5 Reasons To “Walk On Water” This Summer

The kelp forest off of Leadbetter Beach in dowtown Santa Barbara

Until recently, walking on water was a talent reserved for deities and those dwelling in very cold places. Now, thanks to the mainstream birth of Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP), walking on water has become a highly popular and fun activity at waterfronts world-wide.6 years after we first brought SUPs into our shop in the Santa Barbara Harbor, this sport has taken on a whole new character. From the shapes and makes of the SUP boards, to the wide variety of new people this sport has brought to the ocean, SUPing is here to stay. Here are 5 reasons we suggest you “Walk on Water” on this summer (throngs of religious followers not included).
  1. Get Some Sun: It’s no secret, with over 300 days of sunshine a year Southern California is paradise. It’s your responsibility to every person living in the Pacific Northwest to get outside and enjoy the Cali sunshine as often as possible. SUPing is a great way to soak up sun, get a tan and once you’ve mastered the wiggle of standing up it’s possible to paddle without getting wet at all!
  2. Unique Perspective: It’s amazing how different the ocean below appears when you are 5-6 feet above it looking down. In late April, paddlers began spotting many California Gray Whales from SUPs and Kayaks within 100 yards of shore. On one occasion we paddled along with two whales (mom and calf) for over 1/2 mile along the Mesa in Santa Barbara. With polarized lenses on I was able to view these whales as they swam and fed right below my SUP board, which was an exceptional pleasure!
  3. Sculpt those Abs!: Paddling is a fantastic core exercise (when done with proper technique). Sure, we hear this all the time, but this is really true with SUPing. Just the act of balancing on a board while paddling engages those core muscles and during a correct paddle stroke the abs are utilized to propel the board forward. If you don’t use your corre muscles the back and arms will tire out very fast. Paddling at 4-6 mph (which is a rapid cadence) can burn up to 600 calories an hour. Bottom line: we all need exercise, and SUPing is a fun, different way to get your heart rate up to work your core muscle groups!
  4. Try Something New: Are you running the same route every day? Do you tire of the treadmill at the gym? Have you perfected the art of balancing bowling pins on your nose? Get on the water and try something new that requires a little diligence to be good at. I would be doing you a disservice if I were to say that SUPing is easy your first and second time. To some it may be, but expect to fall down and get back up your first few sessions. The beautiful thing about falling off of your SUP board is you land in water, so if you were thinking of learning the trapeze instead, consider this as a lower risk alternative! Maybe you’ll like it more than anything you’ve ever tried because it’s nothing like anything else you’ve ever done?
  5. Memberships: Ok, here comes the pitch (you’ll like it, I promise!). Now that you’re ready to try your water legs out, how do you get started? You could go buy a board for over $1500 and then a paddle for another $200+… then figure out how to store and transport it… or you can come visit Channel Islands Outfitters at our Paddle Sports Center in the Santa Barbara Harbor or Goleta Beach. We offer monthly memberships for as low as $25/month! What does that get you? Kayaks, SUP, surfboards, wetsuits, and more water gear daily and everyday of the week, all year round. Sweet deal eh? We’re signing up members at both locations and online. Oh, and you get a free 1 hour lesson with your membership and 10% off guided adventures at Channel Islands National Park!
Alrighty, it’s almost summer and you have your reasons! See you walking on the water soon!Garrett Kababik Channel Islands Outfitters Co-Founder

It is our mission to save the oceans and natural places by fostering an understanding of them through education, adventures and outdoor experiences.