I first learned about stand up paddling from social media of people living overseas. At the moment, I thought, “Wow that looks cool and seems like an easy and fun activity to do!” It was almost seven months ago when I had my first experience trying stand up paddling at a tranquil lake in Shah Alam and I still miss the experience — thus writing this down the memory lane.
It was mid-March. My ex-boss learned about this stand up paddling lesson at Tasik Rimba Bayu in Shah Alam (dubbed Mirror Lake by the local hikers). She was signing up for her family of four and graciously invited us to join her private group lesson (up to six pax). So glad we joined because we had so much fun!
We met up with the instructors by the lake at 8.30am for our 2-hour lesson. They are SUP enthusiasts who started this hobby club: https://www.facebook.com/supclubmy/. The original intention was to connect with other SUP enthusiasts in Malaysia. They then started offering beginner lesson upon request. I liked how they started and evolved because you can really feel their passion for the sport when they guided us on the basics of stand up paddling, first on ground then on water.
On ground, we learned all about the equipment, which were provided as part of the lesson. We also learned about where and how to sit and stand on the paddle board, in addition to how to hold the paddle. Done with the short “theory” session, we hopped on the paddle board and got pushed out into the lake.
On water, right after we figured out how to stand up on the paddle board, we were taught the most important skill: survival skill. The instructor demonstrated how to get back up on the board after falling into water and got each of us to repeat after him. Talk about safety first!
Now that we were all wet and not afraid about falling into water (maybe not 100% yet), we learned to paddle! We paddled forward and backwards. We paddled in big loop and small loop. At this point, I was excited and happy already (minus the slight fear of falling) because I felt like I was getting a grip of it and could now explore the entire lake!
While I was smiling silly exploring on my own paddle board, I realized the instructor was giving RK private lesson on how to go faster 🤨. Looks like even the instructor could tell his boy had a strong need for speed, not just on the road but on a paddle board as well. Oh well. What’s the worst that can happen here? He’d just fall into the water, which he did several times because he was fooling around and was careless 🤣.
I didn’t have my watch with me so I didn’t know how long we were paddling when the instructors asked us to head to the other end of the lake where it’s more challenging. There were trees sticking out from the water so it was like an obstacle course where we were tested on our skills to control speed and navigate around. On top of that, it was windy at that side of the lake so we surely had to pay attention. Other than the fear of accidentally scratching the paddle boards, it was a fun challenge.
Moreover, we were rewarded at the end of the “obstacle course” with a dip in the lake!
By then, I only fell into the water once for that survival skill training with 100% attention focused on getting myself back up on the board. I didn’t realize the lake water was actually pretty chilling and was such a great dip! I absolutely loved just floating in the water (we had our life jackets on). It felt incredibly blissful. And I was in disbelief that I was in Malaysia. Erm. Let’s be honest. My impression of lake in Malaysia is one with murky water, crocodiles, rubbish and pesky bugs.
Tasik Rimba Bayu was the complete opposite of that impression. And that’s one of the major reasons the experience was so magical. The lake was absolutely breathtaking! Many hikers take the Bukit Sapu Tangan trail to the lake! I can understand why they find it so rewarding; even though I have to say they probably enjoy it more without us in the water so that they can feast their eyes on the reflective lake (it’s called Mirror Lake, remember?).
To sum up my first stand up paddling in Shah Alam, I love that it’s a sport that engages a lot of core muscles without being too vigorous, it’s relaxing yet comes with a little adrenaline and it’s done on such beautiful lake that we could swim in. It felt like a vacation 😍.
In the COVID-19 age, stand up paddling makes a good fitness activity as social distancing is given.
I can’t wait to do it again!
If you’d like to try it out, feel free to contact SUP Club MY on their Facebook Page. I’m not sure about the rates now. It was RM100/adult for a 2-hour beginner lesson with equipment provided in March 2020.
P/s Photo credit to SUP Club MY. They took great photos, didn’t they? 😊