Disclosure: Although I was provided items in this post, all comments and opinions are strictly mine.
When the summer weather is upon us, there is nothing more that I want to do than get outside, have some fun and try new things. This past weekend due to last minute change in scheduling, my son and I got the opportunity to do some stand up paddle boarding thanks to East of SIX SUP. I had tried paddle boarding once before but never actually had a lesson and was thrilled to have the opportunity to get my son out on the water as well.
East of Six operates out of Pickering, Whitby, Port Perry and Toronto which is great for those of us out in the Durham region. We aren’t having to go all the way into the city and are able to enjoy the water we have right at our doorsteps. They have group lessons and paddles available but will also do all sorts of private events on request. They have morning paddles as well as Sunset paddles, which I am hoping to do later on this summer
From the minute we got to the lake I was impressed with the company. The instructor was so incredibly nice and had so much patience with us. I loved the fact that he let my son right in on the action when he was inflating the paddle boards and getting things ready. It was interesting to see that they used blow up paddle boards. Until then, I didn’t even know they existed. I just assumed they were hard plastic like a surfboard. That is what I had used previously.
And our safety was a number 1 priority with them. He made sure my son had his life jacket on properly and I had mine in place as well. They also made sure we were tethered to the board with an ankle strap. Which now that I think back to it, we didn’t have those when I had gone previously. It made me feel a lot better about it in case we were to fall off. We wouldn’t be stuck out in the lake with the board floating away from us.
After a few on land instructions and safety in check, we were ready to hit the water. I appreciated that they showed us on land first a few concepts in theory instead of on the water first so we had an idea and weren’t falling off all the time. It was a bit windy and wavy that day, so we paddled out to a cove area to try and avoid the bulk of the waves. My son struggled a little bit at the beginning just getting the hang of maneuvering the board, so the instructor tethered himself to his board and helped get him on track. This allowed my son to get used to paddling and going in the right direction with less chance for him floating off away from us. (I think this calmed my anxiety more than anything.)
Once we got to the cove area, it was only a few minutes and my son was up on the board and loving it. And before long, I was up as well. I found the wind and waves definitely made it more of a challenge to get up and stay up, but I did it. Truth be told, I did get dumped into the lake once. My biggest fear about getting dumped in was not being able to get back up on the board. With a little effort I got back up, can’t say that it was graceful, but I got back on.
Once we got our sea legs, we were able to enjoy paddling around and enjoying the lake. We were out for probably close to 2 hours and I know that by the end I knew we would both sleep well that night with all that fresh air and paddling effort. I couldn’t have asked for a friendlier, patient and kind instructor for our day. On the way home, into the evening and even the next day, my son kept going on about how much fun he had that day and how much he wanted to be able to go again.
I know several friends have asked me about paddle boarding and expressed interest in doing so. I have to say, it does take some effort but it was definitely a lot easier than I had originally anticipated and so much fun. We are planning to go again this summer and I highly suggest you book your time with East of SIX SUP soon as I know they will book up quickly.