My first encounter of a SUP with me on board, was on a beautiful May day on Windermere. After a failed trip to Lisbon to celebrate my 40th birthday with my sister (don’t ask! Well ok then, the debacle started with the flight being cancelled as we wereairside, at the gate, and ended up with us arriving home 12 hours after we’d left for Manchester!), we booked a lovely afternoon tea at the Daffodil hotel in Grasmere
and hired some SUP’s for the morning. I was hooked- even after the extremely shaky legged start – does everyone get that??!! I even managed not to fall in!
My second experience was on another of our beautiful Lake District lakes- Coniston.
A group of girl friends booked on for a morning session with Lake District Paddle Boarding, we had an amazing time- we were in the midst of that simply incredibly dreamy prolonged sunny spell in 2018, and the conditions couldn’t have been better. The session was instructed and actually discovering and learning about technique made me un-surprisingly more efficient with the paddle and getting around on the lake a lot easier! We practiced some yoga, did some games, messed about jumping in off the boards, and all in all had a fabulous few hours.
Some friends of ours have boards, so we spent a couple of lovely days also in that hot summer of 2018 by the lake boarding, BBQing and bonding!
Back to my 40th , and my husband had promised to buy me some diamond earrings. We had just never got round to it, but as time went on, I realised I don’t really have sufficient opportunity to wear such extragavant things these days, that I would probably lose one anyway, and also that I would much rather have something else that would bring me more pleasure.
So, bringing me to my 2018 Christmas list, I decided to take my chance and sneak a link to a Bluefin SUP on there, not imagining for a minute that I would actually be lucky enough to be opening one on Christmas morning! Imagine my surprise, delight and downright ecstatic excitement when I peeled back the wrapping and saw the Bluefin writing on the box!
Straight away I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait for warmer weather for my first venture out on my new board, so my first Google search was for winter wet-suit boots. As luck would have it, just before Christmas I was in a large sports retailer and they had some winter weight wet-suit gloves massively reduced which I bought- it must have been fate? I knew they would come in useful at some point, just
not realising how soon it would be!
Checking the weather a couple of weekends after Christmas- I was in luck – a good forecast of sun and minimal wind (albeit cold) and I tentatively mentioned to my husband the proposal of taking the board up into the Lakes for its first foray onto water. He’s fairly used to my often slightly bonkers suggestions, and shares my enthusiasm for getting out of the house at any opportunity so on the Friday night we unpacked the box the board came in, had a read of the instructions, and pumped the board up for the first time. Easy peasy.
Sunday morning came and the weather forecast was correct- well apart from as we came over the brow of the hill to drop down into Windermere with the lake nestling in the bottom of the valley- it seemed to be a lot foggier than when we had left home.
Nothing ventured nothing gained, we were nearly there now, so we carried on the journey to board the little cross lake ferry, paid our £4.40, drove off, and parked up on the west side of Windermere.
The board is so easy to unpack and inflate, only about 10-15 minutes. I wanted to know I could do it myself so if I ever have a day with no work or children in tow (pretty unlikely but you can live in hope!), I can head out somewhere on my own.
We had a lovely couple of hours on the shores of Windermere, me gently paddling up and down as the dog roamed around, and the toddler threw stones and sticks into the lake as children do. Thankfully I managed not to fall in, as I imagine the lake isn’t particularly warm at this time of year!
I am absolutely hooked on SUP’ing, and regularly check the weather forecast to see when I may be able to get back out on the lake!