By Chantal O’sullivan
Pics: Daniel O’sullivan
SUP Board: 10’ Paiwen
Autumn reminds us about the beauty of letting go. That sometimes we need to embrace change in order to make space for the new.
Trees turn gold and red. Fallen leaves are crunchy under our flip-flops and suddenly everything begins to change.
And on a crisp fall evening, there’s nothing as wonderful and inspiring as walking down a forest trail to the ocean on Bowen Island and heading out on the water.
After an easy paddle around the shoreline to warm up my shoulders and hips, I stop to look at the starfish below and listen to the ravens in the trees, chatting about their day.
Then I sit for a simple meditation using this mantra — or silent words inside my head — to celebrate the spirit of the season. On the inhale, I think of the word “let.” On the exhale, I think of the word “go.”
While I breath and ground, I pay attention to the sounds around me, especially the ocean rocking my board softly back and forth with the tides.
Since the water is so calm and glassy, I practice some yoga postures on my board, a nice way to feel physically open and present to the setting sun.
Here’s a few postures from my watery, sunset practice and what they inspire inside me:
Wheel (below) feels energizing, especially when facing the colours of the horizon and the golden glow of the sun.
Downward Facing Dog (below) is a full-body opener. Also, since my head is below my heart, it shifts my point of view, especially on a SUP since the ocean is always moving. Sometimes I'll start facing the shoreline and I end up facing the horizon. It’s always invigorating too.
Like many people, I have a love/hate relationship to slower postures that require more focus, including this particular hamstring stretch, also known as ardha hanumanasana (below.) While it encourages me to be still and notice how I feel from the inside out, it’s also very challenging.
But steady breathing and focusing on the sensations I feel helps me to listen in and eventually, to let go of tension.
Sighing also helps and so does the salty, ocean air.
(It smells so good out here!)
I love chest and shoulder opening postures that feel accessible.
This is nice way to use my light-weight Paiwen paddle to kind of floss away tightness and congestion in my upper back, while watching for bald eagles and
Everything is easier when you’re feeling relaxed and happy, including this spicy and advanced full-body opener.
And yes, I have to admit, I dig that it is called “mermaid pose.” Seems fitting for yoga on a floating mat doesn’t it?
I think so too!
Sometimes the most radical thing we can do is to do nothing.
To just be.
To reflect on change.
To celebrate everything shifting, moving and transforming. Especially if you’re lucky enough to lie down on your paddleboard, on a gorgeous fall night, on the water, and just be still.
Photos care of Daniel O’Sullivan.
We hope you have been finding places to paddle this time of year.
While the lakes are freezing over here in our neck of the woods (and our SUPs were hibernating), we put together a little Christmas video to celebrate the Holiday Season. It’s called Mrs. Claus Gets a Gift and we hope you like it!
Behind The Scenes Image
The warmer weather is creeping in, and even though we can paddleboard year round, summer (for most of us) is our favorite time to get on the water.
At Paiwen, summer means pack up the van, paddle boards and camera and find somewhere new. So while we are busy capturing new footage for another Paiwen video, we couldn’t wait to post something, some of you may seen, but with a twist.
Go inside and see a new take on Still Life. We titled this 1 minute video “Paddleboarding is Beautiful”.
Our very own Paiwen founder Alice Shih was featured in StandUp Journal!
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Jonaliza D. Misa wrote this excellent article on the female powerhouses on the standup paddling circuit.
continue reading full story...
StandupJournal.com Female Powerhouses
Here is our new video!
Our objective was to make a little paddleboarding video that makes you feel good. The simple side of paddleboarding.
We hope you enjoy it:)
It seems like everywhere we turn, new love is blossoming on Paiwen boards! Maybe it’s because paddling brings people closer together, it makes for a great first date, or the boards are just so darn pretty. Which is why so many boyfriends and husbands are gifting them to their girlfriends wives and earning major brownie points.
Whatever the reason, Paiwen is spreading the love! Here is a small collection of photos of Paiwen love birds.
Congratulations to the beautiful @katelayte and her new hubby for this gorgeous photo.
Straight from the Sunshine Coast, we love this beautiful and sexy photo of Lindsey and her new fiance!
And here is where it all started, Paiwen Founder, Alice with her main squeeze, Toni, getting cozy in the Paiwen sack.
Low and behold, a Paiwen baby is born!
Have you got a story of Paiwen romance to tell?
Please share it with us! Email your story with photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace, love and Paiwen!
What happens when you combine Kickboxing and Stand Up Paddleboarding?
A sore Kristi and a beautiful picture.
Kristi lands a solid back kick on her Paiwen paddleboard. But it took patience and practice to pull it off.
