I got on a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) for the first time a year ago purely to impress a man, when really I was terrified of the ocean, hated being cold and couldn’t swim. Twelve months later I race weekly in Auckland, have paddled 23km down the Waikato River, came 3rd at the National SUP comp, did a 35+knot downwinder in Hawaii (complete with sea turtles)...and got the man! I’m still learning to SUP surf and do a bit more of the technical stuff, but I have never been fitter, leaner, stronger or more confident on the water and have done so many more things than I would have even considered a year ago. Because of the confidence and independence I have gained from SUP, I now race in a weekly swim series too and am eyeing up much more for 2012!
SUP for us has been used as a tool for health and fitness, socialising, charity fundraising, business meetings, family time, holidays and time-out! Stand Up Paddleboarding is the fastest growing water sport all over the world. This summer will see women on SUPs right across New Zealand, for cruising, exploring, racing, surfing, exercising and hanging out with the girls.
SUP has become the answer to a lot of women’s exercise problems. It is fun, easy, low-impact, and gets physical results fast. I believe that SUP is the best form of cross-training ever! A few sessions a week on the water beats hours spent in the gym-hands down. SUP strengthens, lengthens and tones your body-all muscles are used at once, particular your legs, butt, core and arms. Challenge yourself to paddle a little harder to increase your heart rate and sweat a little, and quickly you will see the additional cardio benefits of SUP without feeling any impact on your joints.
I have seen SUP literally change womens lives after their first time on a board. It is the feeling of total freedom, confidence and achievement, making them feel invincible. Women who SUP feel empowered as they head out from beach, cross the bay, glide along the coast, explore a waterway, or head out into the deep. It’s an easy, healthy way to catch up with your girlfriends, have some fun and get a good head-to-toe workout.
Check out www.staceysmith.co.nz to learn more about me, watch my progress of SUP and other things exciting, and to contact me for any helpwith SUP-come have a session on your own or grab a bunch of girls to have a go, have a laugh, and finish with a smoothie on the beach!
I’m the guy, that got the girl (above)….
Being a small town coastal kid, brought up in and around the ocean from a young age meant a majority of growth, action, laughs, freedom, missions and holidays were focused at the beach. So much so the end of my European OE was solely due to needing a lengthy reunion with the roots of Epic NZ. Surfing, Wakeboarding & Windsurfing all were in the mix on my return home, but each required certain climatic and oceanic conditions, I needed another option.
When I first saw SUP I immediately became engrossed with the options and availability to increased water time, health-fitness, adventure-travel,competition, camaraderie but most importantly good times all the time. Each and everyday you can get out on the water, cruise the coast on sunrise & sunset, leisurely paddling with friends and family, surfing small & large waves, various race series and outer island downwind missions, heck I’ve even dropped a 25 hook long line from my SUP to catch the crew some Kai for the evenings dinner.
The Sport has taken me to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Maui and a number of the ‘Starboard ‘ crew to Tahiti, Oahu, Fiji, California, Europe, Australia and Thailand. Highlights at home of SUP travel and journeys include paddles from Hahei to Cathedral Cove, Martins Bay to Mansion House & Downwinders from the Auckland Viaduct to Waiheke & Tiri Tiri Matangi to Takapuna to name just a few,
For me the freedom and ease each day of SUP has got me and many friends highly hooked & heavily involved in this one day soon Olympic sport.Fortunate to be living my grommit dream of becoming a sponsored rider with Starboard and Quiksilver ‘The Best Summer Ever’ is now in full swing. Can’t wait to soak up each blessed beach moment, sharing and teaching the roots to my five year old daughter ‘Summer Lily’ & charging hard with my very own stunning wonder woman, Stacey.
Come give SUP a crack this Summer. Get hold of Stacey on her blog and/ or ‘like’ the Starboard SUPSNz faebook page. Look forward to catching up on the water, Shakas!
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