I decided to sign up for SUP beginner class after I heard from someone that I know interested in taking up the class.
I had super super awesome morning with @e_chil! We're learning beginner SUP with Stephen from @surfski_me_brunei. It was kinda nerve wrecking at first because I was struggling to balance myself on the board but the more I learn and practice paddling, I gain the confidence that I can do it and I did! SUP photographer: Stephen #sup #standuppaddling #standingontheocean #pink
Originally I had planned to take up the class sometime in July, but that changed when I found out that the beginner class starts as early as this June. So I made up my mind to enroll myself for all 4 lessons.
The first lesson was this morning. I arrived at 6.45 am as the first session starts at 7 am.
Weather was cool and cloudy and the water was so so calm.
I finally met Stephen from SurfskiMe. Lesson started as soon as all of the students arrived at the beach.
Took a few seconds to take a picture with Leah. We knew each other early this year from Effortless Swim. Since then we regularly swim in the open water together. She is one of the strong swimmers that I personally know.
Before we get started, Stephen mentioned about hydration and he asked me if I was fasting and yup I did. So I won’t be drinking at all. Thank Goodness that I woke up at 2ish in the wee morning to hydrate myself because I tend to have headache/migraine when I’m dehydrated and exposed to hot weather.
Lesson started with equipment overview.
I find it helpful to get to know the equipment and also their names as Stephen often mentioned them in his instructions.
Stephen also covered safety procedures on what to do if we fall of the board.
- If or when we fall, do so flat with a large surface area, so that when we do, then we don’t fall too deep into the water. As we don’t know the depth of the water and also whether there are rocks and the like underneath the water.
- Swim to the nose of the board and get up on the board from there.
- Do not pull the leg leash, one might get a surprise hit from the board and
- Do not try to get on the board from the tail as you might injure yourself by being in contact with the sharp fins.
He demonstrated on how to enter the water correctly. We started out by kneeling on the board and once we got the hang of it then we stood up on the board.
To be honest, I was struggling at first trying to balance myself on the board. And I was looking at the water and I noticed how clear the water was. Guess what happened next? I was trembling!!! I was so surprised by how shaky I felt and the thought that I had in my head at that time was “what if I fell into the water?”
That was the moment I realized in my own personal opinion SUP isn’t for people who are scared of the water. It’s even worst if the person doesn’t know how to swim. Because in the event of lost of balance, the person will most likely fall into the water and if this person doesn’t know how to swim, he or she might panic and injured themselves. But then these are my personal opinion.
And so I was able to shake off my shakiness as I reminded myself that I can swim in the ocean and I’ve been actively swimming in the ocean since 2016.
I was glad that I was able to calm myself and just focused on Stephen and his instructions on how to paddle.
We were practicing paddling close by the beach and later on Stephen instructed us to paddle to go to the other side of the beach.
All of us were heading to the beach after we were practicing with sweep turns. There were several times when my board hit the others and quite frankly, I didn’t know what to do to prevent it.
Before we arrived at the beach, I was lost in my head and I wasn’t aware that my board was so freaking close to the beach and the nose hit the sand, I couldn’t maintain my balance and I fell. Half of my butt hit the board and the rest of me fell into the water. Thank God the water wasn’t that deep. I was able to stand. From here, we learnt how to get off the board.
We got off the water and took a few pictures.
And then we were ready to head back to the beach.
The right side of the beach has a lot of rocks underneath the water. From here we learnt back stroke with the SUP. We don’t want to run into the rocks, otherwise the boards might be damaged by the rocks. The mistake that I did with back stroke was I turned the tip of the paddle towards me and yet I still paddle forward. I admit, I still need to get used to do back stroke properly. I do get confused.
Here we were trying to get closer so Stephen could take a picture of us.
We started to paddle and move out of the beach. On our way out, there were two boats crossing the water. This created waves and I could feel the waves underneath my board as I continued to paddle. At times I did feel the imbalance because of the waves.
We left the beach and paddled towards the beach where we started from.
Bobby was there and he took a video of me when I had arrived at the beach.
After session was over, we went home. I was in a hurry to continue with my sleep.
Woke up after 2pm and I finally noticed that my upper chest was sunburnt! I was like how on earth did that happen? I did put on sunscreen all over my body just in case I would wanted to swim after the lesson was over and I did wear a rash guard.
Then it occurred to me that:
- I was sweating and so the sunscreen might have melted away with my sweat and
- the rash guard doesn’t have UV A/B protection.
I see now why some rash guards mentioned superior UV protection and also UPF 50+. Looks like the one that I have doesn’t have the UV protection. I guess time to shop for some UV protected rash guards.
Back to the SUP lesson, I’m glad that I signed up for the beginner class. I actually had a thought of learning SUP on my own but after today’s lesson, I don’t think I would made so much progress if I was learning on my own. I learn so much better with Stephen as the instructor. And of course learning with a buddy is so much fun! Me and Leah, we got to chit chat and also laughed once in a while (coz we were going off the course) while we paddled. I’m so looking forward to lesson 2 next week!
SUP pictures are from Stephen of SurfskiMe.
Interested to learn SUP? Find out more here.