Paddleboarding in Dubai

Stand-up paddleboarding meets circuit training in new fitness craze


Like SUP and love circuit training? A brand new class combines both on the beach. Kelly Crane discovers PaddleFIT.

In typical Dubai style, when it comes to exercise, the fitness fraternity is always looking for bigger, better and most importantly, something new.

While Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP as it’s far more commonly known by water lovers) has been floating around for a number of years now, PaddleFIT has just been born.

Imagine a good SUP session followed by a gruelling hour of boot camp and, if you’re brave enough, you have PaddleFIT. Two workouts for the price of one, PaddleFIT certainly is not for the faint-hearted, and it couldn’t utilise more muscles if it tried.

Surfers and kitesurfers are some of the fittest sportsmen and women on the planet, thanks to the natural cardio and core workout offered by the sports they enjoy daily. SUP is no exception and is a hardcore workout – if you want it to be.

In a nutshell, it hurts. However the good news is the calorie burn is upwards of 900. Plus you’ll be hard pushed to find a better view whilst doing a workout anywhere in Dubai.

Forget being cooped-up in a gym surrounded by buff neighbours in questionable shorts or being constricted by weights, PaddleFIT is a circuit-style beach workout incorporating all the fun of SUP.

The brainchild of fitness entrepreneur Corey Oliver, founder of both Oceanman UAE and the Original Fitness Company (OFC), PaddleFIT is taking the UAE by storm and it’s not exactly difficult to see why.

‘SUP is a full-body workout all on its own,’ says the former military physical education trainer. ‘You have to use every muscle to stay on the board and propel yourself through the water. But it’s enjoyable too. You’re on the ocean surrounded by nature while getting a workout. There’s no better way.’

But in a bid to offer customers a second workout, Oliver devised a clever amalgamation of his successful boot camp sessions and SUP.

‘It takes things to the next level,’ he says. ‘That’s important when it comes to exercise as people are always looking to push themselves.’

Ocean current, obstacles and a sprint route are explained during the quick briefing and warm up to prepare you for the onslaught.

Banish the idea of gliding across calm water. Expect sand in places you though it impossible to reach and a face full of water. Combine a sprint SUP with an on-the-sand fitness circuit including the famous OFC burpees, sprints, push ups, prisoner lunges, squat jumps and sit ups and you’ve essentially got SUP fitness – and possibly a death wish.

But don’t be put off, says Oliver. ‘As with all our workouts you can go at your own pace. It’s not a race. It’s you against nature and you can go as hard or easy as you like. I’ll always try to help you perform better but essentially it’s about having fun and giving something new a go.’

Paddleboards are supplied by Oceanman UAE but don’t forget to book in advance. No trainers are necessary but anyone feeling a tad body-conscious can wear sports clothes over swimwear.

All you really need to take on Dubai’s biggest, baddest, newest sport is swimwear, gallons of water to stay hydrated and a boatload of determination. See you in the ocean.
Dhs100 per session. Tue 6am, Fri 6am, 7am, 8am and 9am. Black Palace Beach (between Burj Al Arab and Palm Jumeirah), Jumeirah Beach Road,

Two to try: new workouts

Figure of 8
After a successful debut season, Smart Fitness in JLT launches its second season of the ladies-only eight-week Figure of 8 body transformation challenge on Monday October 21, led by dedicated trainer Carlo Milo.
Expect a unique, varied programme and weekly team challenges.
Dhs3,000. Cluster M, JLT, (04 438 5055).

Physique 57
Using a process described as interval overload, this class aims to deliver a leaner, stronger physique through ‘muscle-defining arm exercises, intense thigh and seat sequences, waist-chiselling ab moves and fluid stretches’.
First class free, Dhs115 per class. Ductac, Mall of the Emirates (052 877 5757).

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