PaddleFit is the largest training program to come out of the SUP trend, but Welte’s hardly the only person to recognize the fitness potential of the boards. Stirling’s company partnered with CrossFit to create a SUP WOD (workout of the day). SurfSET, a new indoor fitness format that’s slated to come to the District’s Mint Fitness in November, has a SUP class on its roster. And wherever there’s water, there are businesses popping up with exercise programming.
Flowga, Paddle Bootcamp and Core Paddle are all on the schedule at OC SUP Fitness, which Dawn Ehman Marohl opened in Ocean City last year. She expanded her class offerings for 2012 and expects to keep growing as more students take the plunge — though, remarkably, SUP doesn’t usually result in falling in the water. (Attempt to stand on one leg, however, and you’ll probably wind up quite wet.)
Writes for the MisFits column.
In nearby Fenwick Island, Del., DelMarVa Board Sport Adventures has offered SUP yoga since 2010. “I don’t even know how many women have found aqua Zen,” says owner Janis Markopoulos, who plans to add a full-time instructor to keep up with demand. Because many students already have yoga experience, it’s a comfortable way for them to get introduced to the boards.
Another option in Fenwick Island area: Lori Martin’s SUP Fitness classes at Coastal Kayak. She relies some on paddling — instead of running suicides, you’ll paddle them — as well as resistance bands and a dash of creativity. “We’ll have our feet on one board and hands on another board and do push-ups,” she says.
Closer to Washington, you can work up a SUP sweat at Ultimate Watersports, just outside Baltimore. There’s a huge difference between yoga on land and on water, says instructor Colleen Webster. “On the ground, if I’m cheating myself and have more weight in the front foot than the back foot, I may not know. A paddleboard forces me to distribute the weight evenly,” she explains.
Ultimate Watersports instructor Jessie Benson is also floored by what happens when she tries the exact same moves on the board that she’s done in the gym. “I feel like I’ve worked completely different muscles,” she says.
It’s this fitness side of SUP that Stirling expects to see help grow the community in Washington. “It’s like jogging. You start doing it to get in shape, and then you want to do more. You do SUP yoga because you love being on the water,” he says. “Eventually you want a goal, and something to train for.”
So you show up in Georgetown ready to race, and prove that people definitely do paddle here.
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Hallett edits the Fit section of Express.