Until a few weeks ago, ‘sup, to me, was basically the cool dude’s lazy version of saying, “what’s up?”  It’s surf lingo or ghetto lingo; it’s just lingo and honestly I was never really a ‘sup kinda girl.  Well, SUP took on a whole new meaning this weekend as I experienced for the first time –Stand Up Paddle boarding.  Imagine a 12 foot long couple inch thick surfboard, 1.5 times the width of your own body and strong enough to float just about anything.  Glide it out over a calm body of water, ideally free of waves, get an oar, stand up, and paddle your way out to discover what it feels like to ‘walk’ on water.

(Someone else supping)

This weekend Sarah took me out on her Santa Barbarian waters, each of us with a SUP board in tow.  We set out in the calm, glassy, Sunday morning waters of the S.B. harbor and soon found ourselves balancing on these thick boards, us hovering 5’5” feet above  the ocean blue.   Gaining balance was relatively easy after some initial wobbles and testing out the best foot position on the board.  Paddling was quite simple too.  A few strokes on each side and before I knew it I was gliding over an amazing kelp forest 100 feet off shore.  Languid mustard yellow-brown kelp arms swayed to and fro with the gentle push of the sea current, showing just the top of their multi-foot long kelp tower, attached depths below to the ocean floor.  Within this other world I spotted a crab, little fish, iridescent seaweed, and a handful of cute seals basking in the morning rays.  They kept their head and tail out of the water with their middle section curved in sort of a reverse backbend, stomach down, as they bobbed about and looked at the funny girls standing on the floating devices.  The highlight was seeing a sea otter who only gave me a few seconds of viewing pleasure before he found a better underwater observation point.

The sensation of being above the water and looking down into it was quite magical.   As an onlooker to anyone on a paddle board, the visual is quite strange and honestly, other worldly: seeing someone stroke their way through open water, planted feet and erect, as if they were walking on a liquid highway.  I highly recommend you get yourself on a board and go check out ‘sup.


~ by maureenmoore on August 24, 2009.

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