The Crossover – Complimenting SUP with Other Disciplines
With an unprecedented number of winter storms bombarding the UK you’d be forgiven for hanging up your paddle and hibernating until summer. And yet, winter should be a time to celebrate and look forward to scoring some epic H2O time – it just may be you have to broaden your horizons to do so.
The best watermen and women usually aren’t one trick pony’s. It’s for good reason that current Stand Up World Champ Kai Lenny is so comfortable in a variety of different wave environments. Not only is he an absolute ripper on a SUP, he also windsurfs, kitesurfs, surfs and messes about in the ocean with whatever craft is deemed suitable on the day.
That’s not to say we’re expecting everyone to head out, purchase a load of expensive new toys, and spend years trying to master multiple sports. But it’s definitely a good idea to mix up your playtime – even with just one other discipline. Straddling activities is not only guaranteed to maximise your water time, you’ll also increase your overall ocean awareness, pick up new skills and become an all round water baby.
Adopting a complimentary wind sport, for instance, will give coastal runners a set of new feathers that help when braving those big blows. Reading waves and sea states is one thing, but having the understanding of how breeze works (and how to react) will give a broader skill set – enjoyment levels and success will sky rocket.
But it doesn’t have to be a total revert in terms of what you take on. As stand up paddlers, the most obvious discipline to cross over to is outrigger canoeing and/or kayaking. Both call on paddle skills, albeit of a different sort, and yet the synergy is obvious. More strings to your bow is a good thing and canoe style enthusiasts always make for more efficient stand up paddlers – certainly in racing environments.
Moving away from water, it’s also worth considering escaping the gales, deluges of rain, mackin’ seas and heading for the hills. Skiing and snowboarding are fantastic commentary sports and provide a total alternative to SUP shenanigans. Both call on core strength, balance, poise, timing and understanding of your environment – just like stand up. Not only will you have a thoroughly fantastic time, you’ll also head back home after some bracing mountain air, all fired up and ready to hit it again. Reinvigoration is sometimes the best prescription for a bout of winter blues.
As 2014 hurtles along at a frenetic rate, Loco is poised to be in position to offer a wider choice of ocean going toys and become your complete outdoor lifestyle brand.
If you’re looking for a reenergising boost then it’s time consider learning a new skill and giving yourself an alternative for the changeable we’re conditions we’re faced with. Think ‘tools for the job’ and maximise your riding time.