Sunset SUP - Is there anything better?

As I hit the road with my board strapped to my truck, I roll down the window and breathe in the fragrant evening air. I run through the mental checklist of the day's "to-do" list and although I forgot dog shampoo and greens for tomorrow's smoothie, I was pretty darn satisfied with the day's accomplishments. Time to head for a nice sunset SUP sesh.

Pulling up to one of my favorite spots, I can see the warm day has left some wind on the water and I was excited by the added workout potential. I changed my clothes & unloaded my 12"6 board while listening to DMB, setting a good mood for my paddle. I believe the vibe you bring to the water's edge is powerful, so set yourself in a great state of mind to start a paddle right.

Lock my truck - check.  
Keys tied to my shorts - check.
(Hmmmm ... should have done that in the opposite order but, phew, all good!

With paddle in one hand, and board balanced on my head with the other I walk down to water's edge with a smile and a bit of a strut. 45 minutes to sunset, stoked.

Sunset SUP Paddle Session

I set my board and paddle down and step into the liquid just ankle deep. Look at all this beauty. The wind dances across the water as the sun starts to lower toward the horizon. Birds are cruising above the waves and there is a faint sound of laughter in the distance. Time to paddle.

I push my board out and get a two-step running jump onto it. I reach out and gently place my paddle in and we're off. These moment are timeless and it transcends me in my solitude. Although there are many moments I share with others, among my favorite moments are sharing precious patches of water time with close, cherished, friends. Tonight, that means living the moment in the presence of my big brother.

I set my course and start to soften my gaze at the things around me and slowly try to release from my 'logical-rational-always-go' mind. Within a few minutes I have dropped mostly out of my mind, and now become present to observe. My body moves fluidly, with a rhythm that feels quite instinctive and natural. I watch the surging bow wake of my board create clear ripples and a soothing sound.

As the sun draws deeper toward the horizon, I can see the reflection on certain buildings in the distance that have just the right angle to them. It's a bold, golden orange glow that shines just for a few moments until the sun is out of position. I can still see fish around me as I glide above, observing their dinner time displays. The circle of life is amazing. A big smile and a wave to a fellow paddler passing the opposite direction. Ya, they totally get it. And with just a little light left, I practice a few sprints and buoy turns between two perfectly placed 5mph markers.

Sunset SUP Paddle Session

The moment the sun sets on the water is one of pure bliss and rapture. Words will rarely do it the justice it deserves. However,  I can only imagine if John Muir were to explore the water on a SUP at sunset how he may bring it to life with a profound jubilance.  Either way I’m sure you know the bright red, orange and purple clouds accenting the sky I speak of. Personally, I seem to lose awareness of my separate existence in these moments and blend into the kaleidoscope landscape of nature's collective presence. The day has a rhythm to it, and this moment is significant to me as it transitions me from day to night with an ease.

I soak it all in, every breath of bonfire air, every little sound of nature, every twinkle of light, grateful for the day, as I paddle back to the truck on a fresh layer of evening glass kept company by my feeling of sunset satisfaction, and the occasional fish making a splash near my board as I glide along feeling like I'm walking on water.

[Photo Credit: Elite Paddle Training]

Cali Paddler Team Writer Greg Gagnon

Team Writer Greggy - Growing up in San Diego was a gift to a guy like Greg. The son of an avid California Fisherman, Greg spent his youth infatuated with sharks, building skimboards for his high-school buddies, boating, and spearfishing in the Pacific. His connection to the water has always been what made him live as natural as possible. Calm. Centered. Barefoot. And free. Paddling brought a whole new dimension to his love of water and connection to nature.

Always excited to connect with others, Greg wants to bring people into the sports of paddling to connect and share and experience and explore as one big tribe! Liquid Unites Us !

If you have an idea for Greg to write about or any questions, send it our way and we will pass it along!

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