folder in your internet favourites?
  11. Do you sometimes mention to your family that you are just checking something on the computer and will be back in five minutes, only to apologetically return 1.5 hours later (there were some good, new articles on SUP Connect, you see)?
  12. Do you go out of your way to drive to the best beach for SUPing even though there are actually great conditions for surfing/longboarding/kitesurfing/windsurfing at your home beach?
  13. Have you recently sold your old shortboard/longboard/kiteboard/windsurfer to fund a new SUP?
  14. Has every member of your family been for a paddle on your board in your desperate attempt to also get them hooked?

You've probably answered yes to some of these, right? Uh-oh, I think you might be in luuurve!


Last modified onThursday, 19 May 2011 15:06

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