Friday, July 2nd 2021, 6:01 am - Beat the Canadian heat with a splash in your own backyard! Paddleboarding and kayaking has become a summertime favourite for our very own Mia Gordon.
Kayaks have been used by the Indigenous peoples in the subarctic regions of North America for thousands of years, most commonly for hunting. While the kayak design invented by Aleut, Inuit, and Yup’Ik shares many similarities with modern kayaks, they are distinct from the recreational kayaks and paddleboards often seen being used for summertime adventure and exercise on the water.
Mia Gordon, The Weather Network's Vancouver reporter, has developed a love for the activity while living on the west coast — a dream destination to enjoy open water!
“I got into paddleboarding around five years ago,” she shares. “My first time trying it was actually in Hawaii. I wanted to make sure I was still getting exercise while on vacation, but also really wanted to be out on the water, and I did some research on paddleboarding and realized it was a full-body workout. Now I love being out on the water with my board because it is me-time. The water is just such a calming and relaxing place and I just get to be one with nature and my own breath. A workout and meditation in one.”
If me-time, meditation and a workout all sound like the perfect combination for you, Mia suggests to just have fun with your board and expect to probably fall in the water the first few times.
“It is all about the balance and it might take some time to find the right position on the board. But hey, getting a little splash is also really refreshing on a hot day," she says. "Also, make sure you have your safety gear with you and know your surroundings. While it can be really beautiful to be on the ocean and you might spot some marine life, it can also be dangerous for beginners because of tide changes and strong currents, so it might be best for starters to stick to lakes.”
The kayak will provide a new paddler with a little more stability and likely a lower chance of falling into the water. However, it doesn't matter how strong of a swimmer you may think you are, both activities require a life jacket.
Many Canadians can enjoy paddleboarding through the summer as Canada is home to an abundance of lakes. But for Mia, she prefers the ocean.
“I am so lucky to live in B.C. because there are so many lakes and ocean spots that offer fantastic mountain views. I love going down to Kitsilano beach.”
Since paddleboarding and kayaking can be quite the workout, you should expect to sweat. Keep hydrating through your ride and also make sure you have applied your bug spray. Mosquitoes are drawn to body heat and lactic acid. So that means your perfect paddle could turn a little pesky once bugs spot you.
A product like OFF! Active® is perfect for your paddling adventures. It's great for the whole family, lasts up to eight hours and is easily portable.
Sunscreen, a hat, and water bottles are also a must-have when exploring the open waters.