By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
OK, Lake Michigan is NOT an ocean. But is is a big lake and so has…you guessed it, lots of water, a few waves, depending on the weather and a lot of people living or vacationing near the lake or on the lake. By now, most of you have heard of jet skis and wave runners. And many of you know about surfing, which is tough even in a lake as big as Lake Michigan. But now, I bring you a new(sih) sport, paddle boarding.
Stand up paddle boarding is a great workout for your legs, buttocks, back, shoulders and arms and it’s low impact so it doesn’t destroy your joints in the process. A stand up paddle board tends to be wider than a traditional surfboard: 32 inches wide to a traditional board at 20 inches wide. You start by kneeling on the board and then you slowly stand up and can begin paddling. According to experienced paddle boarders, if the lake is calm, it’s not much harder to stand up and paddle than it would be to stand on dry land and paddle. And, unless you get hit by a tsunami (which is highly unlikely in Lake Michigan), few stand up paddle boarders actually fall into the lake or even get wet. (A big plus when the weather gets a little colder.)
The sport is attracting women and yoga devotees alike, however, many men, especially triathletes like it, too.
Where can you paddle board near Chicago?
• In New Buffalo at Third Coast Surf Spot. They offer lessons and boards for rent. Check out their web page here.
$ 25.00 / hour / person – RENTAL
$ 50.00 / hour / person – LESSON includes 30-minute personal instruction
A great post at paddleboardinglessons.com gives you all the particulars stand up paddle boarding: Surf’s Up: The Rise of the Stand Up Paddle Boards.
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