Stand up paddling in Toronto
Although there's a small community of surfers who hit up Toronto beaches when the water gets choppy, a far more common sight is that of the stand up paddler (SUP). Using a SUP is slightly different than traditional surfing in that you don't need waves, you don't need to pop up and you should start out not standing sideways, but rather with both feet facing toward the front of the board, shoulder with apart.
If you fall off using a SUP, it is easiest to get to your knees first, then put one foot on the board, followed by the opposite foot, instead of using a surfing pop up approach. Those are some of the basics. If you really want to make the most of your summer and want to get wet as a paddler, you'll want to contact Toronto beaches organizations such as Surf Ontario or SUP Girlz for lessons and to get equipment.
Being in the water you will instantly feel that calm of being in the water at the cottage, or if it is a wavy day, the stoke of catching a wave, either way it is money well spent. The best places to SUP in the city are Ashbridge's Bay, Woodbine and Kew Beach, though Bluffer's Park and Cherry Beach are also good options.
Stand Up Paddling (SUP), can be done year round with the right equipment. From board shorts on a warm sunny day to a 6mm wetsuit that can get you through sub zero temperatures on the lake, it's easy to get set up for a paddle in most weather that we get on Lake Ontario.
The surf and SUP organizations of Toronto have events happening all summer long, which have a great community spirit about them. Surf Ontario and SUPGirlz also give workshops all summer long and into the fall. These workshops are not only fun, and rejuvenating, but will help you find your technique while enjoying the health benefits in a natural outdoor environment.
SUP for MS August 3-6, 2012
Now in its 3rd year, the SUP 4 MS is a fundraising Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) journey across Lake Ontario from Hamilton to Toronto. The event is the brainchild of Mike Sandusky and Grant Kennedy of Surf Ontario. At 65kms and 12-16 hours of paddling, it is a test of will and athletic endurance. It's open to all SUP paddlers, as again there are shorter support legs of 2km, 10km, and 30km. We all paddle together and finish together. It's a truly inspiring and memorable event.
Canada Cup SUP Race August 18th, 2012
Featuring relays, a battle of the paddle, and a post-surfing barbecue, this is a big one for SUP enthusiasts. Elite and Open Categories. Frenchman's Bay, Pickering, Lake Ontario.
Aloha Toronto August 24 - 26, 2012
Another event you'll want to mark on you calendar is Aloha Toronto, August 24-26, 2012. Aloha Toronto will kick off with a White Party and an Luau Party at Woodbine Beach Toronto. Along with the surfing events, there will be an elite, celebrity and leisure Stand Up Paddle (SUP) challenge, classic films, DJs and live entertainment.
Writing by Bradley Van Rooi