Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Stand Up Paddle Boarding at West Edmonton Mall

Earlier this year Chrissy found a cool promotion hosted by the local sports shop The Easy Rider - a stand up paddle boarding demonstration at West Edmonton Mall.

For the ridiculously cheap price of $10 each Chrissy and myself signed up for a 2 hour lesson and free time to try multiple paddle boards in the wave pool of the big mall. Easiest decision we ever made!

After an informative 10 minute lesson we got on our boards and headed out in a circle around the pool.

Chrissy and I were surprised just how easy it was to get up and going on the calm waters. We both started on our knees and within the first 10 seconds we were fully standing with no issues.

A couple things of note.

  • The staff of the The Easy Rider were remarkably cool and extremely helpful. 
  • The wave pool was left as just a pool for us beginners. At the end they did turn on the waves but it was just for the experienced The Easy Rider staff.
  • I had no idea that so many of the paddle boards were actually inflatable. When we arrived we were surprised to see the staff operating hand pumps during the set-up.
  • We were encouraged to try out all of the boards. Now, obviously the shape of a board will affect its ride but I didn't expect the riding experience to be so specific to the shape.
  • Going straight is easy. Turning was a bit of learning curve but we started to get the hang of it well near the end.
  • I think I fell a couple of times but it was mostly when I was trying something new/different and hitting the water wasn't seen as too bad of an option (it got a little warm...).
I would highly recommend folks in Edmonton keep an eye on The Easy Rider website or give them a call to learn when their next demonstration night is.  I know at our next 'beach vacation' Chrissy and I will be trying it again on open water.

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