It’s official. Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is awesome! A come n try session run by Surfing Victoria last Friday proved extremely popular with around 20 women from Coronet Bay, Corinella, Wonthaggi and parts of Phillip Island, all turning up to have a go and leaving with the thirst for more.

The session was organise through GippSport in partnership with Surfing Victoria as part of the series of events titled new Stand Up Paddleboard Program for Females, Coasting. Both organisations are funded by VicHealth to increase physical activity for females as research shows women are generally less active than men, particularly when it comes to participating in organised sport.

Coronet Bay resident Christina Keeble was instrumental in promoting the program through the Facebook group Paddle Boarding Mums & Ladies of Bass Valley and has a longer term vision. “It was great to get out in the water and have a go, it may have triggered an addiction. Today was about seeing what local interest there was and then try and set up a regular group. The response has been fantastic so far.”

The interest has certainly been huge. 120 people liked the page and 31 had registered for Friday’s session. Unfortunately, dealing with the sea isn’t always predictable and gale force westerly winds caused the location to be changed that morning from Coronet Bay to Cape Wollamai.

GippSport Program Coordinator Gene Parini was rapt with the response. “To get 20 participants turn up despite the inclement weather and late venue change shows the real interest in the sport. I’m really looking forward to working with the group to establish something more regular for this group of women.”

The Stand Up Paddleboard Program for Females, Coasting, aims to increase the number of women who are physically active through Stand Up Paddleboarding. Stand Up Paddle surfboards are much longer, wider and more buoyant than ‘normal’ surfboards, allowing you to effortlessly balance on them and propel yourself along the water with the paddle. (SUP) is a relaxing, low impact and easy to learn activity that is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors and water.

Part of VicHealth’s Changing the Game: Increasing Female Participating in Sport, Coasting has been specifically designed for women and provides a fun, social and flexible way for women and girls to become more active through sport.

Surfing Victoria’s SUP Program Manager Heath Meldrum is having a ball running the sessions across the state. “It’s lots of fun. It’s a low impact sport and a great introduction to boarding. The reaction has been extremely positive.”

If you are interested to get involved with the local group you can join the facebook group by clicking here or contact Gene Parini at GippSport or on 0428 358 335 for more information.