All summer my family and friends raved about stand-up paddle boarding.
We have to try it. Let’s go this day or that day… When I went I saw so many jelly fish… blah, blah.
Things to that nature plagued my summer. And in the midst of all of that, not once did I get my hands on a board. It just wasn’t happening.
I dismissed it, thinking that it probably wasn’t really worth my time anyway when what I really wanted was to be a real, hardcore surfer chick. I had better save my energy for bigger horizons.
One day, while I was nonchalantly surfing the Twitter feeds for Sydney, a photo popped up with a picture of a guy looking out toward the Opera House as the sun was rising. The tweet came from @SydneyScenicSUP and I retweeted the photo with some comment or other. A connection was made. I didn’t think much of it at the time but when I randomly tweeted about a what to do on a day off and Jack responded offering a sunrise paddle boarding tour, I knew that this sport could no longer be ignored.
That particular tour didn’t work out, as I ended up picking up my seventh work day that week. But I knew that Jack’s tour was something that I would have to put on my list of immediate things to try in Sydney.
Finally, one morning a few weeks later I saw that I had a couple of free days, and it all fell right in the middle of my boyfriend’s Uni break! That meant that I could drag my non-sporty, non-water friendly Italian into doing something I wanted to do, since I knew he had no other plans.
Being that I generally have to be on the bus for work at approximately 4:50am, getting up at 6am to catch the ferry across the Harbor to Mosman was no big deal. Lorenzo on the other hand was NOT happy. We fueled up on coffee and were off, two of five total people taking a leisurely Saturday morning ferry across the water.
The walk over the hill from the Mosman ferry landing to Camp Curlew Road was actually quite refreshing. Even walking among the looming glass encased mansions hanging over the cliff, there was a bit of humidity in the air and the sound of nature all around. A feel of the wild Australia that is lost in the CBD.
We arrived on the beach to find dogs and owners happily frolicking in the early morning sun and not long after Jack arrived followed by our three other tour mates.
Jack’s SUP tour is special because it is a lesson and a tour combined. The first few minutes are spent on the basics of SUP. A lesson that literally takes five minutes was actually rather refreshing as there was no details to mess you up. When I have set out to learn a new sport in the past the lesson is generally so packed with information that the sport itself is hard to manage as you are constantly going over the steps in your head. Jack simply told us how to balance, how to stand and how to use the paddle to control your movement. That was all we needed and our teacher had confidence that we’d be just fine. And we were.
Each of us glided into the water nearly effortlessly and although our first couple of steps toward standing were slightly wobbly, everyone managed to stay on board. In fact, it was Jack that took the first plunge. Whether or not that was a ploy to make us more confident doesn’t really matter because everyone was happy to take a dip once the sun started shining.
We made our way, slowly at first, around the first few shorelines until we reached Taronga Zoo. Directly after the pier which leads the the zoo entrance is a tiny, beautiful beach. And we pulled over to take a rest. Jack is full of information about Sydney and the history of the harbor. He paid special attention to Lorenzo and I being the foreigners of the tour. I won’t divulge any of the cool history he gave us because I want you to take the tour yourself. But it was both fun and interesting.
We stopped on the water for Ashleigh, Jack’s wife and the tours official photographer, to take some beautiful photos of us in front of Sydney most famous icons.
After taking in the beautiful views we headed back to Sirius Cove to get some technique practice in with some races!
As the only girl, I figured I’d have to prove myself at some point in the day. I took the opportunity to do it in the last race of the day, all about balance, something that I DO NOT pride myself on. Ashleigh and I were the only ones not to fall off our boards once in the entire tour. Girls are just better at some things I guess!
Jack and Ashleigh have just started some additional classes that I can’t wait to try out. Every Tuesday evening they are holding SUP yoga classes where balance and relaxation are crucial to success. Although I’m not a yogi, I do enjoy some yoga so to combine it with a sport that I can easily grow to love will be a brand new experience. I’ll be sure to report back but until then, get your butt to Sydney Scenic’s tour! It is well worth it!
Sydney Scenic SUP runs tours every morning beginning at 8am and 10:30am & the fitness classes run Tuesday evening from 5:30pm and Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6:30pm. Check out the Facebook Page for more details! And don’t hesitate to tweet Jack, he’ll more than likely start up a conversation with you!