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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to try stand up paddleboarding. It was great fun and a wonderful workout! At the same time, it was difficult to stand up on the board. I looked to You Tube for help on the best way to get up and stay up on the board. I found this great video on how to get started from Stand Up Paddle Board TV.

I made a lot of mistakes and was happy to see this video from BluePlanetSurf about Common Beginner mistakes. Balance is difficult at first and BluePlanet Surf had this video with tips on how to balance when standing on the board. Verena Mei had great tips on this video of how to fall in and get back on the board. Best tip is fall in the water which is soft versus on the board which can hurt you!!

Stand Up paddleboarding really works your core and back muscles, not just your arms. The Active Times has this article on Why Stand Up Paddle Boarding is A Killer Workout.   Health Fitness Revolution explains the Top 10 Health Benefits of Stand Up Paddleboarding.  Benefits include reducing stress, enjoying being in nature and of course, strengthen your muscles, getting a great overall workout and having fun!

Advanced skills combining Yoga AND paddleboarding! Image from https://www.reviewgigant.com/sup-board-kopen-gids/

In Chicago, there are a few places to learn how to stand up paddleboard. First there is Chicago SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) with info on lessons here. For $65 you can learn how to paddleboard in 30 minutes then practice for an hour afterward with Chicago SUP boards.

Chicago Paddle Company also provides lessons but for $45 per hour. Their 1-hour lessons include

    • YOLO Board, paddle & leash
    • P.F.D. (personal flotation device)
    • On land paddle and water safety instruction
    • On water paddle instruction with a SUP safety certified instructor

You can also rent paddleboards from Chicago Paddle Company  at Kathy Osterman ‘Hollywood’ Beach in Edgewater for  $30/hour.

Paddleboarding with your pet! An advanced skill. Image from https://www.reviewgigant.com/sup-board-kopen-gids

Stand up paddle boards can be expensive ($400 and up to $2500 at REI on sale until 9-4-17) , but if you shop around you can get some deals. Some people prefer the inflatable type of paddle board so it is easier to store and travel with your board. The cheapest one I found is for $259 (Reg $399 on sale as of 8-25-17) at Walmart here.

Bestway Inflatable Paddle Board from Walmart

 

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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.

THIRD COAST SURF SHOP
22 S. SMITH ST.
NEW BUFFALO, MICHIGAN
USA 49117
PHONE: 269-932-4575

• Great Lakes Board Company has two beach locations in the Chicago area: Glencoe Beach here and North Avenue Beach here.

Great Lakes Board Company 312-622-0121

$ 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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