Learning to Stand Up Paddle board in Christchurch, New Zealand

One thing I love about travelling, is the opportunity to put yourself out there, and try new things that you may never have done at home. Over my years of travelling, I’ve taken up many opportunities, which often end up being adrendilane fuelled activities, such as bungy jumping or paragliding.

Today I am dreaming about warm climates and summery activities, so throwing back to a bit of adventure in New Zealand, when I learnt to go Stand Up Paddle boarding or SUP-ing).

Stand Up Paddle boarding is a sport which has taken off in recent years, and originates from Haiwai, with it gaining a popular following from 2005 onwards. It is a great sport, as it allows you to enjoy being out on the water, as gaining an intense workout, as you will utilise every part of your body in order to propell youself. It is also fantastic for working on your balance and strength,

Paddle boarding in Christchurch, New Zealand 

If you have done paddle boarding before, it is possible to just take your board out anywhere and get on with it, or you could hire one. There are various styles you can do, including flat board paddling and paddling in the surf. For my first lesson, I decided to go out on the flat, in Cass Bay, which is a stunning area around the coast from the city.

How much are lessons?

In order to obtain my first lesson, I got in touch with James from Christchurch Paddle boarding, who offered both group or private lessons. When I had a 1 hour lesson back in 2012, it cost me NZ$40, for a beginner lesson. This now costs NZ$60, but is well worth it.
If you’d like to do a beginner group lesson, for up to 5 people, this will be NZ$45 for 1.5 hours.
Paddle boarding in Christchurch – and trying to look like I know what I am doing

Hiring a paddleboard 

If you’re an experienced paddle boarder, you can hire a board for a half/full day for NZ$30/40, but need to pick this up from Sumner, and transport it to wherever you are boarding, so a roof rack, or an estate care would be good to cart it there.

My 1 hour lesson in Paddle boarding  

When I arrived at Cass Bay, I met James and got changed into a wetsuit. I wore a t-shirt and shorts underneath, but I probably didn’t need to, as it was warm though from a safety point of view, a wet suit is required for lessons
I informed James of my medical history, signed a disclaimer, then got into it.
We started off with a lesson on the ground and covered how to hold the paddle, as well as sitting on the board.
When you begin on the water you need to sit on your knees, then gradually stand up and get your balance – or that is the idea anyway.
After 10 minutes, we were ready to hit the water.
The board was huge and more difficult to carry than I imagined. Much larger than a standard surf board, but the material wasn’t as hard.
I was a little worried about falling off, as I am not the most balanced or co-ordinated wee thing However I need not have worried, as I took to it, like a duck to water.
We paddled around the bat for the next 45 minutes, and the sun hit upon my back, it was beautiful and a wonderfully relaxing experience, before returning to base.
After this lesson, I went on to hire a board myself, on another ocassion to practice in the surf; which is not as easy as it sounds. I also went paddle boarding in the Gilli Islands in Indonesia
This is something I would like to continue to do, if I can find a warm enough bay area to do it in.

Have you been paddle boarding?

What is your favoutire summer sport activity?


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