We’ve had a wonderful staycation in Malibu this summer, despite the ever-present paparazzo documenting our every move.
Our family has had so much fun playing in the ocean, catching sand crabs, taking long beach walks, boogie boarding and paddling boarding.
Now, I love to paddle board. So you can imagine my thrill and excitement when Stella let me take her out on my paddleboard. We cruised through the kelp forest in search of seals, stingrays, dolphins and everything in between.
We talked about everything… school, food, hair, waves, tides, swells, sharks . . . etc. We really bonded. It was great father-daughter time.
I figured since we were having such a good time on the water, I’d just put it out there and ask her if she would be interested in taking a Stand Up Paddle board lesson (SUP). I nearly fell off my board when she emphatically bellowed, “Oh yes daddy, please, please, please!!”
The next day my buddy Mitch (pictured with Stella) from Becker surf shop came out and gave Stella a lesson. The three of us hit the beach and we were off. Mitch has been doing this for a long time, 20 some odd years, so to see the stunned look on his face when Stella just stood up on her board and started paddling away, with perfect balance, confidence and calmness, was priceless.
I was stunned as well. She was a natural. Mitch said, “She’s the best 6 year old student I’ve ever had, she’s amazing!”. Stella loved it and was stoked. She wanted to make the 3-mile paddle to Paradise Cove, have lunch and paddle back.
I now have a Paddle Board Buddy!! Now, if I can just convince Liam to get out there. I’m not sure if it’s seaweed or sharks he’s most afraid of. Hattie is too busy being a beach bunny to paddle, Jack’s not convinced he WON’T be eaten by a shark, and Finn is ready to go!! “Daddy paddle, Daddy paddle??” I think T might give me a hard time about that one…
Our family bonfire after playing in the ocean all day
We created some amazing memories this summer. Memories that will last a lifetime, and I’m so thankful for all of it.
For those of you looking to get into paddle boarding, here are a few tips:
- Use a reputable surf shop to help you get the right size board. (If you’re in or near Malibu go and see Mitch or Travis at Becker surf shop or Sean and Leslie at The Malibu Surf Shop).
- Take a lesson. You’ll only need 1 or 2.
- Get out in the water before noon. The surf tends to get rougher in the afternoon.
- Remain calm and breath. A tense paddler will always fall off their board.
- Never look down at the tip of your board. You’ll fall. Look out at the ocean in the direction you’re going.
- When your paddle is in the water it provides stability. If you experience rough water or large swells, just paddle more.
- If you feel like you’re going to lose your balance and fall, kneel down on your board. It lowers your center of gravity and provides stability.
- Always use a leash on your board. If you do fall in (which is really no big deal) you’re attached to a 9 foot flotation device (your board!)
- Relax and enjoy the view above, and also below the surface. It’s a great stress reliever.
How has your summer been? Tell me all about it in the comments.