Next time you’re on your Paiwen try one for yourself.
Credit: Kristi Bieber - Paiwen team member and owner of 30-minute hit Vernon (kickboxing)
For many of us in the Pacific North West, paddling season never truly ends. This time of year can be especially beautiful - the water can be calm and quiet.
If you are looking to do some winter paddling over the next couple of months, here are some great winter paddling tips from our Paiwen Girl Ambassadors.
Alison Calder, Paiwen Girl
1. Be well prepared before you go outside and paddle. Bring a warm thermos of tea or hot cocoa (put it in a SUP Buddy), dress appropriately, tell a friend where you are going and let them know when to expect you back. When you arrive back on shore, call or text to let them know you got home safely. Dress comfortably and warmly!
Kate Watson, Paiwen Girl
2. When you take to the water this winter, it’s always a really good idea to gather your core and balance before you head out. Winter paddling can be one of the most beautiful adventures, as there is a different sense of calm on the water. Sometimes you even see more wildlife than humans, this can be a very special time to connect with nature. Be sure to make practice a few standing poses such as Tree, warrior 3, or dancers pose to get your balance, and fire up your core with a Pilates exercise called the hundred! The muscles we engage to make these exercises happen are the same ones we need to keep balanced on the board! Not to mention they will warm you up a little on those colder days!
3. I never paddle without a pair of booties on come winter, and for extra heat put your feet in hot water for 2-3 mins just before the booties go on to ‘lock in’ the heat!
Nikki Johnston Beaudoin, Paiwen Girl
4. Following from Kate’s point - wear your neoprene and especially your boots! A wetsuit is fine for this time of year, as well as a neoprene long sleeve top and pants. Some brands that make these include Roxy, Billabong, Vaikobi, to name a few. Ideally, add something that cuts the wind, like a shell jacket, or a proper paddling jacket that you can buy from any paddling outfitter. Blocking the wind will be the most important thing to do. For the most comfort and a bit of a bigger budget, you can also purchase dry paddling suits from outfitters like MEC.
5. Be mindful of the time, leave earlier and plan to come in early as it still gets dark out earlier than in the summertime. You might be prudent to pack a headlamp in your dry bag, as well as a deck light. Transport Canada regulations stipulate that if paddling after sunset, all personal watercraft should have a navigation light; ideally one that can be seen from 360 degrees.
Happy Paddling from the Paiwen family!
We are so fortunate to live in a town that has a beautiful bird sanctuary for many species of birds to call home.
The other morning we decided to adventure out on our Paiwen Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Boards and see the wildlife from a different view with the kids. Loaded with one kid on each board, and an extra kayak for our oldest, we made our way over to 'Bird Island'.
With the early summer floods in effect we were able to skim over the trail and see all sorts of animals from deer, turtles, huge carp and many birds like eagles, hawks and blue herons!
The beauty of being quiet on our Paddleboards allowed us to get super close to so many animals! Such a beautiful day and lovely little adventure!
Kate Watson, Paiwen Girl,
Co-owner of NEUmovement Pilates,
physiotherapy, yoga, Barre
and NEUspine Wellness
Here's a trick to help you get your Paiwen PaddleBoard over tricky terrain, like rocks, steep stairs, thick brush and so on.
Strap your paddle onto your board bag, with the built in paddle straps and use your paddle as your carry handle. It will give you higher clearance than the shoulder strap for those really tricky hikes to and from the water.
Enjoy your summer.
With summer weather upon us in the Pacific North West, dreams of SUP surfing trips are filling our little heads - so we decided to catch up with Tim Mei, Paiwen Girl and Taiwanese SUP Surfer, for a few SUP surfing tips from the pro herself!
Born and raised in Taiwan, Tim Mei has been surfing for over 10 years, an interest that
was inspired by her love of long boarding. She started competing in local Taiwan surf competitions, and has since pursued her dream of surfing internationally.
Coming from a traditional Taiwanese family background, Tim Mei has fought
hard to follow her ambitious dream, and with help from her family and friends,has achieved solid success in her chosen path in life.
Paiwen: Can you give us three tips for people who are new to SUP surfing?
1) Pick the right gear for you and use it properly!
2) Practice makes perfect. Start in a clam water, practice basics until you feel comfortable.
3) Fall off your board the right way, like a starfish, and make sure you clear the board - safety first. Do not dive head first!
Paiwen: In Stand Up Paddling, as in any sport, there are often common mistakes that you see newer SUP surfers make - what are these, and what is your suggestion for correcting these mistake?
