Norm Hann was our instructor – giving us a chance to try out something new, as well as to find out about a new and different way of getting a core workout. (The core muscles are all of the big muscles in the centre of your body – stomach, back, glutes – that support and stabilize the rest of your body. A strong core helps prevent injury as well as makes you stronger all-round). This morning clinic was one part of the program of this weekend’s Tofino running camp, led by ultra-endurance athlete Jen Segger.
Norm has just come back from a major SUP trip through the Great Bear Rainforest – “standing up” (literally and figuratively) for the Great Bear Rainforest, in particular about the proposal to have oil tankers pass through this pristine region. The oil well spewing out tens of thousands of barrels of oil per day unfortunately illustrates Norm’s point perfectly – the devastating effects that accidents can happen. So, to raise awareness about the risks to the region, Norm travelled nearly 400 km on the SUP in 11 days.
I think what the SUP is really great for, though, is for that core workout. You do really need to hold your body stable while paddling – can’t slack off and lean back and lily dip like you can in a kayak. But also, the stroke is very different, hoding both arms straight, and using mainly body rotation to pull the paddle through the water.
I’ve been wanting to try this out for a while, so I’m really greatful to both Norm and Jen for making this opportunity happen. Apparently, SUP is currently the fastest-growing watersport. And it’s not only for flat water. Norm had it out there on the waves every day, surfing some really good rides at Cox Bay, one of Tofino’s biggest and best surf spots.
What do you think about SUP? Have you tried it yet? (For any Vancouver Island visitors who want to try: they’re available to rent on Nitinat Lake, abotu a 45 minute drive from Port Alberni).