OH MY GOD. Ive wanted to try this for ages, and now ive finally done it! And it was utterly amazing. I wish i’d done it before. I cant wait to do it again!!!
So, I found the Lake District Paddle Boarding by searching many options online and think I genuinely found the best one. Our instructor, John, was hilarious, but helpful, and at no point felt like a teacher. He made the experience fun, peaceful, silly at times and the 3 hour lesson just flew past. I could have stayed on the lake for another 3 hours without hesitation.
We (my friend RB and I) set off in the dark of the 6am something time and drove up to Keswick (look how happy we look in the picture!!) We met John in a local cafe along with another couple (his groups are normally of 8 I believe, but on this cold October morning there were just the 4 of us) and he bundled us into his van and off we went!
I couldn’t believe it when he literally drove us to his house, situated on the banks of Derwent Water. I could kill to live somewhere as picturesque as that. Off came the clothes, on with the wetsuits and surf shoes, we then went to grab a board and paddle and get straight into the water.
The water wasn’t cold – I’m not sure if that was the sheer excitement or that it genuinely wasn’t cold, I don’t care, it was ace.
I was on a 10’8 board and a single paddle. Basically, you walk up to your shins into the water until the fins of the board aren’t touching the floor of the water, then kneel on to it, sitting on your heels, then paddle! Yep, that simple. Way easier than my summer attempt at surfing! And so much calmer for ones head!
We paddled out on our knees up to a beautiful island on the lake. Had a little breather and then got a lesson on standing. Its all (obviously) about balance – and for once I had that balance!!! You literally just move your feet up then in one smooth movement get up both legs at once and voila! You’re up. Obviously at this point its about staying up! Im very proud to announce that I didn’t fall first!!!!! But when I finally did, I’ve never been so happy, as I was so hot and sweaty from paddling and the neoprene that I was happy for the hit of cold!
The scenery was like nothing I have ever seen before. On some of the photos that were taken it was hard to work out if one was one way or another, or if they were upside down as the reflection was so clear.
The 3 hours went faster than i imagined, paddling from island to island, trying to fight the teeny little waves from the passenger boats that were disturbing my perfect paddle (that’s when I finally made the fateful plunge into the water!)
We returned to Johns house (thank god he made us all a nice pot of tea and some bickies) to dry off, laugh about falling and literally plan when we could come again. I cant wait. I am chomping at the paddle to give it another go… (while looking like drowned rats!!!)
It was the best day that I have had in as long as I can remember. I have never laughed so much, enjoyed something so much or had such a peaceful mind and thoughts of nothing but the amazing views of the Lakes. My head was clear, my heart was happy and my cheeks aching from all the laughter. If I could bottle those feelings I would, I’d give them away for free. I cant wait to get back on the water.
Kisses, J xxx