TM: Here are the three most common mistakes I see:
1) People who go out without a lesson! It’s always better if you learn things from experts or experienced people because they will teach you the right way of doing it. So my first suggestion is to take a lesson rather than going in blind.
2) Keeping your eye on the board. Instead of looking at your board, look where you want to go - this will help you balance while you ride the wave.
3) People who don't respect others in the surf. Always stay out of the way and take turns. If you don’t want someone to get in your way while you are riding a wave, then don’t get in their way either! Bottom line: share the ocean! For more on surfing etiquette, check out Surfline’s Bill of Left and Rights.
Happy SUP surfing, from the Paiwen family!
Paiwen is excited to have recently raised $1200 for the Whistler Backcomb Foundation's (WBF) 23rd annual Telus Winter Classic fundraising event.
Since 1992, the WBF has helped support hundreds of amazing charities through cash grants in the Sea to Sky area.
"We were pleased to donate one of our beautiful Paiwen Stand Up Paddle Boards to the WFB's Gold Silent Auction at the Mountain Top Gala fundraiser this past weekend," says Alice Shih, Paiwen Founder.
"At Paiwen, we are happy to give back to our communities and support the efforts of volunteers who give their time to improve the lives of others in the Sea to Sky area. We are grateful for all your efforts and for the beautiful place in which we live."
All proceeds will go towards helping charities in the Sea to Sky corridor, including but not limited to, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Whistler and Pemberton, The Howe Sound Women's Centre Society, North Vancouver Outdoor School, the Whistler Adaptive Sports program and many, many more.
Thank you to the Whistler Backcomb Foundation for all your efforts!
With 2016 is upon, we asked some of our Paiwen Girl Ambassadors for healthy lifestyle tips for the new year.
Here is what our awesome girls had to say:
Kate Watson, Paiwen Girl and Co-Founder of Neumovement
1. As we take down tree decorations, and clean up the house after the holiday season, it is good to set a little routine that keeps us grounded and centered after the parties and chaos. Try practicing these yoga postures at home in your living room to keep you feeling clam and collected, even after Christmas is over!
Alison Calder, Paiwen Girl and Personal Trainer
2. Get as much sunlight as possible. Don't be scared of the rain or a cloudy day. Get outside and recharge - your mood will thank you :)
3. Watch your social media consumption. Don't compare your life with all the picture perfect holiday posts. Live YOUR life.
4. If you live in a more temperate or tropical climate at this time of year, get out on your paddleboard and try some of these exercises for a workout on the water!
Nikki Johnston Beaudoin, Paiwen Girl and Owner/Instructor, Sea to Sky SUP, Yoga & Fitness
5. Don’t get caught up in post-holiday “penance”. So many of us feel guilty about all the food and drinks we have indulged in to celebrate the season - but it doesn't mean we have to punish ourselves by going on some kind of “cleanse” or celebrity fad diet that isn’t sustainable in the long-run. There is little scientific evidence to suggest that we need to “cleanse” our bodies; but this doesn’t absolve us from cultivating healthy habits either.
Small and simple healthy habits everyday can lead to improving health and fitness; balanced meals, healthy snacks, watching your portions and alcohol consumption throughout the week, exercise regularly, turn off your electronics by 10 pm - get eight hours of sleep per night.
6. Move everyday. If you can’t get to your workout everyday, just make sure to move in whatever way you can - walk everywhere, do 15 minutes of yoga at home, or do a 12 minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout at home. Ride your bike to your appointments. It all adds up. Just keep moving! But by the same token, know when to rest! Overplaying and overtraining and also keep you from attaining the results you are looking for!
7. For those of you living in BC’s temperate Lower Mainland climate, get out on the water for a paddle on a sunny day. In the winter, we can forget about how good it feels to be near the water; just grab your neoprene and go! If you can’t get out to paddle, go to a local pool, go for a swim, or sit in a hot tub - there are many proven health benefits to being in, near or close to the water. Some local community centres even offer indoor SUP Yoga classes.
8. Do the "excited test". For many, the New Year will bring new opportunities and new decisions. When faced with new decisions, we can sometimes feel conflicted between what we want and what we think we ought to do. Take a moment and ask yourself: “Am I excited about this?” If not, then re-consider whether the opportunity is really right for you.
9. Finally, have fun, look for new adventures, play, make mistakes and seize the day!
Happy New Year from the Paiwen Girl family!
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As we decorate the tree, light up the house and clean up for friends and family around the holiday season, it's good to set a little routine that keeps us grounded and centred amidst the holiday chaos. Try practicing these yoga postures to keep you feeling calm and collected this Christmas!
