“I can’t believe I waited so long to get a SUP board!”
– Rose on the Lake last Sunday
I’ve lived within close walking distance of a lake for almost three years. Regrettably, I waited until last month to purchase a stand up paddle board. Thanks to the recommendation of my adventurous friend Yiling Wong, I purchased the ISLE 10’4 Airtech Inflatable Yoga Stand Up Paddle Board (6″ Thick) iSUP Package.
As the days yawn longer and air gets warmer, my snowboard powder dreams recede and give way to the echo of hypnotic rhythmic waves of a good lake paddle. Several friends asked me about my SUP (stand up paddle board) equipment, all in this last week, so I thought it was finally time I jot something down for you.
Q: Which paddle board do you have? Thinking of making an investment.
A: Woohoo, SUP! I have this one from Isle Surf & SUP:
ISLE 10’4 Airtech Inflatable Yoga Stand Up Paddle Board (6″ Thick) iSUP Package
Q: You’re happy with it? Inflatable sounds awful, but look a lot cheaper than the non-inflatable..
A: Yes, very happy! I’ve brought it with me all over the Pacific Northwest since Fall 2016, a feat which would’ve been hard and much less likely with a rigid board since I have a Honda Civic so it would’ve been hard to carry and store. Once inflated to proper PSI, it’s quite rigid and stable. I suspect that a different rigid one would be extra maneuverable, but not nearly so grippy for those nice yoga stretches. To me, inflatable is worth the trade-off for portability. How portable? Well, I even took it on my back on an e-bike to get it from my AirBnB in Bend to paddle the Deschutes River the weekend of the eclipse. Yup.
This post is on stand-up paddle board (SUP) in the vicinity of Kaohsiung, specifically.
Mama: What is this thing you do, Yiling? Paddleboat, like with your feet?
Me: Um, no mama, it’s called stand-up paddleboard.
Me: No, BOARD. It’s like a surf board, but bigger and more stable. You stand on it, and you row with a paddle.
Mama: Oh. Okay.
Me: Just call it ‘sup.
Mama: Um, okay…paddle …boat…?
This was the conversation that was repeated several times with my mother as I tried to find a place for SUP near Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Some things always get lost in that relationship, even when it’s all in one language. Even so, she did her best to help find a place for this one indulgent endeavor of mine on this trip to her home stomping grounds.
Eventually, I also learned that those who do know of it call it S.U.P. there, pronouncing each letter separately. Esss-yooo-peeee. If you’re asking around on your visit, that’s what you should ask after. Also: googling kayak tours can increase your chances. To save you a little trouble, here’s what I found at the time in my search.