By Pete Williams
Stand-up paddle boarding has exploded in popularity over the last two years because it combines water recreation with an incredible core workout.
I’ve found a way to take that one step further. Much like putting a weight on a baseball bat or training with a weighted vest, SUP is more difficult with a few extra pounds on the board.
Like, say, an extra 105 pounds.
I loaded a Yolo Board Eco Trainer with my two sons, who weigh 57 and 48 pounds, respectively. (They’re very good swimmers and we didn’t venture far from shore.) We headed out of Philippe Park in Safety Harbor, which as the name suggests has some of the calmest water in the Tampa Bay area.
We saw stingrays, mullet, and some fish we couldn’t identify. The boys got a better view of the water than they could from a boat, canoe, or kayak and Dad’s workout became that much more challenging, especially with their tendency to constantly shift on the board.
After I left them off on the shore for a snack with Mom, I headed back out. It felt like the donut had come off the bat and I cruised around the park. My adult paddle didn’t last for long as I was summoned back to shore to reload.
When the boys were smaller, I never could get used to a baby jogger. It was awkward for me and boring for them. But with SUP, I can grow stronger as they get bigger, though we’re already pushing the weight limit.
Hmmm. Great workout. Family time. Kids having a blast.
I think I’m on to something here.