During my last trip to the ever enchanting Rubavu District, Kingfisher Journeys gave me an opportunity to learn the art of paddle boarding and Lake Kivu Serena Hotel offered me a chance to navigate its speedboat around the lake.
Paddle boarding is an exciting water sport. It is a hybrid product of surfing and canoeing. Participants use paddles to propel their inflated boards from one spot to another.
It took me a while to work on my strokes and shaky balancing. Like any other beginner, I was nervous in the beginning. When I got comfortable, I did push ups, planks and crunches on that floating thing. At this point, I felt like I could do anything on it.
Stand up paddle boarding is like walking on water. However, this exercise requires balancing techniques most beginners struggle to master. On the other hand, paddling while kneeling or sitting on the board is as easy as chewing a piece of cake. During the first 15 minutes or so, kneeling enabled me to practice paddling without worrying about balancing. When my strokes improved, I got on my feet and took the next step.
Paddle boarding is a good work out. It builds core stability and strengthens the lower body while toning muscles. As you paddle, your leg muscles work to align your posture with the center of gravity. Your arms, back and shoulders coordinate to make the board glide. This happens when your core, back and abdominal muscles are actively engaged in maintaining balance. Despite its tremendous fitness benefits, paddle boarding is relatively easy in comparison to what your trainer makes you do in the gym.
Steering Serena Hotel’s watercraft wasn’t hard. This modern vessel is piloted the same way an automatic transmission car is driven. I set sail and cruised towards the offshore gas plant under a watchful eye of my instructor, the bona fide captain of the machine. When we approached the station, he told me to turn left and head southwards. In the beginning of this turbo-charged tour, I was following his directives obediently. As excitement kicked in, I started ignoring his terms, particularly speed limits.
Pressing the accelerator hard turned the boat into a rocket. I kept my foot on the pedal and the monster’s powerful engine unleashed its fury. Twisting and turning on turbulent waves gave me a rollercoaster experience on the surface of the lake.
You can hire this boat for laid back sightseeing tours but do not expect to sit behind the wheel. Commanding this vessel is the responsibility of the authorized captain. A more comfortable seat suitable for tourists like you will be reserved.
The author is an adventurer on a mission to discover what Rwanda has to offer. Follow his awe-inspiring journey on ikazerwandatours.com.