Stand up paddle boarder tells why he loves the sport
I HAVE been doing stand up paddle boarding for over three years.
Growing up, I was involved in canoeing, kayaking, lifesaving, outrigger paddling and a bit of surfing.
My love for paddle boarding began when I bought my first stand up paddle board (SUP) in 2012. This was a sport that I was keen to give a go.
The very first time I paddled was at Double Island Point. We had a good three to four foot wave. And it was fun. I was hooked.
I have paddle boarded at various locations along the east coast, and often when I'm travelling I have a board with me.
Some of my favourite places locally to SUP are Tannum main beach for the convenience of a close beach and to get a wave with my mates, Agnes main beach for a nice clean point break, 1770 and a new favourite, Eurimbula Creek, for flat water paddling and cruising with an awesome view around.
The most enjoyable time for me is getting out on the water just before the sun rises, and surfing the first three hours of the day.
Usually the conditions are clean, and if you time it right you will get a good wave all to yourself.
Some of my most interesting and enjoyable experiences I've had paddling would have to be following dolphins and having them swim around my board off Agnes main beach.
Or seeing my daughter get excited over seeing fish and sting rays while cruising the creeks with me.
And of course, catching a good size clean wave.
There's a social stand up paddle board group in Gladstone, started by Adam and Chrissy Platen in August 2014 to bring groups together, to share information regarding the sport, to assist others to find hotspots to paddle and to share experiences.
Myself and other hooked paddle boarders maintain a Facebook page now and currently have 157 members with us.
My page is Gladstone Mongoboards SUP sales, which is intended to provide affordable quality SUP packages to get people out on the water to experience this great sport, and also to show and share my experiences and enjoyment on these boards.
Another group is Tannum Beach Paddles, run by Kasey Andrews.
Kasey often gets together with groups around the Tannum main beach, Wild Cattle Creek and the Boyne River, and she gets involved with SUP yoga.
Tannum Beach Paddles also hire SUPs and gear at good prices.
For people wanting to get involved in stand up paddle boarding, it's easy.
They can find out from the social groups if anyone is heading out, and hire a board.
I would recommend flat water first for beginners, and ask for a few tips from others.
It can be as relaxing or as intense as you want it to be.
Take it at your own pace, and only surf to your own ability to stay safe.
Early next year I am planning to do a paddle from 1770 to Tannum beach.
I have a few other guys keen to do this with me.
I have estimated the journey to be about 65km, and the time to do it will be about nine to 12 hours, most likely over two days.
This will be a challenge as we will be battling the open water currents and conditions.
As this will be our first long paddle, we are still in the training and planning stage.
Stand up paddle boarding is a growing sport. It is becoming very popular for health and fitness.
It is a great way to build strength and cardio fitness while having fun.
If you want to get into stand up paddle boarding, contact me on 0405 181 496 or come and say g'day at the BAM markets at Tannum Sands.
Or contact Kasey on 0459 179 050, or 4973 3468.