When my friend Shelly called me a week ago and asked if I wanted to go SUP with her and her family, a couple of things went through my head. First, hell yeah! I’ve always wanted to try. Second, how much? Third, I don’t want to fall off the board into the nasty-ass North Canadian River. Anyone who has been to Oklahoma (or lives here) understands that we have two colors in this state: red clay and brown water. This place is seriously nasty, especially after a rainstorm.
But life would be boring if you didn’t try new things so I met Shelly, her daughter Emma, and her fiance Brian at Lake Overholser last night to paddle my way through the brown river.
SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) started in Hawaii some years ago. As it bled into the mainland, everyone and their dog has picked up the practice, including holding yoga classes on the boards.
As a fitness craze, it’s actually quite fun and a decent workout. I woke up this morning with thrashed quads and sore shoulders; a great sign that I actually did something!
As a calorie burner, I’m not so sure it does the trick. But going once a week or so for an hour will definitely work the muscles.
Under the bridge we went, slowly, and I mean sssllloooowwwllllyyyyyy! This is not a sport where you haul ass, at least in the beginning when you’re trying to get your bearings.
Eventually I made my way to stand up on this crazy device. Usually I wouldn’t have a problem trying it out and falling. But this river is so freakin’ nasty I just didn’t want to get anything deeper than my ankles in the water!
But Brian and Shelly are pros at this point and had no trouble.
The best part of this entire experience was the cooler full of beer that Brian brought when we were finished.
Second was the Club Special I had a little while later!
Here are a few things I learned my first time doing SUP.
- It’s kind of hard to stand up on the board until you figure out the muscle group it takes to handle your balance.
- There are snakes in that damn river.
- The river is nasty.
- Rednecks love to fish.
- My quads are totally shredded.
- You should always pee before you get on the board!