Through this time of shelter in, I’ve made two important epiphanies. One, life is too short to not be doing what you love (in general, again, I hugely support staying home and saving lives) and second, what I love most is paddleboarding on the river. On the rapids on the river. I won’t say where, but I stuck to the government guidelines and didn’t break any rules. I also didn’t run any rapids I haven’t paddled many, many times and felt confident I wasn’t doing anything too crazy to risk injury. But I accessed a place I feel more content then ever…on my board on the frisky rapids. In fact, I made my maiden voyage on my new Hala Atcha 9’6 and I LOVE it. I love it so much I can’t stop talking about it. I try to avoid sales pitches on this blog but seriously, if you want to get into whitewater SUP you need to demo an Atcha. Thank you Nadia for letting me try yours in CR!! Game-changer!
So let me tell you what I love about whitewater SUP and then, what I love about my new Atcha….
When I’m on the water, I’m typically in rural areas away from people, devices, and pollution (air and noise). When I’m on rapids I’m mentally away from everything too. It’s a very dynamic activity so I’m in the moment–like surfing on an ocean wave, I feel “one” with the water (even if the water is busy kicking my ass). It’s athletic, which means I’m fulfilling my seemingly constant need to exercise and move. And finally, I realized the other day that I really do like adventure…a little fear and a little challenge. It makes me feel alive. And it’s just damn FUN.
Now about the new Atcha. I swore by the piercing-nose earlier generation Atcha that served me so well through most of my experience with whitewater SUP. The new Atcha has more rocker and a less pointy nose so you maintain maneuverability without losing stability. I’ve honestly never used the middle fin on previous boards, therefore paddling with one is a new experience…supposedly helping me track better. It’s retractable so paddling the bonier stretches I paddle often, isn’t sketchy (or any sketchier than they’d be with my normal two thruster set-up). My apologies for those of you who don’t care a lick about product reviews.
What I’ll finally say is that what I feel on the water, while unique in my personal experiences seems to resonate with SO many people. Even if I didn’t grow up paddling and doing it just about every day, my connection to the water is as real as those who did…and those people who don’t work in the industry or paddle every week? Well it’s just as real for them. For so many of us, water possesses a special quality that is therapeutic unlike anything else. Be respectful of our need to be safe right now and “take one for the team” by staying close to home, not grouping up and social distancing, but within those parameters, if you can get out there, do. It’s the best elixir for what is emotionally ailing us in these crazy times.
Thanks for listening….see you out there on the frisky ripples!