Some of you may be asking yourselves what is stand-up paddle boarding, and, if I want to, where can I do it? The paddle sport is a little like kayaking meets surfboard, a balance activity that is less intimidating than it looks and doesn’t need a big body of water to complete. While taking a board out into the ocean is one way to get your feet wet, we suggest tackling the sport closer to home at Lodi Lake.
But why would you want to try the sport better known as SUP? In addition to the arm workout achieved in all paddle sports, SUP offers additional benefits tied to balance, engaging small muscles that don’t usually get a workout as well as larger muscle groups. “You really got to engage your obliques, your abs, and your back—and even your legs,” says Abigail Christensen, co-owner of Headwaters Kayak in Lodi with Daniel Arbuckle. “There’s a really good balancing benefit.”
The good news is that while not falling in may seem like a big undertaking, it’s actually easier than it looks. “The learning curve isn’t super steep but the benefits are huge,” Abigail says. While it is a low impact workout, SUP is also connected to improved cardiovascular health and weight loss. Plus, it gets you out in nature, which can be good for reducing stress and even a positive environment for meditation. Plus, it’s perfectly acceptable to paddle from your knees while you’re learning, or take it up a notch by practicing yoga on your board.
When it comes to SUP, Lodi Lake is a popular destination for the sport. The lake connects to a river perfect for practicing, and as an added bonus, you can get your gear on site. Headwaters Kayak has a fleet of nearly 30 paddle boards available for rent and in the summer months it’s open seven days per week. Simply give the shop a call to make a reservation. Abigail suggests planning a week ahead for weekend rentals but says on weekdays you’ll likely be able to secure a board within the hour.
Take a Tour:
Headwaters offers a slew of tours for kayakers and SUPers, from stargazing treks to sunset journeys. The most popular is their full moon tour. See available dates below (and check the schedule online for additional options). HeadwatersKayak.com
June 23 @ 7:30 PM, 7:45 PM, and 8 PM
July 22 @ 7:30 PM, 7:45 PM, and 8 PM