Challenge by Choice

Paddle Boarding on the Bay with REI & SCA

SCA Alumni Council Leah Duran (pictured below) writes about the REI-led stand-up paddle boarding class recently held at Richmond Marina in the Bay Area exclusively for SCA alums. second course will be held this Friday, 7/25 in Redwood City. You probably also want to join us for a free bike maintenance class on August 12th in Berkeley. More details here.

On a windy July night, seven SCA alumni met at the Richmond Marina for a three-hour stand-up paddle boarding class hosted by the SCA and REI. Even before we learned how to hold a paddle, our instructors thanked us for being a part of this experience without knowing what to expect. After putting on wetsuits and learning a few techniques, we carried our heavy boards to the water.

Our instructors emphasized “challenge by choice” and encouraged us to fall and get wet. Why not? After a planned fall, the water became less of an obstacle, and I could focus on trying different stances and strokes.

While most of us had never been paddle boarding before, any physical activity that promotes body awareness helps you to be more stable. When rising up slowly from a kneeling position to stand on the board, I was reminded of yoga.

For our final activity, we paddled to Rosie the Riveter Memorial in Marina Bay Park, part of the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park. There, we learned how female shipbuilders helped pave the way for women’s civil rights.

As the sun set, we paddled back to land, trading our soaking wetsuits for warm clothes. At a nearby waterfront restaurant, we enjoyed appetizers with our newfound friends and a beautiful view of the marina where we were just paddling.

Program