I fell victim to Instagram on this one.
Well, kind of. From a young age, my parents would take us on boat rides at Wabamun Lake in various boats. The first one I remember is our steel fishing boat. Imagine – 4 children all under 10 years old and two adults riding around in a steel boat with colorful plastic fishing rods. That was us! We also inherited a canoe. The canoe was hard to fit all 6 of us into so we didn’t use it much. Then we upgraded and fulfilled my Dad’s dream of owning a sailboat. It was not a big sailboat, but man was that fun! We would host the sails, help Dad steer, tighten and loosen ropes. Occasionally in my youth we would also have the opportunity to use kayaks at Bible Camp when we were younger.
Boats were always exciting for me. So when I saw people using paddleboards on Instagram, I knew I wanted to try! I then just happened to come across an ad on Instagram for a local Edmonton company that rents paddleboards by the day (GrittyKnots). That was it. All I needed was a location and a friend to try it out with me!
Thankfully I have a friend and her partner who are always up for an adventure. So I booked two paddleboard kits and we set off for Wabamun Lake!
The rental came with everything you need (iSUP with cargo tie-downs, coiled ankle leash, 3 piece carbon shaft paddle, double inflation pump, Transport Canada approved adult PFD and emergency whistle, 20L dry bag). They weren’t overly heavy either.
The sun was shining and the wind was barely a whisper. We got there early enough that we found a nice spot for some shade. I wasn’t prepared for how much you have to pump up the paddleboard before using it. When I thought it was good enough, you have to keep going! The instructions that came with the rental were very handy. Once our boards were ready, we headed to the water!
We started on our knees just to get the feel of it. I had done some research beforehand so I didn’t look like a complete newbie. I knew how to hold the paddle, I knew where to place your feet, I knew what a good stroke should look like – but let me tell you, experiencing it is a whole new thing!
Once we got out on the water a bit, we tried to stand. My ankles were not prepared! Apparently I have weak ankles. Good to know.
The board wobbles. You have to keep your knees slightly bent – I feel like most activities require this actually!
I also learned that you do not look down. If you look forward, it is easier. Your focus is on where you are going, not on the little wave that may, at any minute, knock you over.
I did not fall once I am proud to say!
We went out three times on the lake. Each time we went out farther and for longer. It’s amazing how good it felt! It was like I was standing on top of the water. We saw a pelican with a baby and we were able to watch it without interfering.
I really enjoyed paddleboarding. If I wanted to stand, I could. If I wanted to kneel, I could. If I wanted to float, I could.
I love the options with paddleboarding. I will definitely be trying it again!
Have you paddleboarded? What do you think?