This June has been a cracking month. For me it gave the chance to complete another long distance path (the Yorkshire Wolds Way), as well as plenty of paddling opportunities including a thoroughly enjoyable Quiet Water Conclave with the OCA, leadership training, white water coaching – and a good quota of SUP sessions.
I wrote earlier this year about the benefits of canoeing as a means of improving your kayaking skills and I’m beginning to appreciate the benefits of a good work out on a SUP too. Paddling a SUP may not be the most efficient way to travel by water, but goodness it is fun! Working with youngsters on an introductory SUP session in this glorious June weather made it impossible to keep them out of the water – and very willing to push themselves to see how far they could challenge their balance and control on the board knowing the only consequence of going too far was a refreshing dip. I enjoyed the challenge too!
With days of wall to wall sunshine I found myself enjoying a couple of short tours and evening sessions on the SUP, not fast, but a great platform from which to enjoy the views. And touring on the Thames gives regular chances to practice moving the board in and across the currents created by the various weirs and mill streams along the way.
It was only when I stepped back into a race boat however that I realised just how good a few weeks of concentrated SUPing had been for my core. I instantly felt more stable and better able to focus on a solid catch and power transfer. My walking holiday in the June heat had involved more refreshing beer and (excellent) pub meals than the calories burned justified. A mix of SUP and K1 paddling will be a great way of keeping trimmer as we go into July and August!