You want to take a stroll on water as you experience the beauty of nature; then you will have to ride the ‘water bicycle’. That is what surfing is all about.
What surfing is all about
Surfing is a sport as well as a recreational activity; which allows participants to stand in the water where man cannot as they time a breaking wave or current so that they can ride the wave and exit it safely when a wave loses power.
This means that the sport can be dangerous especially near shores or rocky places hence proper training and experience is critical when riding strong waves.
The activity also involves paddling because when a surfer spots a wave, he or she will have to paddle to where it is so that he/she could ride it. At times, surfers may be towed by boats to places where the waves are and left to surf. All in all, this is not an activity of the faint hearted. This is for the brave lions and lionesses who want to have real fun on the waters.
Any recreational activity on water are all fantastic ways for you to lose some weight. I think everyone should try this at least once; or until you get the hang of it. Trust me, you’ll love it. Not only that. But your pounds can shed like crazy. Just you watch.
The site was established by two paddler who were located in the middle of no-where (Thunder Bay ON) and being enthusiasts in paddling and surfing they went to great lengths to posting videos, content and links related to surfing and paddling activities about the major rivers surrounding their location.
Now this website has a bunch of cool stuff about surfing and paddling, so be sure to bookmark this site and visit it from time to time to have a glimpse of the stuff.
Why I started to love sports
To start off, I had two loves in my life the sea and steak sandwiches. This was a love triangle that I needed to stop because the sandwiches were winning. I was getting fat or should I say I was a fat boy. I was always in shape so the weight I was putting on and had already gained was uncomfortable. Without a doubt, I was not use to it and did not like it. Therefore, I was always an athlete before the weight gain and I needed to get back in that shape.
The sea was the first love of my life. We have many memories together and like any wife that loves you dearly, she has tried to kill me on many occasions. She was almost successful on two occasions. I was always a good swimmer and at one point that was all I thought about on a daily basis. With the weight I had gained it was just too hard for me to swim for more than a foot without uncontrollably gasping for air.
It was time I get in shape
My new found infatuation with surfing was going to be my motivation. I wanted to learn how to surf and I would need to get in shape to ride the waves effectively. I lost my friend and it opened my eyes to breast cancer awareness. She wasn’t careful with her health and cancer was the end result. This helped me decide that I needed to start living healthier.
As a matter of fact, I started by simply jogging over the sands and slowly losing weight. It took a period of time to for me to trim down to the size I thought I would be capable of maneuvering myself more properly. I learnt quickly that learning how to surf I not as easy as you may think. Coming to realize I had to get back to jogging and exercise before I attempted to go on a surf board again. Simple exercise; as well as a reorganization of my diet; helped me to lose a hundred pounds in weight in only a couple of months. Sit-ups and push-ups along with jogging was my route. Although it may sound like something that could not possibly be done; this is the way it was.
I did not need to get skinny
However, I just needed to lose enough weight so I could handle myself while learning to surf. When I was half way to my weight goal I had enough energy on a daily basis to do all the exercises and workouts related and needed for the surfing training. There are a lot of physical stresses associated with surfing. The time spent in the water alone is enough of a workout for anybody to lose weight.
Paddling was a workout especially through high and hard waves. The time spent paddling through the waves on the beach was time well spent. It helped me lose some of the weight that was bothering. It strengthened may arms and my legs that aided with standing on the board. When learning how to surf you have to learn how to paddle out to where the waves are best. This is the first thing you learn when learning how to surf.
Learning to stand on the board was the hardest part of learning to surf. It took me a while before I caught the feel for it. Lifting up my body to get on the board was something I could not do when I just decided to learn surfing. It was still a difficult thing to do. The reason was because I still had unwanted fat on my body. I was determined to learn how to surf. If it meant losing a lot of weight, that was what I had planned to do. After getting the handle of standing up on the board; the rest just fell in place.
The entire experience
Over all, it was very enjoyable for me and I not only learn how to surf. But I also lost the weight that was a discomfort for me. I would like to tell anyone out there that has a few pounds they need to get rid of, if there is any physical activity that you are interested to learn you may want to consider it. It may be your way to kill two birds with one stone. You will learn a new skill while working on looking good and living healthier.
Surfing in Whitemud Falls, Winnipeg River
For those of you who hear the word “surfing” and only think about big ocean waves in Florida, California or Hawaii; I want to tell you about my fun adventure recently when I was out surfing on a river! River surfing is possible because of something called “standing waves”; which are stationary somewhere on the river because of sub-surface rocks. Or some other kind of constriction in the river’s flow.
