“COUSIN MULLET: YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT THE WRONG THING HERE! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE REVIEWING SUP IN THIS COLUMN!”

To that, I say “Eh.”

Also, I’m totally capable of having a whole conversation with myself. I did that on Kim’s phone last night. Within a span of 20 minutes I had asked her about today’s plans, made other plans, created a new venture, ordered #Swag for said new adventure, changed the plans, all without her input.

That’s normal.

AHEM. But there is info that you NEED to know, which is why I am writing this review.

Prone Paddling: Five Paddles Up! (Or two thumbs up or six mullets!)

I told one of my California clients that I started prone paddling. He said “Yeah, paddling. We never used to call it prone because that’s all we did.”

Back when I used to surf (badly but whatevs), I actually liked paddling. I would take my longboard out while it was flat just to be in the water. Well paddling The Drunken Otter (my pone board) is much more fun. It just glides along so smoothly.

If I just say paddling, I could be stand up paddling, prone paddling, surfing, SUP surfing, or, soon, hopefully, paddling an OC-2 or OC-4. There are also friends who canoe, kayak, or paddle surfskis.

Really, though, it’s all just paddling. The main reason I can see to distinguish which craft you’re taking is the speed at which you will move. I am about half as fast at prone right now as I am at SUP. If I’m on a prone, most people won’t go with me because I’m slooooooooow and have low endurance! (45 minutes to an hour is my max right now!)

That’s something I want to embody, even though I think it’s cool as hell to prone–the idea that we are ALL out there paddling. Whether with our hands or with a double bladed paddle or a single paddle, short, or long, we all like the water. And whatever gets you on the water is BOSS, no matter how you look at it. Except jet skis. Hate those things.

Sub Review: The Equipment Factor

I get seriously tired of dragging all of my crap for SUP around. I mean, I like gear, and I like having my stuff. The first time Kim really talked to me she saw me walking out of the parking lot at Shem Creek and said “Katie, you have so much STUFF.” I was all like “Honey, you have NO IDEA.” Then we shared a room on a trip to D.C. When I set out a trail mix buffet of three different kinds for a three day trip, she got an idea.

Prone paddling is DELICIOUSLY SIMPLE. It’s you and your board. If you want, a water bottle. THAT’S IT. No leash, no PFD, no paddle, no camelbak, no whistle, no cargo net. If I go by myself, will I wear a leash? yes. But really, it is just so basic. Put the board in the water, get on it, and paddle.

Sub Review: Conversation

With other prone paddleboarding: Five out of Five mullets.

With SUPpers: One out of five Mullets.

I used to prattle on at Kim while I SUPped and she proned. She never heard a word I said, apparently, which was probably fine with her and with me. It is LOUD when you’re down there splashing. It is hard to hear someone standing six feet above you.

Sub Review: Motorized Watercraft

Negative 10 mullets.

I feel like there’s a good chance of boats turning me into CHUM at some point. We’ll see. I’m trying to stay out of the way and go early so that is less of a potential hazard.

The Verdict

Man, I LIKE prone paddling, and not just because I have no other choice. It’s interesting. It kind of takes me back to where I got started with all of this: surfing. It gets me on the water. It’s a great workout. It’s an excuse for another board. It’s fun!

Wait, what?

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