The Tao Of Paddleboarding

Jimmy Carson demonstrates how paddleboarding is like life on the shores of Roosevelt Lake.

Jimmy Carson demonstrates how paddleboarding is like life on the shores of Roosevelt Lake. Photo by Alexis Bechman. |

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There are several ways to approach paddleboarding for the first time.

You can meekly step on the board, clutching your paddle in a state of panic.

Or you can go at it aggressively, stomping onto the rubber deck and pushing off from shore with force.

Either way, you’re bound to take a fall.

Face it — whether it’s paddleboarding or just life — you’ can’t control the waves or never take a fall. But you can always get back on the board.

Reaching that effortless moment when board and rider glide smoothly over the surface steady thoughts, steady nerves — and one important life tip: Fix your eyes on the horizon, not your feet. At least, that’s the mantra offered by Jimmy Carson of Jimmy’s SUP, Rim Country’s own paddleboard guru.

As first-timers flip and flounder, he patiently explains how to find that center balance and hold the paddle. If you get in trouble or panic, just sit down.

If you fall, getting back up is easy, he says.

Carson’s easygoing and friendly attitude extends to all areas of life. A handyman by trade, Carson likes fixing things, whether it’s a leaky faucet or a lack of confidence.

Raylene Phillips wrote on Payson Marketplace that as a “chubby girl” she worried if the board and her legs would hold up. She also wondered if the sport would hold her husband’s short attention span. Nonetheless, the couple gave it a shot for their anniversary.

“The first two minutes for me were terrifying, the rest of the time was exhilarating,” Phillips said. “It was an incredible combination of adrenaline and serenity.”

The couple liked it so much they purchased their own boards.

So did another rider who said three of the people in their group bought boards after an outing with Carson.

A Tucson couple said they bonded with their son-in-law while learning the sport together.

“(It is the) best way to unwind and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us,” said Debbie Cillitto and Bill Drennan. “Everyone young and old should do this.”

Brenda Murphy of Pine said she was so nervous she paddled on her knees for some time.

“But with Jimmy’s patient instructions, I got up and paddled on,” she wrote.

For more information or to rent a paddleboard, call Jimmy’s Stand Up Paddleboarding at (928) 474-6482.

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