Last week Gemma Chalmers went for a lesson with Steve Freeman, Owner and Head Coach of Surf Safe Surf Coaching Raglan, to see how she got on…
For a while now I have wanted to have a crack at Stand Up Paddle Boarding. To glide along on top of the water, exploring the matrix of waterways that surround us here in Raglan, and improve my core strength.
It began with some land based training, providing some good basic technique and safety. Once all the necessary areas were covered on dry land, we headed to the inner harbour to have a practice on the water before going further a field. As long as you have your feet in the right place, it’s amazing how stable you feel, and once into a rhythm of paddling evenly, I quickly felt quite confident.
Steve was sure to keep a continual eye on my technique, giving coaching instruction every now and then to make things easier. Once he was sure I was ready to go exploring, we made our way under Raglan Bridge and up into the Estuary. It really is a fantastic way to explore the nooks and crannies of the river. Heading round towards Flax Cove, we had perfect conditions, a while before high tide, light to no wind, and pure glassy water.
It has to be one of the most leisurely and therapeutic forms of exercise. Working your core, and toning your legs and arms, it’s something pretty much everyone can enjoy. Age and level of fitness certainly shouldn’t hold anyone back here. Even though Steve also coaches surf lessons throughout the year, catering for a wide range of ages and abilities, he agrees that in comparison, learning to SUP has a lot more in the way of ‘instant satisfaction’. If you’ve always wanted to surf, or be active in general on the water, but aren’t feeling as energetic as you once were or aren’t up for getting washed and tumbled around in the surf, Stand Up Paddle Boarding is a must try!
On the flip-side, regular participation does lead to some serious core strength and all over toning and fitness — all hugely beneficial and complimentary to surfing and a great alternative when the surf is flat!
Surf Safe Surf Coaching Raglan also provided free photos and a short video via USB stick. For more info on SUP and Surfing lessons check out Surf Safe Surf Coaching’s full list of lesson options on our Recreational Activities page!