1. Need energy? Flow through a Sun Salutation or two, or get upside down… A headstand, handstand, wheel, or waterfall will do the trick!
2. Need to get through a tough conversation with a relative or colleague? Stand in Tadasana just rest your arms so you don’t look stiff - ha-ha! Mountain pose (Tadasana) is a grounded, strong position that allows us to feel connected to ourselves and others.
3. Too many sweets? Try a twist lying on your back for a gentle approach or a standing variation pose like Utkatasana (Chair Pose with a twist!) This will twist your spine and help to wring out unwanted toxins!
4. Need to calm down after your Christmas party? Lie down with your legs up the wall and place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Slowly notice the rise and fall of your hands as you begin to deepen your breath.
5. Trouble falling asleep after the big day? Lie down on your back (preferably in bed) in Savasana or Corpse pose. Start by tightening every single muscle in your body one by one from the crown of your head to your toes. Then release the tension starting at your toes all the way back up your body until you soften the crown of your head. Go slow and try to picture each body part along the journey.
Keep calm, and paddle on! Happy holidays!
Kate Watson is on the Paiwen Girl Paddleboard Team and is Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Neumovement, a wellness community inspired by integrating movement practitioners, instructors and modalities to heal your body, mind and spirit.
We made this short SUP video so you could get a feel for who we are.
Paiwen Stand Up Paddleboards
One of the most rewarding parts about Paddleboarding is having friends stand up and paddle for their first time. It isn't a hard sport to get the basics so you will see them progress right before your eyes.
Here are some images or our friends from Oceanfolk experiencing their Paiwen SUPs maiden voyage.
“When I signed the separation papers, I was realistic and realized that it wouldn’t be possible for me to
keep the boat anymore and I couldn’t bare the idea of not being on the water.” In Easter 2014, she was visiting her cousin, Trista, and came across her two Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) in the garage. As someone with an interest for surfing and a general fan of Laird Hamilton, she started doing some online research to buy her own Paddleboard. Within a few weeks, she ordered her first SUP – and her Paiwen arrived in the mail a few days later.
“It’s short, it’s light, it’s gorgeous, it’s colour coordinated and it comes with everything ,” she laughs.
Although it has only been a year since she first started paddling her Paiwen, she’s spent countless hours on her board both by herself and with her two kids; sometimes even spending up to 12 hours on her board – just her, the board, and a lunch.
“What else do you need?!” she exclaims. “I really am an active person, and that’s one of the reasons why my marriage didn’t work out, sadly,” she admits. “So Stand Up Paddling has become a huge thing in
my life now.”
Jennifer has also bought SUPs for her two kids, and it has become a lifestyle and bonding experience for her small family since her separation.
“These boards have solidified my children and I together too. It’s super quality time and it’s active.” In the off months, her Paiwen, affectionately named “Tinkerbelle Honey Sweetheart”, also known as “Tink” for short, lives in her house, mounted on the wall next to the dining room table. “Christmas dinner, Easter dinner, there she is!” she exclaims.
“When we sit there, the kids and I talk about what we’ve done and what we want to do. It has become a
little focus that we draw a lot of things from now that it’s just the three of us. They are developing water
skills and learning to care for the boards. There are so many advantages to having boards with a young
Since her separation, she has also met other women in similar situations, and she has got them into Paddleboarding as well. Last summer, she travelled to dozens of lakes in Ontario and Quebec , including Lawless Lake and Fathom Five National Marine Park.
“I get so excited about Paddleboarding, it’s pretty crazy – it’s all I talk about.”
You can see some of Jennifer’s recent paddling adventures from Toronto to Prince Edward Island.
Have you ever tried to describe paddle boarding to a friend? It is pretty difficult to do. In the end, the best way to explain SUPing is to get people on the water and try it for themselves. That’s when things will start to make sense, that’s when it “clicks”.
Here's a short film featuring one woman's story on why she SUPs.
More on Tim-Mei www.iamtimmei.com
Q: How did you get introduced to SUPing?
A: I first stepped onto a paddle board about 4-5 years ago on Lake Champlain in Vermont. I really started to get into paddling over two years ago. I grew up kayaking and sailing, and I like to surf, (or at least try to), so I loved the ability to stand on the board and paddle and the vantage point it gives you above the water, the full body workout, and the sense of freedom and peace that comes with it. It really is a great and fun way to travel and explore.
Q: Tell me about your most epic SUP adventure.
A: My husband and I have gone on some fun SUP missions. One fun paddle that stands out in my mind was our little adventure over to Thormanby Island on the Sunshine Coast. We paddled across the Strait in the morning from Secret Cove, paddled around the island along its white sand beaches and stopped to picnic looking out at snow-capped mountains. So beautiful. We paddled back in the late afternoon and the wind and chop had picked up. We also had to contend with boat traffic crossing the Strait. As we set off, we passed a rock with about 30 seals resting on it. It felt like a quintessential B.C. adventure.
