Rivers are certainly the most beautiful when they wake up in the morning. Night critters have retired, turtles get to work on sunny logs, fawns take a drink of the cool water from the rocky banks, ducks do whatever ducks do. The only people around are those sighing heavily as they pass over on a bridge dressed for a day at the office. Well, and the people wise enough to take advantage of our little piece of heaven right here in the heart of New Braunfels. Stand Up Paddle-boarders are wise to so much more. So. Much. More.
Yes. It is a thing. You have not imagined people walking around on the water. Stand Up Paddle-boarding, SUP, is an ancient form of surfing, has been popular for decades in Hawaii, gone global the last few years, and in New Braunfels for only a few weeks. NB SUP River Sport, LLC. isn't simply the brain child of owner Geoffrey Bailey; it is his life. He is an outdoor enthusiast from Hawaii with passion and expertise bubbling from his über fit core.
"People joke that it is the most relaxing sport they have ever done," Geoffrey says with a knowing smile. "The next day tells the whole story."
Mlissa Steele, SUP Club Member, agrees. "It is a great way to start out your day before work."
On this sunny summer morning Mlissa brought her 22 year old son, Travis, to try her new exercise program. He was impressed and mentioned that the non-impact activity was gentle on his injured knee. Following three back surgeries, Mlissa missed snow skiing, water skiing and jogging, but jumped right in to SUP.
Geoffrey is used to hearing such stories. But what exactly are they doing?
Basically, you stand on a board and paddle around. Not just any board, of course. NB SUP supplies 100% green, super safe, high-end equipment. The boards have a lightweight aluminum frame with a foam foundation to keep it rigid yet soft. This is covered in high-tech poly laminates that can take a beating, but is super friendly should it tap a tuber along the way. The best part? The board will not turn over. Repeat: THE BOARD WILL NOT TURN OVER.
Different boards provide different cross-training benefits. On the shorter 9 foot board the core workout comes from always moving the hips, keeping arms and shoulders fixed. The 12 foot board is just the opposite, hips are still and the upper body takes over. Geoffrey calls it a repetitive "pulling, thinking, breathing, zenning" experience.
Fitness lovers should take note of that last word. Zenning. The SUP perspective, looking down into the river like a giant fishbowl, provides a mental hiatus no gym can offer. Because the boards travel down stream AND upstream they can navigate past tuber exits to more secluded parts of the river. Mesmerized by natures splendor, paddle-boarders find themselves going from the Comal to the Guadalupe to the Mill Dam in a timeless daze.
Take a word from the wise and give Stand Up Paddle-boarding a try. It is not an expensive sport. Board rentals start at $15 an hour and even less for SUP Club Members. It is a year round sport, too. "From Labor Day until Memorial Day SUP will own the river," Geoffrey boasts. Working on your core, thinking about your core, unsure if you even have a core, SUP offers something for everyone. Wise. Wise indeed.
211 W. Lincoln St.