AS YOU will remember, last Wednesday was an amazing day. The weather was beautiful. What a perfect day for a challenge some might say!
Luke Daly, owner of Adventure One Surf School picked me up and we made our way to Rathmullan Beach to try some S.U.P or Stand Up Paddle boarding.
I have known Luke for many years and knew I was in good hands so I was excited for what day ahead. We had spoken beforehand and discussed the fact that standing on the board would be difficult for me but as with all my challenges, half the fun is finding a way to tailor the experience to my needs.
My first challenge took place before we even touched the water. The dreaded wet suit. I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to look graceful and elegant while squeezing yourself into one of these.
A couple of years ago I attempted to surf with my friends and had the same issue. I spent a good ten minutes putting the suit on, only to be told I had it on backwards. Thankfully, I managed to side-step that particular embarrassment this time.
Luke gave me a brief lesson before we entered the water and we practised sitting and kneeling on the board. I didn’t expect to be able to kneel so it was a pleasant surprise. The water was much warmer than I expected so I wasn’t as worried about falling in!
I can really see why paddle boarding is so popular. It is extremely relaxing. Luke mentioned that he usually uses the boards to travel around the cliffs at the end of the beach as there are caves on the other side.
It can take over an hour but it would be an hour well spent. He takes groups out including children so it is a pastime suitable for the entire family.
Although I didn’t manage to stand up this time, I still experienced the same rush as a ‘regular’ person so I was happy. I am going to go out again, but next time I might try a lake, the flatter water will hopefully steady the board enough to allow me to stand. I am determined to stand!
I would like to thank Luke for his time and patience. He is a great teacher and makes you feel at ease in the water, even when you are standing in a pile of seaweed and freaking out!
The experience was a lovely one. It is hard to explain just how relaxing paddle boarding is so I would encourage you to try it for yourselves.
The fact that absolutely everybody is suitable to this sport is a definite highlight. You don’t need to be fit, or young, or have proper use of your legs.
It is a day out where every member of the family is included and that is what makes this great for the summer months.
Luke Daly of Adventure One Surf School can be contacted through his Facebook page www.facebook.com/adventureonesurfschool or Mobile 087 6285565.
Nikki Bradley is the founder of Fighting Fit For Ewing’s, a campaign to promote awareness of Ewing’s Sarcoma. Nikki is sponsored by All Sports in Donegal Town. Support her campaign by giving ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s’ a LIKE on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @nikkibradley59