Q: What are your favorite places to paddle?
A: My new "home" launch spot just outside of Deep Cove along Indian Arm is really beautiful. You can't beat the views in this Fjord! Grice Bay just outside of Tofino is great. It is really hard to choose a favorite spot, there are so many beautiful places to paddle in B.C.
Q: What are your secrets for balancing work and play (paddle time)?
A: I try as much as possible to make hay while the sun shines. Paddling in a bikini in B.C. is unfortunately not a year round thing, so I like to take advantage of our beautiful summers to play and paddle as much as possible before the wetsuit comes back on. As far as work goes, I think we can all get really busy in our day to day lives, but we need to know when it's time to turn it off. When we grow old and sit on the porch in our rocking chairs, we're going to need those memories to look back on. So I think it's important to try and create as many of those memories as you can.
Q: What are your 3 favorite SUP yoga moves?
A: I love hip openers, so a good half pigeon on the board feels so good. I dig the challenge of a water warrior. And Savasna. I have a yogi shirt that says "I'm here for the savasna", and to me it's even better on a paddle board. Laying flat on a board while the waves rock you to sleep is like nature's lullaby. One of the best things about SUP yoga is that it brings you back to a basic practice.
Q&A by Kate Masri
Imagine just you and your best friend, nothing else around, as water laps up against your paddleboards. You’re resting after a beautiful ride, sharing stories, enjoying each others company.
Cherish these moments.
Paiwen Stand Up Paddleboards For Women
Today was one of those days where you just wake up and feel that need for fun in your bones! After a full month of dance competition and track and field days, time for family adventure was feeling low. The sun was shining and so we packed up after work and school and headed out for some family fun. Kalamalka lake in the Okanagan has its own kind of magic, every time I head out on the water, a sense of calm washes over me. Being on the SUP makes me feel free and quiet, today though, we stirred things up and it was all about having some fun in the sun!
I presume a good chunk of people have heard about Acro or partner yoga?! Well, I have yet to see people trying this on their SUP's, so we thought let's give it a try. Little did we know how hard this little idea would be, two people balancing the board together, each movement effecting the other person in a huge way. Try after try, my husband and I failed, laughed, tried again and failed again. We vow to give this summer our all for some key poses and with our Watson will power, I believe you'll see some amazing things!
My daughters Zoe and Tèa on the other hand have got this Acro thing right away. I love watching the kids playing in the sun and water. Eli took our youngest Liam on the front of his board for a sweet little paddle around the shore where beautiful willow trees that line the edge of the water. Liam is 2 and busy as a bee, however today he sat still mesmerized by the feeling of floating on the water with his dad. All of us played until we ended up on a walk out to the point of Kalamalka lake overlooking where we had just paddled in the water. With the sunset glowing on our smiling faces, we remembered the day of fun in the sun before our walk home to shut our eyes
By Kate Watson
#paiwengirl #paiwenfamily #paiwenforlife #watsonadventures #thewatsonclan
By Alice Shih, edited by Kate Masri
It was a calm night. The only light came from the thin beams of our headlamps, and the only sounds besides our footsteps were frogs and crickets echoing across the dark lake. We’d decided to do a late night photo shoot, so I was carrying my paddle and board through the cool, wet grass to the lake’s edge while my husband Toni stayed back on the hill with his camera. I pointed my headlamp out onto the lake and it sent a single beam of light out onto the still, black mirror of the lake’s surface. I turned back to look at Toni one last time before launching my board into the darkness.
I glided further away from the shore, my paddle disappearing into the black water below. I could just make out Toni’s small silhouette on the hill. As I tried to stand still, I saw something small and black move towards me on the board. When I looked down I saw more and more of them and began to panic as they closed in on my feet. I tried to stay still as Toni took the picture, not wanting to cause a blurred photo, but after a short while I couldn't take it anymore so I called to Toni and paddled quickly back to shore. When I got close, he was already at the water’s edge and looking at my board, which was spotted with many creepy creatures. He told me to quickly get off the board, and I climbed back to shore as fast as I could, my heart pounding. Once I was back on land, Toni told me that the slimy creatures on my board were leeches! I looked on with disgust as he pried each one from the board and tossed them back into the dark lake.
Unfortunately we didn’t have the right lens to capture the photos we wanted to get, but we did get a good story from the night!
Fresh News From The Paiwen Women's Paddleboarding Community