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.

Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
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: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor