STAND-UP PADDLEBOARD IN THE TOWNSHIPS: PURE BLISS!
When someone suggested I write about a sport a person could practice in the region during the summer months, the choice was easy. With its majestic waterways and enchanting landscape, the Eastern Townships’ region has an abundance of places to do some paddleboarding, a growingly popular sport in the province of Québec.
But what exactly is paddleboarding? Also known by such names as SUP (Stand Up Paddle) or paddleboard, this sport is the forerunner of modern surfing, as we know it. And doing this sport is as easy as it gets. All you have to do is paddle while you’re standing on the board, and indulge yourself in the pleasures of nature that surrounds you.
If you already own a paddleboard, you’ll be able to enjoy the assorted benefits of this water-sport activity on one of the many lakes in Brome-Missisquoi (Brome Lake, Lac Davignon, Missisquoi River, Quilliams natural reserve, etc.). But if you’d like to find out what stand-up paddleboarding is all about without having to spend the full amount of money, here are a few places where you can rent paddleboards, register for lessons and fall in love with this activity.
For the purposes of this article, I chose the charming site of Spa Balnéa in Bromont for a session on Lac Gale. In collaboration with POP Spirit, the spa offers two courses for the curious and the regular practitioners of the sport: SUP Yoga and SUP Tonus.
Since I’ve been practicing the sport for the last two summers, I decided to take a SUP Yoga course, a matter of testing my skills on a paddleboard. If you think paddleboarding isn’t a demanding sport, you’re badly mistaken. Combine yoga positions with the balance you need to stay standing on the paddleboard, and I guarantee you’ll discover muscles you never thought you had.
It was a sunny day and the water was warm when I took my SUP Yoga lesson. Now, is that total joy, or what! My surfing cohorts were very friendly and our instructor was jovial. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I felt reinvigorated after this hour of pure pleasure: the ideal activity to wind down and relax. The height of zen. And while you’re at Balnéa, I highly recommend you try the thermal experience and partake of the fine dining at the Lumami restaurant. Your body and your taste buds will be most appreciative. Expect to pay about $20 for the lesson.
Located at the Knowlton Marina and headed by two avid surfing enthusiasts – Vincent Dion and Louis-Phylippe Racine – the company offers the opportunity to rent paddleboards or take a SUP Yoga or SUP Fitness lesson. Expect to pay about $60 for a two-hour introductory course and from $10 to $35 for the rental of a paddleboard.
AU DIABLE VERT
Not only is this an idyllic and bucolic camping spot for romantic couples, families or with friends, you can also rent paddleboards for an outing on the Missisquoi River. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy the great outdoors. Expect to pay $25 for a 2h paddleboard rental, $40 for 4h.