You may have seen them out on one of our many lakes and rivers. They’re not surfers, and they’re not kayakers, but they’re doing some combination of both—paddling in the water while standing straight up on a board. “They” are the devotees of Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), and, with a little practice, you can join them out on the water. Stand Up Motion in Jefferson Valley offers lessons and rentals ($45 for a one-hour introductory lesson) on Lake Osceola, as well as guided tours, paddle fitness classes, paddle yoga, and race training for those who are more serious about the sport.
“Anyone can learn it—it’s fairly easy to do,” assures Stand Up Motion owner Jerry Patterson, who first came across the sport on a trip to Florida. “It’s a lot like riding a bike.” You don’t need to have a ninja-like sense of balance to start with, and kids as young as 5 years old can learn how to SUP with parental supervision (or they can ride out in front while an adult paddles).
Plus, there are aerobic benefits. “It’s a total body workout,” he says. “You feel it in your abs, shoulders, and legs. But it’s a low-impact workout. You feel a little sore that you worked out, but it’s manageable.”
The best place to try it in Westchester? “You name it. I’ve been out on Glen Island in New Rochelle, Croton Point Park, and the Croton River in Croton-on-Hudson,” he says. “The Croton River is awesome because it dumps out into the Hudson, but you paddle up and it’s really scenic, and you get a lot of nature.” • Stand Up Motion, Jefferson Valley (845) 337-5529; www.standupmotion.net
How to Stand-Up Paddleboard
Step One: Start Kneeling
You want to be centered on the board with your legs shoulder-width apart.
Step Two: Paddle Out
Hold the paddle vertically, as straight up and down as possible. Paddle for about three or four strokes on each side before switching.
Step Three: Stand Up
Once you’ve built up a little momentum, lay the paddle down perpendicularly across the board in front of you and place your hands on it. Then put your feet where your knees were and stand up straight, keeping your knees slightly bent.
Step Four: Keep Going
As with a bike, the more momentum you have, the better your balance will be. Start paddling as soon as you stand. Keep your eyes forward, pick a point out in the distance, and paddle out to that point.