Stand Up Paddle Board at Mission Point
Stand Up Paddle Board is the hottest new craze taking over water sports and thanks to, Brody Welte of Stand Up Fitness, we were able to bring it to the teens of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Base. This sport is an earlier form of surfing from Hawaiin culture and is the closest you’ll ever get to walking on water. It’s a great workout for your core because you have to balance on the board, continuously adjust your body weight as you pull yourself forward over the paddle, and work on an unbalanced surface. Throw in paddle strokes so you’re rotating your torso and you have some strength training going on. This is a sport where there is a lot of muscle use and instant difficulty, but new users develop fairly quickly at it.
Stand Up Paddle boards, much longer and thicker for added stability, lined the beach shore when the teens joined us. Perfect timing, the clouds of the morning had just burnt off, providing a nice, warm sun and light with limited breeze. “We just stand up and paddle on them?” asked one teen. “Well that’s the basic gest.” was the answer. Of course, that structure for a sport doesn’t sound thrilling at all and it’s rather hard to explain how extreme stand up paddle board can be – you have to experience it yourself.
Brody did a quick lesson with the teens, giving them all the basics and having them practice hands-on through a dry run before taking the massive boards into the water. The kids started by putting on their leashes so that if they fell their boards were not lost forever. “Do we have to blow these up?” one teen asked about their PFD (personal floating device). “Well it ain’t to make ya look pretty, although that yellow does look very nice on you.” The teens were taught that some people merely paddled out on their knees, but these teens, not wanting to be held back by anything got up immediately. Racing each other through the small waves they laughed and chased each other on SUPs (stand up paddle boards).
To make sure everyone had a chance to paddle board we had half the group on the beach playing games and the other half were in the water with the boards. We switched these groups out twice before lunch, where Beyond the Surface, a California non – profit organization focused on promoting water conservation and improving water quality in rivers and oceans that we have partnered with, paddled in on their stand up paddle boards and talked to the kids about their program during lunch. They are currently promoting their program through an expedition where they are stand up paddle boarding from Trestles to TJ, so they talked about paddle board with the teens. A great connection as well, since two of the members are recent navy active duty members and one is a recent veteran marine.
We then headed back to the beach and allowed the kids to either enjoy water activities and stand up paddle board or beach games – the kids stayed out in the water until it was time to leave, competing through paddle board relays and creating teams by riding tandem style on the boards. One of the teens in particular, took to it right away. It seemed to calm down his energy a little more than usual and kept his attention, something that has been hard for all the staff to do for him. This seemed to be one of our most relaxing and fun days thus far on the trips and it’s great to have so many different connections able to share that.
We would like to give a big thanks to Brody Welte for introducing Stand Up Paddle Board to our group. More can be learned here: http://www.standupfitness.com/