Finally this is the last of my blogging backlog from the summer. You may have read in my earlier post that we did dabble with Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) last time we were in Newgale. Well this time we had a flat patch with no surf. Oli in the Big Blue Experience Shop had been keeping us up to date with the surf reports as we had no phone reception, pop in and see him in the shop next time you are in Newgale. So with the knowledge there was little surf for a couple of days we rented a SUP.
This was my first real chance to have a proper DimExcuses go at SUP. They are big old things, much bigger than surfboards and much more buoyant. I suppose they have to be if you are going to stand on the things. First thing to say with SUP is they require dynamic (moving) balance, and as any sports science student will tell you that works muscle, in the SUP’s case thigh muscle. Not my biggest muscle, which lead to much sideways wobble and a regular visit to Davey Jones. As demonstrated here by Sharon Halpin, Splash!
Now you quickly realise that falling on the board is worse than falling clear of it. So at the first sign of falling backwards I developed the Flintstones leg dash, quickly running the board under you backwards for an ineloquent back flop. But in the calm conditions you soon get the hang of paddling about and it is a great way to wander around the bay. You certainly get some attention too, mainly in anticipation of you coming off.
This is what it is all about, picture perfect SUP cruising in wild west Wales.
The second day saw some choppy surf coming and the SUP experience got a lot trickier, thought I would say the learning curve is rapid and the boards are great fun. I adopted a kneeling approach to get outside the surf zone.
Once outback I was able to stand up but with a lot more wobble in the chop. I was soon chasing waves…
…and nearly got one! Great fun, I can really see why SUP is so popular these days. If you want to learn more about SUP there is a great blog about the journey from beginner to fanatic at staceylovessup, have a read. As well as keeping you up to date with the surf report, Big Blue Experience can sort you out with SUP rental and lessons, so why not give them a shout next time you are in wild west Wales and have a go? Like I said ‘you don’t have to walk tall around here, but you do have to stand up’. DimExcuses! So all that leaves is this one last Newgale beach shot.