Stand Up Paddling (SUP) or just Paddling is an outdoor sport and a combination of having fun, chilling and working out at the same time. I have never heard of this sport before the ESN created an event for exchange students. I really had to hurry up to sign in for this event, because they only had a few places for over 200 students.
We met each other at the place, where they borrowed the Paddling stuff. It was next to Aura, the river that flows through Turku. First of all, they showed us the basics, such as how to stand on the surfboard and how to adjust the paddle. After this short introduction, we were ready to go paddling on the water.
It took us a while until everyone was able to put the surfboard into the river and kneel on it. Two persons fell into the water. It was funny to observe the whole process and a few pedestrians, which saw us, were laughing too.
At the beginning, everyone had to paddle on the knees because it was easier than normal paddling. After a while, our teacher showed us how to turn and how to stand up on the surfboard. This was the second time when students fell into the water. I could stand on my board after two attempts and I was very proud of myself.
I had so much fun that I was a little bit sad when our instructor told us that the time was over and we had to go back to the starting point. I fell into the river when I tried to jump from my surfboard towards the riverbank. This was my first swimming experience in Aura =)
Text: Manuel Kuster