Emma is the newest recruit to Milly and Martha Real Holidays and has lived in Cornwall near Penzance with her family for almost 4 years. With the meteoric rise of Stand Up Paddleboarding over the years along with many of her local friends trying to persuade her to try it, including Milly Martha who are devotees of the sport, she decided it was time to give it a go. Quite a challenge for someone who only learned to swim as an adult and has a fear of deep water!
“I’d always watched other people going in the sea on a paddleboard and wondered what all the fuss was about as I’m not really a water person. People I knew who paddleboard kept telling me how amazing it is and living by the sea I thought one day I really need to give it a go. A couple of friends had tried to persuade me to have a lesson with them but I chickened out thinking I’d be too frightened due to not being a confident swimmer, especially in the sea. After they raved about how much they loved it and didn’t fall in the water, I decided to pluck up the courage and book onto a small group lesson with Ocean High SUP in Marazion.
Having never been on a surfboard or bodyboard due to my fear of being underwater I was rather anxious at the start of the lesson. After having walked to the shoreline with this huge paddleboard and paddle I was feeling convinced I wouldn’t be any good and that I’d not enjoy it and panic. The conditions were a little windy and the sea little bumpy but Lawrence the instructor put me at ease and was brilliant at teaching the necessary techniques. Within 20 minutes I was standing up on the board, it took a while to actually paddle in a straight line mind but once I relaxed into it and stopped looking down at my paddle I began to rather enjoy the experience and understand what all the fuss was about! It helped having my husband and 2 children cheering me on at the shore and doing the lesson with a neighbour and friend. I even surprised myself by doing some yoga on the paddleboard! And I didn’t fall in the water!
The views across Mounts Bay and St Michael’s Mount were incredible and it was wonderful to be able to look down at the seabed and to be so close to the marine life. Seals and dolphins have even come up close to paddleboarders here. It was magical to see the coastline where I live from a totally different perspective and it was an utterly beautiful and inspiring experience. Mounts Bay being a shallow sea was the perfect environment for someone who’s not confident in the water to learn. Lawrence also teaches beginners in Penzance harbour where the water is always flat.
I could really feel myself getting a work out at the same time and my legs, arms and core were aching the next day.
SUP is so much fun but also really serene and rather like a meditation on the water in that it just allows you to be totally in the present moment. I’m a convert and I’ve since gone back out hired a board all by myself and am getting the SUP bug. My four year old daughter has sat on the board with me in shallow water and she can’t wait to be able to do it one day and I know people who take their dogs!
I really surprised myself that I feel so calm on a paddleboard given my anxiety for deep water. You don’t have to be mega fit to do it and it’s so accessible for anyone of any age or ability. I’m really pleased that living by sea I have found a water sport that I can do and enjoy.
Why not try it yourself?
For more information:
Ocean Sports Centre, Carbis Bay, St Ives
Ocean High, Mounts Bay, Penznace
SUP in a Bag, mobile centre, mid Cornwall