SCUGOG: Jenn Sunnerton’s love for the sport of paddle boarding began after she saw pictures in a magazine and videos of the sport.
“I took an old windsurfer base out and a paddle we had,” she said. “I taught myself the basics and I knew that it was just a beautiful way to get out and enjoy Lake Scugog and that was special and addictive.”
Mrs. Sunnerton decided then that she wanted to share the sport with Scugog residents, so her and her husband Sid founded Port Perry SUP in May of 2014.
“Sid and I got interested in it and thought that it was ridiculous that it was not in Scugog yet,” she said.
Stand Up Paddle boarding involves participants standing on a board thicker than a surfboard, and using a paddle to propel yourself across lakes, rivers or oceans.
Some of the programs Port Perry SUP offers includes an intro to SUP course, as well as chances to practice on the water with their regular paddle sessions. They also do Vinyasa and Yin Yoga on the water.
“Yoga on the board is actually easier than people anticipate. The boards are anchored down and your paddle tucks under an elastic on the board so the only thing you have to worry about is moving thought the postures,” Mrs. Sunnerton said. “The Yin classes are slower and more fluid, based on breath and relaxation, and the Vinyasa class has more movement and flow to it.”
There is also a Board Bootcamp for participants looking to push themselves. Involved is paddling a lap and then doing planks on the board.
Mrs. Sunnerton said that one of the initial obstacles keeping people from participating was the nervousness of a unknown sport.
“That is why we’ve made it our main objective to try and create events where people can come out and surprise themselves and find out how easy this is as a sport,” she said.
The fear for most people is falling in the water, but she added that this fear is pointless.
“Most people don’t fall in on their first lesson,” Mrs. Sunnerton said.”Normally when you do fall in is when you stop paying attention. It’s when they get confident and try to chirp at their friends.”
Port Perry SUP has, in the past, hosted events with the Scugog Memorial Public Library to get others interested, such as participating in the How to in 10 festival. Their next event is a fundraiser relay event known as Take Back the Lake on Saturday, August 15.
Businesses and citizens can create relay teams of four people, and race from Palmer Park playground to the town dock and back. The fee for registering a team is $180.
Each team member who races will be entered to win a Rogue Paddleboard valued at $1,800. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Scugog Lake Stewards. Mrs. Sunnerton added that there is no experience level required to participate in the competition.
Take Back the Lake is similar to an event they held last year known as Paddle of the Businesses. Local business members had a chance to try out the unique sport and race against people from other businesses.
Mrs. Sunnerton said that Stand Up Paddle boarding is great for all types and ages of people.
“We have had five year- olds on the board and we have had 80 year-olds and all have had a wonderful time,” she said.
For more information, and to register for classes or events, people can contact Jenn Sunnerton by email at email@example.com or by phone at 905-244-5366.Port Perry SUP is based at 57 Water St.