Paddle Boarding is Supposed to be Fun
Paddle boarding is supposed to be fun. That should be obvious. But people, please, let's be honest, a lot of us out there are taking it way too seriously. Because of pretentious paddlers, super sensitive egos, and social media trolls, SUP is a sport in jeapordy of loosing its soul.
Everytime we paddle we should be conscious of our attitude. Not having fun? Then why do it? I mean, it's not golf. 😉
Races and competition should be about being better paddlers. We are better paddlers if at the end of the day we can celebrate the success of others. By paddling we can actually become better people.
Team riders are the worst. And I am one. We tend to honor our own brands & athletes but will be unhesitatingly dismissal of others. From Facebook jabs to Instagram dis-likes to "locker room" BS we battle each other when we should be embracing the stoke. River SUP athletes are not immune.
(Note, I say these things because I have been called out in the past for being a bit of a primadonna. I've attempted to alter my perspectives because of the criticism I have had. Sometimes truth is a bitter pill.)
If you see new paddlers kneeling or with their blade in backwards, please don't call out, "you are doing it wrong!" Yes, there are more efficient ways to paddle; gear is designed for specific usage; and mentoring is helpful for safety & refined technique.
But, really, who cares if the blade is backwards or not? Who cares if you are paddling fins-first or with the board upside down? Who cares if your board is rubber or glass or aluminum or whatever? I mean if we aren't testing the limits of the gear how are we to know our own limitations?
If you are having fun with a big smile on your face, you win. Period.
If that newbie with chronic backwards-blade syndrome is stoked, they win.
If the paddler is running rapids safely on his or her knees on the board, guess what, they are running rapids on a board.
What's best for you is, well, good. Why harsh others for discovering what's best for them?
To keep having fun, ask yourself these questions:
Am I doing it for the love, or the social media following? For the fun of it or for the reputation I may get? Reevaluate your priorities if you do it for the internet. Pros and brand ambassadors have their responsibility in the media, etc, but the best influencers are the ones who are out on the water sharing time with friends and new paddlers alike.
Bored with lake paddling? Try rivers. Ocean surf giving you the blues? Hit up a white water park. Explore more places, and explore more styles.
Wear pink. Be a kook. Have fun. Splash and giggle is the rule.
It's a sport to enjoy. Please do it.