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Stand up safely for a healthy lifestyle

Stand up safely for a healthy lifestyle

Living healthy is a booming trend on the Gold Coast. This current lifestyle has seen a huge increase in people’s activity levels on our waterways, and there is a new craft of choice in recent times. Stand up paddle boarding (SUP), or known from the pioneering Hawaiians as “Hoe he’e nalu,” is a traditional but rapidly evolving global sport, becoming increasingly popular over the last few years. An SUP board is a large surfboard with the volume and size to float someone standing up without a force or a wave, with a one-sided paddle used to manoeuvre. Because of this, together with the world’s best waterways, SUP in Gold Coast estuaries is becoming very popular.

Safety with SUPs

The safe and calm waters in Currumbin Creek provide an easy opportunity to learn. It is advised to stay well inside the mouth of the creek while still learning, and eventually tackling some of the Gold Coast’s world class waves as the skill level increases. Allowing boats or other motor powered crafts the right of way at all times is essential because they do the damage to you, not them. Also to maintain optimum safety, the correct safety gear, such as leg ropes, must be worn to secure the board so that it does not go upstream by itself. And remember, always slip-slop-slap.

The sheltered areas of the estuary allow for families and friends to hit the water safely. With its small estuary system, Currumbin Creek is far less hazardous than the mass currents at the Tweed Bar or Seaway. “Currumbin Creek is a healthy waterway with lots of beauty and plenty of nooks and crannies among the mangroves and under the bridges,’’ says Justin Mitchell, experienced and innovator on his SUP.

“Stand up paddle boarding is an enjoyable family-friendly sport, and can be participated by all ages,’’ says Justin. Having the ability to turn it into a weekly family activity is a great way to get the kids off their smart phones and Facebook, and to enjoy the outdoors while undertaking a healthier lifestyle. A young child can even simply double up and catch a ride on the front of the board.

While paddling alongside loved ones, mates or even in solitude, your chances of running into friendly marine company, such as dolphins, is highly possible. And if needing more challenge, take up the new latest craze of yoga on SUPs. You do have to work up your skills and stability first.

So how do you get started?

Within the Currumbin community and throughout the Gold Coast, SUP boards are readily available. Most modern day surf shops will have them, but your best bet is to see an SUP board store. These boards can be costly, so it’s best to hire one out first or get some lessons which are affordable.

Have fun exploring the adventurous world of stand up paddle boarding, have a go, get hooked and hope to see you on the water!

By Byron Hoskins

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