Fitness Friday: Colors of the Fin

Stand-up paddle board workouts

You never choose the smoothest course. Not when you’re so curious to see what’s around the riverbend—er, the bay. You and Pocahontas seriously must share a spirit animal because you, too, go where the wind takes you. If only you had her rockin’ bod. Time for some New World cardio.

We’re fresh out of Virginian estuaries and canoes, but you can paddle your way beyond the shore a la the Native American princess on the stand-up paddle boards we tried from Paddle Core Fitness, voted Best Stand-Up Paddling Lessons in our Best of Honolulu roundup for 2009.

Just get ready to wipe out now and then. Trust us: It comes with the territory.

What it is:

Paddle Core Fitness incorporates low-impact core strengthening and cardio moves into challenging paddling fitness programs. Advanced and beginner options are available. From Magic Island, we coasted down the beach on a buoy course with strokes designed to work obliques, stroke/squat combos and even on-board burpees!

Our reaction:

“Wait, we’re paddling all the way over there? I think that grandma just passed us.”

Sweat meter:

Let’s just say we were thoroughly salty. After a busy day at work, we rushed over with no water on an empty stomach. Add to that the glare of the setting sun and choppy waves, and we weren’t just exhausted, hungry and thirsty—we were a wee bit nauseous. But the course is designed to let paddlers go at their own speeds, incorporating the core workout moves for as many laps as they can. For us, that started off being not a lot.

By the third class, we were enjoying the mix of moves, feeling the post-workout ache in our abs, and getting better at keeping up with the others. A little.


  • Give it time. You’ll feel like a savage at first, but after a few tries, you’ll get a better grip on the board, a better feel for the waves, and a better set of muscles to spur you along.

  • Don’t stress about not being in the front of the line—push yourself to your own standards and you’re sure to improve.

  • Drink water beforehand and maybe bring sunglasses. It gets hot.

  • You can’t beat the view. We will definitely be going back.

Group and individual rates available. All sessions include equipment and 50 minutes of instruction. Visit for more information.