Nonetheless, I had seen kids surfing on the Eisbach in a park in Munich years ago (something that’s in every tourist guide for Munich, I guess). When I had an opportunity last June for a holiday trip to Manitoba, I decided to try out the river surfing at Whitemud Falls on the Winnipeg River. Only 90 minutes from the city of Winnipeg, Whitemud was easily accessible as a day trip destination. Even though it was my first time to try river surfing; Whitemud looked like an awesome place to get my feet wet. (So to speak.)
There are three main waves that are part of Whitemud Falls
Needless to say, I only rode two of them. Actually, I mostly just rode the first and easiest one. Coming from upstream, this first one is called ‘The Couch’. This was definitely the best wave for me, and I didn’t have to swim too much.
It was pretty foamy when I was on it; they said the river was up to 45,000 cfs. They call this wave The Couch for a reason (would that mean it’s for couch potatoes?), and I suppose I didn’t earn a whole lot of street creed from riding it.
But man, it was fun!
So moving on along downstream, the next wave is called ‘The Scary’. It was scary, and definitely not for couch potatoes. This one reached from bank to bank right across the whole width of the river. I rode this wave once, barely! Approaching from The Couch, I was happy to hear that the wave was a lot less scary than it can be. When the water is much higher, this can be a 15-foot wave. As it happened during my trip in June with quite a bit less water, it was still scarier than The Couch and pretty much on the edge of my current abilities.
The third main wave in Whitemud Falls, downstream from The Scary, is called ‘The Black Hole’. ‘Nuff said, right? If The Couch is for couch potatoes, then The Black Hole must be for astronauts. I was well-advised to stay away from this one (except for paddling past it, I mean), and I did. It sure was fun to watch the super river surfers out there riding that one, though!
Clearly, I have my work cut out for me as I try to get back to Whitemud many more times in the future. I still have a lot to learn. I highly recommend Whitemud Falls on the Winnipeg River to anybody who enjoys river surfing or who, like me, wanted to get started in a relatively safe and comfortable place. But definitely, if you really want a thrilling experience, visit there on spring or late fall.
Surfing in Sturgeon Falls
I knew my short vacation to the Sturgeon Falls where I had decided to spend the few days off work surfing would be great. I had made the whole surfing arrangements with a local tour company and was really looking forward for the surfing adventure.
So after having a heavy breakfast, I grabbed up my gear and headed for provincial campground boat launch to first have a glimpse about the waves. Of course I was feeling nervous and seen it was spring and I know that waves can be fast during spring, I didn’t want to prove myself too experienced for something I would be unable to handle though there the whole adventure was guided.
Everything was fine
I hastily prepared myself because I wanted to be in the batch of early birds who had already arrived and prepared themselves. It’s then I realized that real and fun-filled surfing was happening downstream and everyone was paddling to there. How I hated paddling?
A sweet and lovely lady named Perry from Michigan, quickly came to me and immediately we made friends. She had come there to holiday to and since I was knew there, I knew there was a friend to keep me company. We paddled our kayaks across the lake as we chatted together towards the direction that we had been instructed had sweet spots all kinds of water activities. We paddled down the sandy shores.
Down we went, and from far we would here the Sturgeon Falls from a distance. This made the day look ecstatic and I knew that it was going to be a good one. We headed for the main channel and there was a large front wave; which was called the Bigmouth and now it was time to surf. Though this spot would be the climax as Perry and I agreed.
The rest of the morning, Perry and I spend surfing. While she loved surfing on one spot called Surfer’s, happened to prefer ‘Chameleone’ and ‘Triple S’. Later in the afternoon after a quick lunch break, we moved higher towards ‘X Rated’ and ‘G Rated’ where we spend the afternoon surfing and having fun. Towards evening, I decided it was time for the “Big Mouth”. But Perry seemed hesitant to go for it. It was later that I came to know that she was not that much experienced and decided to save that for another holiday.
I must admit that the Big Mouth was really the climax
With its ranging and roaring waves of more than 60,000 cf then, I knew that I had to be careful yet I had this urge to prove to Perry that I’m a legend when it comes to surfing.
Nonetheless, I pulled all the surfing struts that I knew to the jeers and cheers of Perry and other surfers not brave enough to surf and had become onlookers. By dusk, I was extremely exhausted. Luckily, I had made arrangements to be picked up so that I wouldn’t have to paddle all the way back and the tour company was kind enough to accommodate Perry.
We spent the evening in celebratory moods with other holiday campers playing some lousy games and drinking beer before retiring to bed where I heavily slept. What an amazing experience it was.
Canoeing in Lake Superior
A great day is seen in the morning. Also sometimes in life, shit happens; and most of these nasty experiences seem to happen for a reason. This summer, my wife and I had planned to paddle our canoe on the shores of Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake in the world; which is revered for its spectacular destinations.
Our destination of choice
We chose to visit The Apostle Islands in Northern Wisconsin. The morning of our adventure, I woke up feeling a bit dizzy and wanted to cancel the day’s plans. I shared my sentiments with a friend that I had met at the hotel where we had spent the night prior to our adventure the following morning. He advised that I just postpone the paddling plans till next day. I didn’t tell my wife how I felt; so I decided that we go ahead as planned. This is because I never wanted to tell her how I felt seeing how excited she was about the whole paddling ordeal.
I helped her packed all the gear and supplies that we would require and off we set. The numerous islands in this Bayfield of Peninsula offered really awesome sight-seeing opportunities so we were busy taking pictures more than we were paddling. My wife seemed to enjoy every moment of the adventure as we paddled from one island to the next.
The geology of the islands was stunning is an understatement
They made us marvel at the beauty and wonders of nature. The erosion of sandstones at the islands made them turn into amazing cliffs, sea caves, tombolas and sandy beaches thus great for adventuring. There were also great sandscapes and the rugged beaches along the shores made us feel overwhelmed. We particularly wanted our final destination to be the Devil’s Island; which had been much praised to us prior to the start of our journey.
The morning paddling was fine and as we took our lunch late in the afternoon, we decided to visit Devil’s Island and adventure in the arches and vaulted chambers that we had been told about. So after lunch we set forth to the place though still along the shores.
Once there we busied with taking pictures and sight-seeing and thus we didn’t see a fast approaching motor boat; which seemed to be out of control and really crashed on the left side of our boat. Everything happened so fast that I just found myself thrown in the water. I had been submerged. But quickly I swam afloat and started to shout for my wife who was nowhere to be seen. There was blood in the water and I certainly knew something was wrong.
By this time rescuers had come
Quickly, they assured me that they had saved my wife and was undergoing first aid on the beach. True, on looking I saw some paddlers surrounding someone while some looking at me and those saving me. They all seemed shocked and I knew that the accident was a bad one.
Quickly they too brought me by the lake side on to see my wife writhing in pain. Her leg had been badly fractured and took several weeks to heal. I also lost my camera in the process; maybe so that I couldn’t have pictures of that sad day.
A Memorable Paddling Experience
Last year, my friend Lund and I took a great paddling expedition in the Mackenzie River, Canada. We had been planning for this trip for long since we all shared the dream of spending several days in the waters. But didn’t get the time for that. So came December and seen we were both relieved from our work schedule for some days; we decided that it was time that we too explored this great river.
As everyone claims, Hay River is the best starting point for paddling and that’s where our adventure began. I was nervous as we packed all the supplies and safety gear we would need for the kayaking adventure. We were briefed by the tour operators who promised to be with us at various point along the road on this four day experience; although it actually took us six days; they promised to help us with reservation during the night at our halt points though I felt that an outdoor tent would just be great for us to camp at night. We were cautioned about wild animals like bears; which were common along the area and this seemed to be the cause of my anxiety and scare.
Of we set on a bright warm morning just two weeks till Christmas. I was really nervous at this point although there were other kayakers adventuring the river. But off we went with our destination set for Fort Providence. We planned to venture to Fort Simpson if we still had some energy left after reaching Fort Providence.
On the first day
We paddled swiftly admiring the great scenes and beautiful waters. We would take pictures along the journey and crack a joke or two or make fun of one another. All was smooth and when evening came, we were booked in a nice cottage where we spend the evening around the bonfire just relaxing. I felt really great. I couldn’t believe that at last the opportunity of paddling along these great waters had come true. We ate light, took a few beers and relaxed for the following day.
On the second day, we were up early so that we could watch the morning sunrise while in the waters. The day was great and we were both energetic, We spend the whole day paddling and when evening came, we decided that we need not rest. But paddle in the night. This was one great experience and by mid night we were really feeling awesome. Just past mid night we came across a campsite where we decided to erect our tents and spend the night there. It was cold out there. There were a lot of mosquitoes too. Hence not a comfortable night. But it was worth it. We needed such experiences to make the whole adventure memorable.
However, I must have been tired because when I woke, Lund had gone to see some bears; which we come near the campsite. But by the time I rushed there they had already gone. At least he took some snaps of the teenage bears. Unfortunately, this third day the battery of my camera was running out of charge. I knew that I would miss a lot.
By the sixth day of this adventure
We had seen a lot, learnt a lot and had real fun. So at midday when we arrived at Fort Providence I was feeling really awesome. However, we were completely weary; and that was why we took two more days than normal to arrive at our destination.
Otherwise, what other best way could it have been for us to commence the festivities of December than paddling?
Click here to move on to the next topic about Anime Collages… This is very interesting!