Archive for May 2015
You bought an inflatable stand-up paddleboard (an iSUP, dontcha know?). You found a good deal online, the reviews were decent, and before you really gave yourself time to think about it, you bought it. Trusted your gut reaction, you did. And why not? You’ve gone on 4 SUP excursions in the last 2 years, and enjoyed each one. And it was easy to pick up. Plus, given the plethora of lakes around your house and the incredible amount of time you have off each summer, you figured you can’t go wrong.
You practiced inflating it a few times in your living room. This is what happened:
It makes a tidy, if somewhat heavy, package when it’s broken down and stowed:
You realized that, given your schedule, you had to get it out last weekend or wait 3 more weekends. You weren’t about to let it sit in your condo staring at you, like it has been for the past 5 weeks. The title of this post reveals what you decided to do.
You learned some quick lessons that you’re sure are applicable to life in general. You just haven’t taken the time to do that generalizing and metaphor-making. Still, here they are:
1. Every piece of equipment, whether for safety or convenience, paid for itself within one minute of being on the water. That’s because for the first time ever, you fell off an SUP. The life vest kept you out of the muck in four feet down. The 8′ leash attached at your ankle kept your new iSUP from getting away from you. The towels you kept on board (pun intended) stayed dry because of the waterproof bag you bought. And you kept hold of your sunglasses because of a cord you bought some time ago and had the foresight to attach as you were preparing to SUP. You learned all of this because you realized…
2. You really should use the attachable fin that comes with the board. It’s a simple yet effective accessory. You might even say it’s mandatory. Slide that thing on there and lock it in with the pin. It’ll really help you stabilize the board so you don’t end up quickly appreciating all the equipment you bought for iSUPing. Nevermind that you didn’t think you’d use the fin, because for some reason you understand how water and resistance and flotation and other water stuff works, even though you have little experience with all those concepts (which is why you refer to them collectively as “water stuff”). You’ll be crashing into water, so it won’t hurt your pride too much. But it will be cold if it’s May 25.
3. Inflate your iSUP most of or all the way. It’s going to be hard because of the incredible pressure you have to pump into the thing, but the stability of the board will pay off. “Nah…,” you said to yourself. It feels pretty rigid and stable on your living room floor when you reach 10 of the maximum 18 psi. Because your living room floor is a lot like being on a lake. But once you got on the water, the board didn’t feel too stable. In fact, it felt kinda soft.
4. The “P” in “SUP” stands for paddling. That’s what you’ll be doing to get around. Duh. But make no mistake: If it’s windy, you’re the sail. And of course it was windy. You got halfway around the lake before the wind grabbed you, and about 1 minute later you fell of an SUP for the second time ever.
5. The “i” in “iSUP” makes a difference, even though it’s only the small letter “i.” But it’s incredibly flexible. It’s a diphthong, and can have a short and long sound. It’s only the fifth most common letter in the English alphabet. And it makes a big difference in SUPing. The inflatable board isn’t as rigid and easy to pick up as a standard hard board. You’re going to have to be on it a lot longer in order to get used to it. Maybe you’ll have some command of it by mid summer if you practice. What else you gonna do?
So, yeah. You bought an inflatable stand-up paddle board. You’re never too old for new toys, are you?