I tried Stand-Up Paddle, in Singapore’s East, for the first time. Read all about my experience here.
As I put my bag into the locker and headed towards the instructor for the Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) lesson, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I had never done this before – and I was getting a little worried.
I was even more nervous than ever when I saw the paddle and the SUP board – which was similar in size and shape to a kayak, but was completely flat.
I began to wonder how I would ever be able to balance myself on that – especially on top of some big waves.
But when I talked to the rest of the people attending the same lesson as me, I realised that I had nothing to fear. We were all pretty much first-timers – and everyone was comforting each other.
Instructor was patient
As well, the instructor was very kind and patient with us. Instead of simply throwing us into the deep end, he patiently explained to us, how to use the paddle, how to climb up onto the board, how to stand on it and what was the correct way to fall. For example, he explained that we should jump off sideways into the water because this would reduce the chances of injury to our vital body parts such as the head or spine.
Armed with all of these tips, I was feeling much more comfortable as I climbed onto the SUP board to begin my adventure – for the next couple of hours.
As an added precaution, there would be a safety boat in the water with us, just in case any accidents happened.
Tried to get my rhythm and paddling motionI first tried to get my rhythm and momentum by sitting and then kneeling on the board in order to move it along.
I then wanted to perfect the movement of my paddle so that I wouldn’t fall into the water so often! That took a bit of time, but I soon managed to get the hang of the paddling motion, even though my movements were a little slow.
Began to enjoy myself
But the most important thing was that I really began to enjoy myself, as time wore on. The cooling Changi sea breeze was lovely and I could have stayed there forever – simply relaxing and lapping up the beautiful beach surroundings.
It was a completely different way to see the eastern part of Singapore and that made it even more enjoyable than ever.
But I must say that actually standing up on the board and paddling posed a bigger challenge. The last thing I wanted to do was to lose my balance.
Standing up, wobbling and falling offAnd when I eventually perfected my standing up position, I could sometimes feel myself wobbling though, due to the now higher centre of gravity. But fortunately, most of the time, I had managed to stop myself falling in time. I realised that it definitely wasn’t as easy as the experts make it out to be. I found that I had to think of my balance as well as try to move the board forward – by paddling well.
At the same time, I could also feel my arm muscles gradually tiring from the constant paddling. But that was not a big problem. After all, I could always stop for a while and let the board drift itself on the water, while I regained my energy.
However, that said, it was still really fun and soon enough, I felt more comfortable with standing up and paddling. So I allowed myself to slowly drift off and relax – to soak in the beautiful surroundings.
Big mistake, though. The first time I did this, I fell off the board – and got soaking wet.
But I wasn’t going to let this fall deter my fun though. So I got up on to the board again and gingerly pushed myself back up into a standing position. And then I was off again, slowly paddling my way though the Changi waters.
However, I must add that falling off wasn’t really a bad thing. It was actually getting a bit hot in the Changi afternoon heat, so the seawater was very refreshing and really helped to cool down my increasing body heat tremendously.
Overall, it was definitely a really enjoyable and fulfilling experience. When the two hours were up, I felt quite sad that it was all finished. Honestly, it was such a calming and peaceful experience for me, that I will most certainly do this again if I get another opportunity.