Misadventures in Wonderland: Stand Up Paddling

Our intrepid columnist Alice attempts to find her sea legs

Stand up paddling

What's SUP?
I promise I won't make that joke again. Stand Up Paddling is like stand up kayaking on a surf board. You have a paddle, a wetsuit, a life jacket and your board, and the idea is you have a serene time on some of Scotland's best stretches of water. We went to Cramond, which was beautiful. Wilderness SUP is a business set up by the two loveliest men on Earth, Barry and Andy. And not once did they flinch at how much of a nightmare I turned out to be at this.

Did I fall in?
Welcome to the majority of the article. A few years ago in Sweden I jumped through a hole cut in a frozen lake partially out of choice. That was one of my many bad decisions. Not only do you not know which way is up in the pitch black dark but you also feel like all your skin and flesh has been ripped off the bone. Back in mid-February, when I was told I was going to be going out onto the sea for this issue, I had flashbacks of that time my body started to die. So let me assure you I was trying my best to stay upright.

So I fell in?
Of course I did. I fell over in a supermarket the other day when I crouched down to get an avocado (read ‘an avocado’ as ‘a coin off the floor’). You start off relaxingly paddling on your knees until you're confident enough to get up. I fell in within a matter of seconds after I tried to get from the dignified all-fours position – hold your tongue, Alice – to standing upright. Then again the next time I tried it. The third time I face-planted the board, which was a nice treat. It was looking grim for the guys' 100% record for getting people up.

Did I ever get up?
Picture the scene: me, in a praying position, cold and wet and muttering, ‘I … just … can't … do … it’. At this point, Andy got behind me on his board and held mine still, while Barry coached me through it once again. With the power of a thousand supportive fathers they both got me standing, got me paddling and got me doing the thing I was there to do. They were proud. I was proud. The group of gathered onlookers were proud. It was the tranquil, calming experience that I'd been promised. I looked around at the nature like I'd never been let outside before. It was amazing.

Would I recommend it?
To everyone that has ever lived.

Visit wildernesssup.co for more information.


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