Fitness: Stand-up Paddleboarding; ruinously expensive cycling kit; Oakley Airwave 1.5 goggles

 

Join the club

By Oscar Quine

Bring a salt-flecked touch of the Hawaiian surf to your workout. Over the past decade, Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP), has ridden a wave from the beaches of Honolulu to the brink of global-phenomenon status. Whether it's admiring Brighton's derelict West Pier from wave-level, scooting down the River Thames, or taking in the ruggedness of a Scottish loch, SUP is fast taking root across the UK. And, if you have decent balance, you don't even have to get wet.

Legendary surfers Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama developed the sport on the beaches of America's 50th state. In an example of shockingly slow human evolution, before their first efforts in the early Noughties, apparently no one had ever thought to stand up on a board floating on water and propel themselves forward with an extra-long oar.

Despite this delay, ease of learning is cited as one of the reasons for SUP's success. Paul Hyman, founder of Active360, which has been promoting the sport in the UK since 2011, says people often complete four-mile journeys on their first lesson. "From there, you can learn to race, do long-distance, or white water. There's an easy, low-end learning curve and it's a generic sport: you can take it in any direction."

The sport has plenty of positives to tempt the newcomer. Unlike surfing, you don't need decent waves. "If waves are pretty rubbish, you can still catch one under a metre," Hyman says. There's more of a sense of safety than with kayaking, with which there is the potential to get stuck after capsizing, and other than an initial outlay of £600-£2,500 (depending on which board you choose), costs are minimal.

Your new fitness regime will also offer an excellent excuse to visit exotic locations – the Cornish coast, the ice caps of Greenland and the sun-drenched beaches of eastern India all being locations for Active360 group expeditions. And while you're taking in the surroundings, you're doing your physique a whole lot of good, with SUP being renowned for the magic it works on the core muscles. "You get a whole body workout," says Hyman. "It's like going to the gym for a couple of hours, but not feeling like you are and without getting bored. You come back in a much more relaxed and sociable mood."

Cheapskate's version: Grab an old door and a big stick and get down the canal.

The bicyclist: Get shirty

By Simon Usborne

After a big summer of cycling, which may yet give way to a winter of cake and weight gain, it's a wonder I have not been forced to sell the laptop on which I'm writing, as well as my shoes and a less favoured family member, just to finance the habit the sport can become.

Sure, riding is about escape and joy, but increasingly also ruinously nice gear. I recently met a man whose £15,000 bike had carbon wheels worth £4,000 and weighed a little over five kilos – illegal in pro racing. Lifting it was like picking up a chair in space. Premium Swiss brand Assos meanwhile have launched a pair of bibshorts that costs more than £300. They include a genital pouch inexplicably called a 'KuKu Penthouse'.

Now, nobody needs a penis pocket and, while I find nicer gear enhances my enjoyment of cycling (you notice it less), I'm always pleased to see the cyclist who rejects it all for a tatty team jersey from the 1970s and an old Carradice saddlebag.

Otherwise, even the daily commute can become a trade fair as riders spy upgrades they don't need. I'm a sucker for it all, but thankfully this year have limited my splurging to one item that cost me just £13 (it's too geeky to name). So long live my laptop – and my cousin, Jack (sorry Jack).

Takin' it easy: 'Stand on the right'

By Larry Ryan

I'm going on holiday and in the airport you can be sure I'll be stationary on the travelator. I'm not using my legs when something else can do the walking for me. The same goes for Tube escalators: why stomp down on the left side when you can stick it in neutral and stand on the right? And don't you ever, ever, ever, dare run for a bus. No time saved is as good as takin' it easy feels.

Modern gym rules: Praise

General compliments are fine ("You've lost weight") but never mention specific body parts ("Nice thigh tone!")

Fit kit: Oakley Airwave 1.5 goggles, £520

Clear a path on the piste with goggles that scream 'Get outta my way' by donning the Oakley Airwave 1.5s. With built-in GPS, Bluetooth, maps, playlist control and so much more, you'll be the coolest cyborg-cum-skier in Chamonix.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

    £65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

    Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

    £27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick