Learning to Walk on Water | 18th July 2011 | 14:02 PDT

Now, I don't like the ocean, it's full of "things" like sharks, killer whales, jellyfish, giant octopus, a half floating/half swimming zombified corpse of Jack Dawson. It's really really cold and it's really really salty - these are the primary reasons why I tend to avoid it, if at all possible. English Bay in Vancouver is different, it's more like a mirror lake that happens to be tidal and has a few floating cargo ships in it.

So, I thought I'd do some kayaking, because it's generally cool, you instantly get transformed from ordinary mortal to being a The Fonz of crusty seadogs. You get to sit down and you're at the water's surface cruising along with your sunnies on, one arm rows you along as the other elbow resting on one side of the boat waving at whoever happens to be there, your hydraulic hull jumping you up and down in the water.

But, I couldn't do kayaking, it was expensive and mainly I had to do some bloody lame courses to get a certificate to prove you know how not to drown if you get capsized. I know how not to drown - don't breathe underwater and don't get capsized in the first place! I had another option though, it was cheaper, less hassle and allowed me to do it every day for 2 hours for the duration of my stay. This option was, Stand Up Paddling, which is a big surfboard with a paddle, that's it.

My stunt double while I'm busy on the beach (via  howtostanduppaddlesurf.com)

Launching from the beach on my knees on a board the size of an ocean liner. There are no waves here, so gaining enough courage to go for The Stand... Huh... That was easy, paddling around - along the beach front and getting used to this bizarre reality I'm standing up on water on this piece of foam that seems to defy the laws of physics, that it just doesn't topple over and snap in half.

Thankfully it doesn't, instead I feel relaxed as I push myself over the water, calming gliding watching people, watching me, there are no noises except the gentle tapping of water underneath you and that's it. Brilliantly calming. On that basis alone, that is why on Earth I jumped two feet head first and bought an annual pass of Stand Up Paddling after only doing an hour of it.

It also turns out, it's a great work out for your upper body working your core muscles and aiding balance, and can burn anywhere between 600-800 calories per hour, the equivalent of doing long distance running without the impact and more of a full body workout - awesome, going to come back from Canada with a beach body just in time for Winter.

An artistic impression of how I will look like upon my return (via popstarsplus.com)

Subnote: Stand Up Paddling, is also known as, Paddle Boarding or Stand Up Paddle Boarding. I think they're both shit names as they're such a mouthful, it's like if you called phoned up a friend for a quick game of "Two Roomed People Bat and Hit Balling" (Squash). I personally think it should be called Soarfing, as you are on a surfboard with an oar.

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