|On the dock, ready to go|
I had never been on a SUP before, and my only previous experiences with surfing ended badly, with lots of falling and getting gashed open by the fins. But really, other than the look of the board, paddleboarding is totally different. For one, you can do it on flatwater.
|Jacketed and ready|
Ideally I will be comfortable enough with the SUP that I can take it on the river. For my first time, though, I thought the flatwater of a lake would be better. We went up to Foster Lake by Sweet Home and headed down to the boat dock. The SUP I have is 10'6" long and probably 30+ lbs if I took a guess. Large and sort of awkward to move around with, but doable for one person. It may have been insane, but I brought the dogs down with me right away and we all hopped onto the board. I started out kneeling at first, to get the hang of it, and to let the dogs get the idea of what we were doing.
|Pallo standing, and Koira in a down while out on the board the first time.|
Honestly, they settled in quickly and seemed to take it in stride. Koira did jump off the board a few times to swim, but it seemed more like she just couldn't stand sitting still and had to do something more so than her not liking being on the board. She figured out that to get back on she just had to swim over to near me and I would help her up with the handle on her life jacket. There was a bit of barking and whining, but again, I think it was from excitement and wanting to do something rather than being scared or not wanting to be there.
|Riding the nose|
Pallo tried out sitting at the front of the board and at the back of the board. At the front, he got dripped on by the paddle when I switched sides, and at the back, I think he was a little less steady. I know he knocked Koira into the water once by deciding to change positions and actually walking underneath her instead of trying to go around- Koira didn't seem to mind much though. Neither me or Pallo ended up in the water at all!
After a bit of a jaunt out with me paddling on my knees, I took the dogs back to the dock and set them up in the car in the shade while I took the board out by myself to see if I could stand up. At first, it seemed totally insane that I would feel stable doing this, but it was only a few minutes before I started feeling more confident while standing. I then went back and got the dogs for another ride out. With me standing, they actually had some more space on the board. The longer we were out, the more stable I felt. I know I was using a ton of muscles though because I was sore the next day!
|She was loving watching the ski boats go by with skiers or people on floats.|
Overall, we had a ton of fun. I know I got a workout, and I am sure the dogs got some great core conditioning going on with constantly maintaining balance. I am sure that the more we go, the better we will get too. I do plan on picking up some non-slip pads of some kind for the board, though. The dogs seemed like they were slipping a little bit, and when Koira tried to get back on after taking a swimming break, she had a hard time getting traction with her feet, even with me helping her via the lifejacket. Plus, her claws made some marks on the board while doing that, which I would like to prevent in the future as much as possible.