What’s SUP?

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This article appears in the July edition of Iowa Momentum Magazine. All photographs courtesy of Dylan Huey of Huey Photography

There’s no better way to spend warm, summer days than on the water with friends and family. While it’s nice to kick back, relax, and soak up the sun, don’t forget about all the ways you can sneak in a fun and challenging workout. For several years I’ve been wanting to try Stand up Paddling or SUP and I finally had the chance to do so back in June for my July Iowa Momentum feature!F52T9596

It’s likely you have seen people standing up on paddle boards at Gray’s Lake, Copper Creek, or Big Creek. SUP is considered one of the fastest growing sports in America and might just be the pefect outdoor pursuit for you and your family this holiday weekend and the rest of the summer! If you are unsure of where to start or how to get involved, thankfully there are resources in the Des Moines metro that helped me, and can help you find out if this is an activity worth pursuing!F52T9609

For the past six years, outdoor adventure enthusiasts and owners of No Coast Stand Up, Bryce and Katie Gilbert, have been sharing their passion for SUP with individuals of all ages and fitness levels. For only $30 you can take an introductory SUP class with Katie where you learn all the tools necessary to give this fun water sport a go. In addition to providing equipment such as paddles, boards, and lifejackets, you’ll learn important safety and technique information to make your first time on the board a breeze.F52T9463

In this sport where shoes are optional and life jackets and sunscreen are a must, you’ll work your entire body all while taking in beautiful scenery. If you’re looking for something to challenge your core and improve balance, this is the water sport for you! I was surprised by how much concentration was necessary to stay on the board. It was pretty fun paddling on my knees and once I got up the workout became more intense. F52T9489 F52T9520

Already a pro at stand up paddling but want to take the sport to a different level? On Katie’s website you’ll also find information regarding SUP Yoga and Fitness SUP. While those might sound intriguing to first-timers, I highly recommend taking the introductory class where you get steady on both feet before trying to do anything on one!

To learn more about No Coast Stand Up, visit the Katie’s website or check out her Facebook page to keep up with what classes are happening and which would be the best fit for you. Katie can also provide information about boards and paddles so before you make an uninformed purchase, check in with her. I found it interesting to hear about the various types of boards on the market and what some of them cost. During the demo class Katie brings a variety of boards that might help you in your decision making process. One of her boards was inflatable and fits in the overhead storage bin on airplanes, perfect for any outdoor adventure traveler! No Coast Stand Up also sells boards and might be able to get you a better deal than what you find online. F52T9657I’m looking forward to the next time when I can hit the water without posing for a camera! Special thanks to Dylan for taking such amazing photos and I’m very sorry for your sake that I didn’t fall in! I know that would have made for a great photo. Maybe next time! F52T9634