The blue river, gliding effortlessly standing on what looked like a surf board, paddling with what looked like a kayak paddle was an idyllic illusion. From our arrival in Noosa I had gazed with envy at the stand up paddle boarders on the river and the temptation to give it a go was great. I decided that when my nephews visited from Switzerland in the winter of the first year we were here I would do it with them. My treat. I was sure that they would be as tempted as I was but it was not to be. When I suggested we do it they declined with a scornful “we don’t do that on our lake” and chose to go sailing instead.
My temptation was growing and I told my friend’s daughter who was pregnant of my desire and she volunteered to go with me. I chickened out as I didn’t want anything to happen to her despite her being as fit as a flea.
The temptation was still growing when another friend came and stayed and he offered to go with me. I was so excited that my temptation was at last be fulfilled. We arrived, paid our money and taken to the water’s edge for some instruction. All that sank in from the instruction was that when you are going to fall off fall well clear of the board and throw the paddle so that the board does not get damaged. Any damages would have to be paid for.
The board was surprisingly light and easily carried into the water. Then I realised I was going to have huge problems. I was to sit on my ankles with my legs bent under me and get used to balancing. This for me was the most excruciatingly painful position due to a bike accident on one knee and a skiing accident on the other which with age had led to a bit of arthritis and lots of creaks, groans and pains on bending. Now they were bent double. I had to get up and quickly. That was not easy though as I couldn’t put any pressure on my knees to get me up. My quadriceps were working overtime and I was trying my best to use my core strength – but I couldn’t find any. In desperation I finally was upright, standing. My friend congratulated me – he’d taken a couple of days before he first got up. I thought to myself he obviously doesn’t have cruddy knees.
Happily I paddled around standing. I wouldn’t say it was easy but I did it until a boat went by at such speed that the waves created by his wake had me practicing the paddle throw as into the river I went. Try as I could I couldn’t realight my board. There was no bottom to bounce up off and so it was purely up to the strength in my arms to pull me back up. In the middle of the river I had no hope. I decided to swim my board in, buy myself an ice cream and sit and wait until Dave finished his hire time. This was not to be. The hire man met me as I was leaving the river and I related my tale of woe to him. “Go in and practice” and like an idiot I did.
Thinking it was a waste of time practicing in shallow water I returned to deeper water and tried time after time just to get on the board. I looked like a beached whale as I tried to throw my body onto the board with my first success landing me on the board facing the wrong direction.
The tempting pursuit had turned to an hour and a half of torture with worse to come. My muscles were obviously unused to this onslaught and turned to jelly. The pain was immense in my quadriceps and thighs and then I started vomiting. I attributed this to acidosis caused from the damage I had done to my poor muscles and determined that never again will I be tempted by stand up paddle boarding.
I am a little tempted to do some sunset kayaking……….