The first time I went paddle boarding was in the warm water off the Big Island. Dolphins played in the distance as I soaked up the sun on the water with my husband. From that point on, I was hooked. I needed to bring this feeling home to Alaska with me.
After lots of research, I finally picked the perfect board for my adventures in Alaska—it’s made in the USA by Bounce SUP, and is a durable creation of epoxy infused with plastic. It’s perfect for beach landings and is super stable for my favorite tiny guest, my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. I had no idea how much this board would elevate my love of adventure: it’s like combining my love of backcountry skiing with kayaking.
My adrenaline was rushing as I prepared for my first paddle. We anchored our sailboat off the coast of one of our favorite beaches in Kachemak Bay. The water was perfect glass and the early Alaska sun was already hot. My husband was going to watch the kids and was prepared to come rescue me with the dingy if I fell in—which I was expecting to. I decided not to wear a wetsuit because I just wanted to see how it felt first—just a few minutes on the board to test its stability and my balance after just having my second babe. My legs were wobbly as I stepped from the boat onto the board, and slowly dipped my paddle into the water.
It’s like I had stepped on top of the water. I felt so calm and at ease, so comfortable. I cruised over to the coast, looking at the rock formations in a whole new way because of the solitude and silence I had. No kids. No wind in the sails. Just me and the beauty of Kachemak Bay. As I watched otters play and dive for food, I could hear the sounds of the ocean that you really only notice when you’re so intimately connected to it. Over an hour passed, and I paddled back to the boat, refreshed and rejuvenated. This was my new passion.
We’ve been spending hours after work exploring the lakes of Anchorage. My daughter, Amelia, tells strangers that she is going paddle boarding and I love the reaction on their faces. She sits on the board with her legs dangling over the edge. We watch families of ducks, the eagles flying above, and momma moose tending to their new babies on the edge of the lake. When it’s warm enough Amelia plays on the beach and swims – it reminds me of the fresh water ponds I played in when I was little. Paddle boarding is such an intimate way to experience Alaska waters—and I hope you get to try it soon, too.