Try stand up paddle boarding (#12before50)

Nikki ParkinsonLife 19 Comments

When I made up my working list of 12 new things I could try before I turn 50, I always had this one in mind.

New thing #2: stand up paddle boarding

I figured that if I was going to try stand up paddle boarding – or SUPing – for the first time that it may as well be in Hawaii.

The thing is, I put it off. Until. The. Last. Day.

I made some noises about the conditions not being quite right. In my defence, there were a windy few days but in reality, it was all about fear.

MY fear. Of trying something new. Of trying something I might not be able to do. Of trying something and making a fool out of myself. Of looking ridiculous standing on a board in my swimsuit.

So, there I was on the morning of the last full day of our holidays. A beach morning was planned.

I’d headed down before 9am to pay and secure yellow umbrella number 10 in front of the lagoon on our section of the beach.

And I said the words to the hire kiosk … “I’d like to also hire a stand-up paddle board”.

Just like that, I’d committed to doing it.

A few words of guidance from the hire guy and I was off.


Off on my knees.

But off I was. I was paddling through the turquoise water – at least five metres off shore.

If it hadn’t been for my resolve – and my eldest son swimming out to me – I probaby would have spent the hour paddling around on my knees.

Ben’s encouragement (and board stabilising) was all I needed. I bent over and gripped the board with my hands (maybe a little too tightly as I succeeded in jarring my finger) and then raised my knees off the board, lifting my bum in the air and pulling myself into a very wobbly stance.

I was UP.

I was SUPing.

#12before50 | Stand up paddle boarding

Except I never really stood straight up. The hire guy had told me look to the horizon (not down) and to squat to get my balance so I spent the entire time in a mini squat.

Eventually my jelly like legs cried ENOUGH (and I cried every time I had to sit down in the next 72 hours) and I paddled to shore, happy to let my daughter use up the rest of the hire period.

Have you tried stand up paddleboarding? Any tips if I’m to get back on a board? Have you tried anything new in the past month?

{If you do join in this 12 month challenge and want to share your new things each month, leave a comment in the comments section below – you can share a photo there or a link if you’ve also written about it on a blog or social media post.}

Comments 19

  1. Well done Nikki. I think sometimes we worry too much how we will LOOK when trying something new. We should forget that and just think how wonderful we will FEEL when we do something new. Yay to you !

  2. I tried it! I managed to stand up straight, for around a minute, but was completely frozen, I was way too scared to move. It actually holds one of my fave memories of the holiday. My nephew, who was around 11, was helping stabilise the board. I fell off a few times and my nephew told me “I love how you have no shame”. It amused me! But I got back up and tried again!

  3. I say you go girl! I so want to try SUP’ing and have for ages, because of where we live and because I love being on and in the water here and the water here is perfect for it. I have been waiting to lose that last 10kg and get that gorgeous fake tan happening and buy the perfect rashie and bikini, but you know what?…You are a long time dead so I am just gonna go and do it now and say thanks Nikki for making me stop being so ridiculous with my negative thoughts and just do it! xxx

  4. I LOVE stand up paddle boarding. It’s the only beach thing I like – it’s not easy to do it in Melbourne though. So cold and our water is kind of murky and gross.

  5. I tried it last year for the first (and only time so far). I had a lesson with just a friend and me, and I think that’s the best way to start. I really enjoyed it and I’d do it again if there weren’t too many waves!

  6. Had my very first go on Waikiki beach in June! We were just hoping the waves didn’t take us out to the womens pro/am, being held to the left!!! 🙂

  7. Yay you!
    We’re going to Langkawi in November for a drop and flop holiday so I might need to give this a try once I get to the point of needing some activities to fill out my days.

  8. Well done! We have two and I usually groan and make every excuse before taking one out and then I’m loving it! I started off cruising around our lake or lagoon on still water before braving it at the beach. Yep it’s a killer on the legs and core so I’m dedicating more gym time to those areas in preparation to summer. Love this bucket list idea before 50!

  9. Look at you go…well done tick that one off 🙂 that’s on my list and surfing etc before I’m 60 which is next year :O

  10. I applaud your bravery Nikki,I can’t give you any tips because I can’t kneel so can never try SUP It looks fun but harder than it looks ,go you Nikki for ticking things off your list Xx

  11. What a great idea, I had better get working on my list, time is running out! SUP is definitely something I have been wanting to try for a while now.

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