It’s been awhile since we’ve made a post on self-care, I guess you could say I have been so busy working on myself and my wellness that I have spent less time here online. Since self-care has been a huge focus for me this summer, I thought I would share how I’ve been making that a priority while also enjoying Georgian Bay as a family. This summer my main forms of self-care are making the time to slow down and have a nice relaxing bath, read or forms of fitness like yoga and SUP boarding. I try to go to yoga once a week at a local studio Soul Set and I also try to get out on the water 2-3x a week on our Karma iSUP 10.6 SUP board.
We are a very outdoorsy family, and we love to spend our days at the beach or exploring Georgian Bay by water. My absolute favourite outdoor activity in the summer is stand up paddle boarding and incorporating it with yoga, it is something physical that brings me joy as well as a great workout! I fell in love with ‘SUP’ boarding years ago and I’ve always wanted my own board, usually we rent boards or borrow them but this year was the year we decided to buy our own and Craig really wanted us to get inflatable ones. We wanted boards we could check for a flight, fit in the trunk and bring to and from the beach as a family that brings a lot to the beach. Portable without roof straps, convenient. With a plethora of options online for stand up paddle boards, it can be so overwhelming honestly. Don’t just hunt for the cheapest board, do your research on quality materials and durability as well as weight allowance. Or, save yourself some time since I already did all the research… We knew we wanted to support a local business and after a ton of research we found a beautiful Karma inflatable 10’6 stand up paddle board from Blu Wave SUP in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Great company, great products and great service!
I wanted a board I could do yoga on as well, a board that was inflatable but strong – something I could use, or Craig and the kids. Something durable that the dog could also sit on when I go out for a paddle. We ended up picking The Karma iSUP 10.6 and I am seriously in love. Not only is it durable and a great SUP board, it’s beautiful (in my opinion). I love that it looks like a real wood board but I won’t break my back carrying it to the beach! The Karma is designed to be a multi purpose board ideal for recreational paddling, yoga and fitness which is exactly what we wanted it for. I try to go out and board a few nights a week, being out on the water just gives me so much solace and clarity when things get too busy in my head. Drowning out the noise and chaos of all the negativity in the world right now you know? Sunset is a super fun time to paddle out, we got the photos above during one of our evenings out on the water this summer. SUP boarding is a great workout, you’ve got cardio, it engages your core muscles and it’s a great overall body workout. I really feel it in my legs, arms and abdomen. It is a great sport for amping up that vitamin D take if you are taking advantage of great weather and calm waters, it helps to reduce stress for me. If I am not doing yoga poses on my board out on the water I do planks, a style of squat where I rock the paddle side to side and hold my balance or do elbow to knee crunches and some lunges, trust me – you feel this workout, especially if the water isn’t super calm and you are working against some smaller waves.
The Karma iSUP 10.6 from Blu Wave SUP is a great board in my opinion for beginners and advances SUP boarders. It folds up well into a great backpack that holds the board and accessories for us, including our paddle and the pump. I won’t lie, inflating with the manual pump is quite the arm workout to prep for your paddle, you can always get an electric one if needed though. At 33” wide, the Karma model provides ample stability for yoga, yet is narrow enough to paddle well. – Blu Wave SUP
I love that we can take this board anywhere, I can still hold both of my kids hands, a dog on the leash, or beach bags and have our board in a convenient and portable backpack (with wheels too). Our board also came with a repair kit just in case!
Tips for SUP boarding:
Make sure you get the right size board and paddle for your body and adjust your paddle accordingly if you decide on an adjustable paddle.
Make sure you inflate your board to the recommended number.
Start off slow, you can paddle out on your knees until you feel comfortable to stand – don’t rush it, this is a great way to find your balance and it can still be a great workout too!
Try to keep your back straight and engage those core muscles.
Wear a life jacket and a leash, pack a wet bag.
Stand up on your paddle board from a squat and keep your feet hip width apart and parallel. Bend your knees and keep your head up and back straight.
If you have used a kayak before, paddling may come easy. Angle the paddle blade away from you towards the nose of your board and lightly hold the grip of your paddle with one hand while the other hand grips the shaft. You can switch up your hands when you paddle on the opposite side of your board and make sure your paddle blade is in the water before you paddle.
If you fall off, get back up and try again!
If inflatable boards aren’t your jam, Blu Wave SUP has a variety of other boards – the one like ours comes as a solid board. They also carry other recreational and performance products and surf boards!
We follow Aaron of Blu Wave SUP on Instagram and have chatted with him quite a bit this summer, I asked him about the background of his business and his love for this industry and thought I would share it with you…
Blu Wave was conceived in 2010 after Aaron discovered the sport on a trip to a surf town on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. He recognized an opportunity to bring a surfing experience to the many lakes of Canada through this emerging water sport which combined two of his favorite activities, surfing and kayaking. Not a traditional surfing local, Ontario may not offer epic surf breaks of the Pacific or Atlantic coasts, but it does have an abundance of lakes and a cottage culture like nowhere else in the world. The smaller cottage country lakes of Ontario offer a great venue for flat water paddling, a zen like activity that offers a tremendous fitness benefit. Order up the right wind direction and intensity, and the Great Lakes can provide some pretty sweet waves and a surfing experience right in our own backyard.”
At the time, SUP was very new to Canada and there were very few companies or retailers selling SUPs in Canada. The early years of Blu Wave much of our marketing was grass roots based, sponsoring athletes, participating in paddling events and sponsoring the Ontario SUP Race Series (since 2012).
Aaron can you tell us a bit about your background, before Blu Wave SUP?
Graduate of Ivey Business School at Western. Worked for 15+ years on Bay Street in corporate real estate brokerage for a major international commercial real estate firm. After 15 yrs of the fast paced and pressure filled world or commercial real estate I was looking for a change in lifestyle and career. In 2009 I read a book that opened my eyes to the possibilities of starting my own business and subsequently a surf trip to Mexico placed SUP on my radar. The sport spoke to me as in many ways it combined two of my passions, surfing and kayaking/paddling. The pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place and by summer 2010 Blu Wave was born. We have continued to evolve our designs and place an emphasis on performance, quality construction and innovative designs. In 2014 we relocated from Toronto to Southern Georgian Bay to take advantage of the lifestyle this area offers, and the amazing testing ground (water) for our products, that is Georgian Bay. Now after over a decade in business, we are the leading Canadian SUP brand. Our boards are sold across Canada through a dealer network of over 50 independent specialty retails stores, online and at our own retail store in Wasaga Beach, ON and have been sold internationally in the UK since 2016. Our sponsored athletes have competed in world championships, including the founder who has competed in races in the US in Carolina, California, and the world championships in Los Cabos, MX.
Amazing right? Such a great story behind a great company and as I said, great products too. Have you tried SUP boarding yet? I hope to see you out on the water if you do!