In 2017 I tried a new activity for the first time. When holidaying at Monkey Mia in Western Australia I gave stand up paddle boarding a go, why wouldn’t you when the water is home to pods of dolphins! It was an activity I liked the look of and thought I would be able to do and what better time to give it a go than on holidays somewhere where no-one knows you and it wouldn’t matter if you made a complete fool of yourself in the process.
So I took a half hour hire option and apart from one completely spectacular stack, I loved it. Once I got the hang of it, nothing very graceful but standing nevertheless, I was hooked. When I got home from that holiday and had time to save and do lots of research, I eventually bought an inflatable SUP.
The brand I went for was iRocker mainly because they had great reviews for inflatable boards, they seemed to have everything I was looking for in a beginner’s board, and the price point was middle of the range for stand up paddle boards.
You may be a bit sceptical about an inflatable board, I was at first too, but when this board is inflated no-one believes it isn’t a solid one piece board. It is that tough and sturdy. It came with a detachable centre fin, 2 piece paddle, pump, leg rope, patch kit (thankfully not needed yet) and a bag that it all fits into that can be carried as a back pack. Inflating it can be a workout in itself using the hand pump as you have to inflate it to around 15psi, but the pump has a gauge on it which lets you see where you are at. The board is 10 ft 6in and has 2 fixed side fins and a larger detachable centre fin that is easily attached and locks into place. The two piece paddle is also adjustable to suit different people’s heights.
To use the board I still find it easiest to kneel on it first in shallow water and then stand with the paddle and off you go. This really has been a fantastic purchase and everyone who’s had a go on it has been able to stand and make their way through the water. It’s not something I’ve done a lot of I must admit, mainly because I need dead flat and fairly shallow water but I’m hoping to spend more time enjoying it. When we holiday on Yorke Peninsula there are a lot of beaches perfect for stand up paddle boarding including Moonta Bay. On our most recent holiday we even got our dog up on it for a ride around. He is used to being in a boat so probably didn’t find the sensation too foreign and the longer he was on it the more he seemed to enjoy it too. What I love about it is that you can kneel, sit or stand on it and it’s a very relaxing way to cruise about on the water.
Why not have a go when you get the opportunity, you never know, you may just love it enough to buy one too. I apologise for the quality of some of the photos but they are screenshots from a Youtube video my daughter produced which is excellent viewing too and shows some SUP action amongst it. You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyPRMbIyt6Y but be warned, watching it will make you want to throw everything in and come on holidays to Yorke Peninsula!