Things to do in Ontario – Paddleboard!
By Karl Monday, July 30, 2012
During the Summer I try to spend as much time outside as I possibly can. We all know how fast Summer seems to come and go. One minute you’re out on the boat with your friends and the next minute you are staring out the window at your yard, buried under 4 feet of snow. So being active in the great outdoors and trying new things is important to me. That is why I decided to check out Algonquin Outfitters and their paddleboard rentals and lessons.
The day I decided to go was crazy hot, like every other day this Summer. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the hot sun was beating down on me with a vengeance. This would be a perfect day to learn how to paddleboard, since from what I had heard it was a guarantee to fall in the water at least a couple times. Any relief from the heat was welcome, especially if I was doing something fun in Niagara.
I arrived at the Beach around noon and there were a few people already renting boards. I had read on their website that they recommend reservations since boards go so quickly, especially on weekends. Luckily I got there early enough to snag a board before they ran out.
Paddleboarding is a full body workout from beginning to end. I started by crawling onto the board and sitting back on my knees. When you first stand up you have to keep your balance and I felt muscles I hadn’t used in a long time doing work. Once you are up you do rock back and forth a little, but when you put the paddle in the water it stabilizes you. As I was doing all of this I watched person after person going through similar motions. There were a couple exceptions of people who had obviously been paddleboarding before. They put their boards in the water, jumped on, and the next thing I knew they were in the middle of the lake doing headstands.
I paddled along the shore for a little while and then when I couldn’t stand the heat anymore I paddled out about 30 to 40 feet and jumped in. Getting back onto the board is a little more challenging when there isn’t any shore under your feet, but I made it work. After a few times I felt like I was really getting the hang of getting onto the board. The boarding itself was a lot of fun and definitely a work out. You are working your core, arms, legs, and everything in between. A few times I looked like a cartoon character as my legs flailed in a running motion and I fell off the back of the board. For the most part I stayed up and was moving pretty quickly across the water.
Algonquin Outfitters will tell you how to start and give you one of the easier Paddleboards if you are a beginner. It is an activity that is fun but at the same time gives you some good exercise and gets you outside during the beautiful and fleeting days of summer. So go paddleboard and have some fun!