Stand up paddle boards are now available in Mammoth. (Photo: Kirkner)
Footloose Sports and Wave Rave Snowboarding Shop, both in Mammoth Lakes, have a new addition… stand up paddle boards have splashed into the stores and are available for rent or purchase.
Lakes like Horseshoe, Convict, and Lake Mary are perfect spots to give this sport a try. While you won’t catch any gnarly waves, you will enjoy the serenity of the mountains while learning the fundamentals of using a stand up paddle board, also known as a SUP.
As a first-time paddle boarder, I was a bit nervous about what the endeavor would entail. With the help of some of the guys at Footloose, I got the board strapped to the top of my Jeep. It looked like a giant surf board riding atop my vehicle, which was strange in a town where big powder waves occur frequently, but big ocean waves are hundreds of miles away. I then schlepped a friend, her dog, and the board to Horseshoe Lake where I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to carry the 10 foot, six inch beast down to the lake’s shore (there is a handle in the middle of the board for easy carrying).
After carefully removing the board from its travel bag, I placed it in the water and pushed off from the shore on my knees. I stood up slowly and was amazed at how quickly I found my center of balance with both feet planted firmly on each side of that handle that had come in so useful just minutes before. I paddled around and enjoyed the scenery, feeling a little more confident with each stroke.
After a few turns and circles, I headed back to shore so Leslie (my game-for-anything friend) could try it as well. As someone who grew up surfing, she took to the SUP right away and made it look easy. Once she had taken her turn we both agreed that the more you worked on the sport, the more of a workout it would become. The more comfortable you are on the board the deeper you would be able to dig the paddle into the water, making for a killer core workout.
There are many different options when using a SUP. While some people surf it http://www.paddlesurf.net/, others race them in treacherous waters, http://standuppaddle.blogspot.com/. It’s really up to you what you make of it, but at least Footloose and Wave Rave can give you a start.
So go test one out to see if you’re a natural! Rentals are $35 for four hours, or $50 for the day at either Wave Rave or Footloose. There are no overnight rentals. SUPs for purchase range from $1599 to $1649. Go to www.footloosesports.com or www.waveravesnowboardshop.com for store contact information.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story only mentioned stand up paddle boards at Footloose Sports, but they are also available at Wave Rave.