Apparently effortlessly Beat Conrad draws the paddle through the water and glides standing up on a surfboard over Lake Davos. The lake is as flat as a mirror in the early morning. It is written all over Conrad’s face that the new stand-up paddling trend is massive fun. And no wonder: the conditions here are amazing. A hang-loose feeling, just like in Hawaii.
Talking about Hawaii, SUP was inspired, among other things, by Polynesian fishermen, who went out hunting standing in their canoes. “The indigenous people of Hawaii also travelled around on floating boards,” adds Beat Conrad, who manages the Surf Centre at Lake Davos. But only one person had the privilege of paddling standing up: the king. Today guests in Davos Klosters can also feel a little ‘majestic’ as they glide silently over the surface of the water on a SUP board. And with good reason: “You have such an amazing view of the underwater world, the shore and the surrounding mountains,”says Conrad, explaining his fascination for this sport, and continues: “It’s like meditative surfing.”
Stand-up paddling is easy to learn, but a private lesson is still worthwhile to learn the basics. “You have to be able to swim but you don’t need to know how to row or surf. Simply stand up on the board and point your toes towards the end of the board. Then hold the T-piece at the top of the paddle with one hand, while using your other hand to hold the shaft. Then use it alternately to make paddle movements on the right and left of the board – you move forward effortlessly,” Conrad demonstrates. His eyes light up. And the best thing of all is that it really does not matter how old or fit you are. Everyone chooses the speed that want to move at and takes a break whenever they need to. A lot of different muscles are used in stand-up paddling: from the feet to the thighs, torso and arms right to the very tips of your fingers. In short, it represents great fitness training, which celebrity beauties, such as Cindy Crawford, Eva Longoria and Alessandra Ambrosio, have also discovered. “So have a great time,” says Conrad and paddles off at a leisurely pace towards the centre of the lake.
If we’ve whetted your appetite to try out stand-up paddling in Davos, head straight for the Lake Davos Surf Centre. It offers a range of taster courses, individual and group lessons as well as the hire of SUP boards and paddles. The SUP season runs from mid June to September.