Introducing… PaddleAway.today

Tell us a bit more about PaddleAway.today…

PaddleAway.today is a paddle boarding school where we teach people of all ages how to SUP. Although our main focus besides the teaching part is on the health benefits that SUP can provide. The beauty is that there is no age restriction to paddle boarding. People of all ages can benefit from SUP. That is what makes this sport so special and why we are passionate about getting people out on the water.

This will be our first year running our SUPkids programs. We are currently talking to local organizations who are assisting children coming from a troubled background, to have them join a SUPkids Summer Camp. It will help them relieve some of the stress they encounter on a daily basis. The environmental aspect is a great fit. Educating these children on something that significant will focus them on being a part of the solution, which in return will make them feel important. We hope that this will impact their lives for the better.

What does a typical day look like for you guys…

We start the day with… coffee! 😂 And checking the weather … Then we’re getting our gear ready, our schedules checked and we’ll have a quick team meeting. Other than that we don’t have a typical day. Every day is different and we adjust it accordingly. That is what makes it so much fun.

What’s the water temperature over there right now? (26th June 2018)

The lake is glacier fed. The water temperature varies depending on which side you are. Where the water flows into the lake the water temperature can be around 13-15 C during the summer. The majority of the lake has summer temperatures in the 20-22 C range. Closer to the shallow parts water temperatures can get into the mid 20s C. It is not uncommon to still be paddling or enjoying any other water sport as late as Remembrance Day.

Do you have many problems regarding ocean plastics where you paddle?

Fortunately, we don’t encounter too many problems. That doesn’t mean to say that we don’t have any pollution happening. During the summer you do notice empty bottles, cans, wrappers and other things that are left behind by visitors. Not so much in and around the lake but more along the rivers.

Do you give back to your local community? If so, what do you do?

We live in a small lake side community and besides our SUPkids summer camps, we also run a Paddle Club for paddle boarders and kayakers of any age. Non-community members are welcome to join us every Saturday morning when we get together to go out on the water and clean up any litter that is left behind by visitors.

We know that you love the ocean and are super passionate about taking care of it, what types of activities do you get up to in order to keep your oceans clean and protected?

Change starts with yourself first, we have to be an example for others. We don’t use single-use plastics, we spread the word and raise awareness. We also wear paddle clothes made of plastic bottles to show people what can be done if we recycle properly.

What are the typical marine animals that you come across in Ghost Lake?

Ghost Lake has a variety of fish; Mountain Whitefish, Lake Whitefish, Lake Trout and Brown Trout. Although they are not marine animals, you can encounter eagles flying over when you’re paddling, deer walking by, hear coyotes howling and we even have bears and red foxes visiting the area.

Tell us your top 3 tips for anyone learning to SUP…

Often paddle boarding is under estimated. People buy a board before trying it out first. We would recommend to…

1: Try it out before you buy… Take an introduction lesson or ask a friend to borrow their board and give it a swirl first.

2:  Take some lessons. This will help you learn paddling the proper way and avoid injuries in the long run. It will also give you the opportunity to try some different boards to see what type of board would fit you best.

3:  We can’t stress enough how important safety is. The water in your area might be calm but there will come a day that you’re paddling somewhere else where you have to deal with different currents and weather conditions. So when you’re learning how to paddle board, water safety and knowing the different types of water and their challenges should be your number one lesson.

Name the top 5 things you pack for every SUP?

We’ve got our SUP bag ready to go. It contains everything we need to bring with us:

– Throw ropes
– PFD’s with whistles
– Ankle leashes
– Extra fins
– Phone for emergencies- dry clothes, snacks and water bottle… and a whole bunch of other things…

What do you love most about SUP’ing?

We love everything about it. Being on the water gives us that pure bliss feeling. Whether we’re training, giving lessons or enjoying some family time paddling. Those are the moments of stress relief.

What is the weather like for you in winter? Are you able to get in the water?

Our lakes are frozen during the winter. Even if we can get out the water, the temperature is really cold. But as long as the water is liquid, if you’re well prepared and dressed properly you can still go out for a paddle.

Where has been your favourite place to SUP?

We don’t have one favourite place to SUP. We like to paddle wherever we are. Each location has its specialities, its pro’s and con’s. We love paddling in the Netherlands where we’re from, catch a wave in a tropical place like Mexico or Costa Rica or paddle one of our beautiful emerald lakes here in Canada. We’re fortunate to be able to live and work where we are. Even though it’s only 30 min from Calgary, it feels like you’re in the midst of the Rockies. And on a windy day we can even do a small down winder.

What’s your favourite non-SUP related activity in Ghost Lake?

If we’re not paddling, then we can go for a swim, play tennis or a game of beach volleyball. We also love chilling at the lake while enjoying the view and looking at the sail boats coming by.

If you don’t paddle in the winter, what other activities do you get up to?

We all love to go skiing, snowboarding and skating. And to stay in ‘paddle shape’ we are doing SurfSet fitness a couple times a week.

How do you feel that Paddle Boarding can help with peoples health?

We started PaddleAway.today with the idea of not only teaching children and younger people paddle boarding, but also getting adults of 55 and up out on a board and away from a computer. Stress levels vary from person to person, but physical activity and a healthy environment are proven to help people in all cases. The combination of being physically active while ‘floating’ on the water reduces stress levels and provide a workout at the same time. Yes, you can say that we’re big believers in the positive affect paddle boarding can have on peoples health at any age.

We recently changed our tagline to emphasize that even more:

We saw some pictures of you out SUP’ing with your pup, do you go on many adventures together?

We got our little rescue dog about 2.5 years ago. She comes with us on adventures most of the time and will sit on the nose of our board. She really had to get used to it at first but now she’s comfortable and loves coming with us. If all kids are comfortable with having a dog around them, then we will even bring her with us when we have a SUPkids camp. She loves kids and especially all the attention they give her. 😉