Deb Jones never intended to get into Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP).
In fact, one of the first thing she mentioned when she visited Pro Paddle at the Mackay Harbour to sign her daughter up for a beginners class was: “I don’t do the ocean”.
Deb’s strong reaction to the ocean started after a traumatic sting from a jelly fish on the Gold Coast as a child. Deb quickly developed a fear of the ocean and simply stayed out of it from that point on.
But on this particular day at Pro Paddle, Deb had no choice – Brooklyn was only 12 and needed to be accompanied by a parent to complete the class so she had to ‘do the ocean’.
It was a turning point for Deb and a moment that Chrissy at Pro Paddle lives for – a chance to help someone overcome their fears and share her deep intense love of the ocean.
Deb and her daughter Brooklyn on their weekend ritual at the Harbour
How did SUP develop for you once you bought a board?
My daughter Brooklyn has a passion for the water and after the beginners SUP lesson at the Harbour, we were both hooked. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought despite it being stinger season and a huge jelly going under my board during the lesson!
Brooklyn and I found something we enjoyed doing together and this became our 'thing'. We had friends come and try it too and this then turned into our Saturday SUP "Date". We do coffee and SUP to forget the week that was and refresh on the weekend. It's a great way to be active without the grind of a gym or hitting the pavement.
After loosing a close friend and realizing how short life is, we thought it's worth investing in activities you love - so now it's a part of our life.
You say you ‘don’t do oceans’ – what helped you overcome that fear?
Being on a SUP board is way outside of my comfort zone but Chrissy from Pro Paddle has this way of making you forget your fears, she instills confidence in you which allows you just to enjoy the water.
I started doing Chrissy's Power paddle class which is a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session on a paddle board. I've been able to paddle further along the Marina wall than I ever thought possible and it's all thanks to Chrissy. She lives to see people enjoying the water and if it wasn't for incredible guidance, I don't think I would have taken up SUP in the first place.
A truth for Deb and many people who enjoy SUP
What would you say to someone who says to you they don’t like the water?
I would say just give it a go - you may surprise yourself and under the right guidance, anything is possible. I have done a few things in life that are outside of my comfort zone and it's all thanks to surrounding myself with people who believed in me. Life is for living so give things a go is my advise.
What’s so great about SUP?
SUP lets you escape form the everyday stuff. I have a quote on my phone "Everything changes when your board its the water" and its true. You get out there and enjoy the moment for what it is. I find it's a de-stress activity. I soon forget about all the 'junk' going on in my head and just chill.
The regular weekend SUP 'date' at the Mackay Harbour
Deb hits the water most weekends
What’s next for you in SUP?
The first thing is to conquer the wall at the Marina. My SUP friend always gives me a hard time about staying in the Marina (this is my comfort zone)! I'm also planning on participating in the Whitsunday Challenge next year. I'm keen to discover some more water ways around the area too!