Standing on Water with Sydney Scenic SUP

by Melissa on December 20, 2011 · 2 comments

You can’t seem to flip through any gossip magazines these days without seeing a picture of some of the biggest names in Hollywood standing up on what looks like an oversized surfboard with a paddle in hand.  Jennifer Aniston, Cindy Crawford, Matthew McConaughey, Kelsey Grammar, even Nicole Richie and Alessandra Ambrosio are all becoming the talk of the town and embracing the craze that is standup paddle boarding (or SUP for short).  Trying this crazy sport had never crossed my mind. That is until I read THIS post by Annie over at Wayward Traveller.
sydney scenic sup
I had made a comment via twitter to Annie about how much fun it looked and she ‘twintroduced’ me to Jack, the man behind Sydney Scenic SUP.  A connection was made, and after a few messages back and forth, I decided to take Jack up on his offer to take me out for a morning paddle the following morning.Being that this was one of my days off, I was surprisingly okay with waking up before 7am.  Jack was kind enough to pick me up close to my house and within minutes we were chatting about traveling.  Jack had let me know that his sister, Laura, was going to be joining us that morning, as she had never tried SUP before.  After a short ride from Kirribilli, we arrived at Little Sirius Cove (a hidden little gem of a park close to Mosman) where a few locals were out walking and playing with their dogs.
sydney scenic sup
Once Jack had set up the paddleboards, we brought them down to the beach and Jack gave us a demonstration on how to stay afloat while paddleboarding.  He assured us that if anyone was going to be falling in the harbor that day, it was more than likely going to be him first – very reassuring.  We learned all the basics, how to go from a laying-on-your-stomach position to sitting on your knees, and then the coveted position – STANDING UP! Jack showed us how to properly hold the paddle and what strokes to use to get us moving forwards, backwards, stopping or turning.  After about 10-15minutes of land-training, we decided that it was time.  We walked our boards out until we were knee deep in water, and hopped onto the boards.  Before long we were shakily making our way up to a standing position and finding out how easy it really was to balance yourself.  We took it slowly and paddled around the little cove.
sydney scenic sup
Soon after we learned to stand, paddle, stop, turn and not fall in, Jack told us it was time.  We were heading out onto the harbor.  The three of us slowly made our way out of Little Sirius Cove, and were soon very close to the Taronga Zoo Ferry Wharf.  Jack told us we ought to get back down to knees while we waited for a ferry to go in and out of the wharf.  Slowly but surely, Laura and I made it down to a more comfortable sitting position at which time Jack gave us a history of the settlement of Sydney, with a strong emphasis on all things having to do with the harbor and its importance on the settlement of Australia.  Once the ferry was far enough out of the way, we got back up to standing position and were making our way to our halfway point- Athol Bay Beach – a small secluded beach with beautiful views of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and city skyline.  We chatted while we paddled along – that is until I made my way (very ungracefully) INTO the water.  In case you were wondering, yes, the water was delightfully refreshing.  With my ego a little bruised, I made my way back up onto the board and continued on paddling until we made it into Athol Bay.

Once back on land, we set up and had a nice little snack consisting of almonds, mangoes, water and Tim Tams.  We sat and enjoyed the serenity of the early morning and continued to hear all about Jack’s knowledge of the history of Sydney.  It was totally up my alley.  Before long, Jack was asking Laura and I to get back on our boards so we could take a few pictures with the most beautiful city skyline behind us.  Of course this was when both of us took the opportunity to not-so-gracefully fall off our boards and into the cool waters.
After struggling back onto our boards, and once a few glamour shots were taken we started to make our way back to Little Sirius Cove.  It was around this time that all of my balancing abilities started giving out on me.  I spent more time falling into the water and then and tiredly struggling to get back onto my board than I did actually standing and paddling.  It actually got to the point where I knew that if I tried to stand up I’d fall in- my legs were simply too tired and the water was becoming increasingly more choppy.  So, instead, I kneeled and paddled along behind Jack and Laura.  Once back in the relatively placid waters of Little Sirius Cove, I shakily got back to my feet and paddled the remaining few hundred meters till we were close to shore.
sydney scenic sup
During our paddle around Sydney Harbour I had asked Jack more about what they do at Sydney Scenic SUP and along with scenic introductory SUP tours (like the one I had just done), they also do fitness classes a few times per week where they incorporate a lot of yoga-type exercises and other core-strengthening and balance-improving moves.  Jokingly I asked if he could do ‘dancer’s pose’ while on a SUP board.  After explaining what it was (standing on one foot, while holding the other high behind you), I told him once we got back into Little Sirius Cove, I’d attempt it.  So, back in the shallow, placid waters, not to be one to back out on something I say I’ll do, I handed Jack my paddle and slowly shifted my footing so they’d be in the middle of my board.  I methodically raised my right leg, reaching back at the same time with my right arm.  Amazingly I actually got a few seconds in the position before I “dancer-posed” my way into the water.
sydney scenic sup
My two hours on the water with Jack and Laura were beyond amazing.  I definitely surprised myself with how well I did (despite spending the last half hour tiredly struggling with balance and falling into the water time and time again). It’s really not that hard.  So if you’re in the Sydney area and want to get a unique experience that actually gets you ON (and sometimes IN) the waters of Sydney Harbour, give Jack a call – he’d love to take you out and share his passion for SUP and Sydney with you.
sydney scenic sup

Jack, along with his wife, Ashleigh, run Sydney Scenic tours, fitness classes and SUP lessons at both Mosman and Watson’s Bay at various times through the week.  Be sure to check out the SydneyScenic SUP website for full details.  Make sure you also like them on facebook and follow them on twitter.  Don’t hesitate to send Jack a message, he’ll definitely tweet you back!  Definitely be sure to give Sydney Scenic SUP a shot, you’ll impress yourself with how good you are and how easy it really is to stand on water!


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sydney Scenic Sup January 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Thanks Mel for the awesome article! We loved Stand Up Paddle Boarding with you! Can't wait to take you out again and get the Dancer's Pose squared away!

Thanks again, Jack


Annie January 13, 2012 at 12:00 am

Love this! I'm so glad you enjoyed SUP!

I would have paid to see you "dancer-pose" yourself right into the water!


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