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Learn to SUP like a pro with High Five
The challenge, the workout and the essence of surfing all in one package
You've likely familiar with surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing, but has stand up paddleboarding (SUP) made it onto your to-do list? Started in Polynesia, SUPing or stand up paddleboarding is now one of the most explosive watersport crazes around the world.
Though the activity dates back to ancient times, the movement became popular when a few entrepreneurial Waikiki beach boys stood atop surf boards and used canoe paddles to glide out to snap photos of wayward tourists learning to hang ten on Hawaii’s legendary waves. It wasn’t long before SUPing, the act of slicing through the surface of the water on an oversized board with the help of a lightweight paddle, evolved into a sport of its own.
Luckily you don’t have to travel to Hawaii if it sounds like paddleboarding is for you. The only International Kitesurfing Organisation-approved (IKO) watersports school in Cape Town will help you glide across the glassy surfaces of the Mother City’s lakes, canals and oceans with the right foot forward. Table View-based High Five Kite, S.U.P and Surf School offers easy introductory lessons seven days a week at very reasonable rates. The two-hour sessions, led by experienced surfers and boarders themselves, include a short land-based tutorial followed by the real work (and fun), a practical session on the sparkling Atlantic!
While SUPers will certainly attest to the sport being relatively easy to master, it’s still essential to get a handle on stroke techniques, balance and, arguably the most important, the appropriate gear to use – which this watersports training school takes care of.
High Five boasts an assortment of rental equipment, from wetsuits and leashes to boards and paddles, that learners can make use of during the lesson as it is included in the price. What’s more, the High Five boys can organise full-day SUP packages. For example, they’ll help you start the day with a sunrise paddle surf and a breakfast, or they can engineer an end-of-day farewell with a sunset SUP and a braai.
SUPing is popular both because anyone can do it and because nearly any body of water is fair game – you don’t need to chase big waves or wait for a gusty Cape Town day to make the most of this full-body exercise. Paddle surfing is also well liked because it helps to develop a strong core and upper body strength, while also providing good training for other kinds of water sports.
Not to mention, the family friends sport suits all levels of fitness – you don’t need to be a bodybuilder to partake. It also offers a viable alternative to those keen to get out on the water, but not to engage in the more extreme, adrenaline-fuelled activities.
Billed as being both mellow and meditative, paddle surfing treats participants to 360-degree views of the surroundings, with plenty of opportunity to spot some of the exquisite marine life our oceans are home to.
So, if looking for a fun and balanced (well, if you can keep your balance!) way to experience the open waters of Cape Town… surf’s up (standing up, that is!).
Note: High Five offers a fantastic 3-for-2 special for both kitesurfing and stand up paddle boarding lessons! Grab two friends and go for a two-hour lesson on the water for R800 per group. Additional classes thereafter cost R400/p.
To Book: Send an email to [email protected], call +27 (0) 72 902 7899 or simply drop by the shop, which is located just adjacent to Kite Beach in Table View.
Keen for a foray into a more extreme water sport. Read about kitesurfing in Cape Town.
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