SUP, buddy?

Summer has always been synonymous with learning new skills or trying out new hobbies. Ever since we were children, our parents always enrolled us in some class to learn new skills (and keep the house peaceful in our absence). From the arts to sports to academics (ugh!) to life skills (cooking, anyone?), there's always a class to busy ourselvs with.

But now that we're all adults, perhaps it's time to try out something of our own choosing – something where the classroom has no four walls and the learning materials are right beneath your feet. This something is called “Stand Up Paddle” Boarding our SUP for short. SUPping is a combination of surfing and kayaking – you basically balance on board and use a paddle to move. It's a great way to enjoy the waters, get some exercise, and have some quiet time.

SUPping is the latest outdoor sporting craze to hit the waters the world over since it's relatively easy to learn and you can go at your own pace. And now it's in the Philippines with a growing community of enthusiasts and serious practitioners. In Matabungkay Beach Resort in Lian, Batangas, you can spend your summer learning how to SUP at their SUP Center which offers a complete range of services and equipment.

For starters, there's a huge playground at Matabungkay with a 3 kilometer coastline for SUPpers to roam around in. The SUP center has boards and paddles for rent, instructors, lifeguards, and a valet service for your boards (if you brought your own) – the staff will gladly take your board from the waters, hose it down, and either store it for a while or strap it on to your car while you relax at the resort's bar or restaurant.

Your class begins on a “balsa” – a floating bamboo raft which has become a trademark of Lian – out in the waters. From there, the instructor will teach you to climb your board, get the proper stance, and paddle on a path to good times. If you get tired after a few rounds – SUPping is a great total body exercise as it engages all the muscles in your body without making it feel like work – cold drinks and cool tunes await you on the balsa. For those who want an extra touch of security, they can hire a lifeguard to paddle out with them on a fiberglass boat just in case they get too tired and can't paddle back to the balsa.

So if you're wondering what to do this summer, try SUPping – it's a sport that teaches you a new skill, gets you outdoors and in shape! Matabungkay Beach Hotel's SUP Center is a great place to start. For inquiries, call (02) 752-5252 or 0917-834-1269