Throughout the last couple of years as the focus shifts to the upcoming fall foliage season, I have found the most spectacular and soothing way to experience this sought after season via paddleboard. The visitors have slimmed down to next to nothing and the lake shifts from being a physical playground for activities to a visual backdrop for nature’s art. The season also brings calm days mixed in with traditional windy fall days. It is on these calm days that you can witness a spectacular visual ever-lasting gumdrop of emotions that will take you from pure elation to a centered mental calm. It is experiences like these that elevate the lake to spiritual status.
To see the mountains gleaming with fire and glowing with rich hues of the fall season is only magnified when you see a double image reflection mirroring off the lake. These powerful reflections bring the water alive as they transform into a three-dimensional bouquet of seasonal colors. The paddleboard becomes your soul mobile as Deep Creek Lake takes you down a peaceful highway that will recharge your faith in nature. Each quiet dip of the paddle propels you across an amazing and colorful glass-lake, virgin of ripples. The horizon slowly inches toward you like an out-of-reach oasis which gives you plenty of time to enjoy the dreamy conveyor belt that only a few have experienced.
Our nationally respected and loved Fall spectacle is an event here at the lake that a lot of folks have been lucky enough to experience year after year. This year I encourage and challenge you to try it from a different cockpit vantage point. The end of summer does not mean the end of paddleboarding or enjoying an intimate relationship with the lake. Set sail this autumn with your favorite non-powered watercraft and experience the hallowed ground at Deep Creek Lake that is worshiped by only a handful.
Deep Creek Lake-Paddleboarding-The Sport-The Lifestyle-The History. I know that you know that this up and coming sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding (or SUP for short) is picking up steam among the masses, but unless you have tried it you will never know how simple it is to have a Zen like experience and keep your body in fantastic shape. Entry level folks need not be discouraged. You do not have to be a triathlon athlete to start your way toward bliss in a sport that discreetly sneaks in fitness while putting emphasis on FUN!
There is a movement happening worldwide involving people who are pushing the limits to the many different activities this sport can touch. You’ll see SUP’s cruising lakes, bays, sounds and oceans, as well as surfing mighty to mild surf breaks. There are racing Sup’s, fishing SUP’s, River Sup’s, and thankfully for you beginners, rental SUP’s!
Stop!Let’s look at the history of the paddleboard..,.
Thomas Edward Blake is credited as the pioneer in paddleboard construction in the early 1930s.
While restoring historic Hawaiian boards in 1926 for the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Blake built a replica of the previously ignored olo surfboard ridden by ancient Hawaiian aliʻi (kings). He lightened his redwood replica (olo were traditionally made from wiliwili wood) by drilling it full of holes, which he then covered, thus creating the first hollow board, which led to creation of the modern paddleboard. Two years later, using this same 16 ft (4.9 m), 120 lb (54 kg) board, Blake won the Pacific Coast Surfriding Championship, first Mainland event integrating both surfing and paddling. Blake then returned to Hawaii to break virtually every established paddling record available, setting half-mile and 100-yard records that stood until 1955.
In 1932, using his drastically modified chambered hollow board (now weighing roughly 60 lbs), which over the next decade he would tirelessly promote as a lifeguarding rescue tool, Blake out-paddled top California watermen Pete Peterson and Wally Burton in the first Mainland to Catalina crossing race (29 miles in 5 hours, 53 minutes). During the 1930s, Blake-influenced hollow boards (called “cigar boards” by reporters and later “kook boxes” by surfers) would be used in roughly equal proportion to solid plank boards for both paddling and surfing until the new Hot Curl boards led wave-riding in a new direction. For paddleboarding, however, the basic principles of Blake’s 1926 design remain relevant even today.
Now that you know more about the history of paddleboarding, lets gets back to how it can relate to you here at Deep Creek Lake. Go to Deep Creek Marina Rentals and rent a 12’0” (which is the largest) Doyle paddleboard and launch the board by getting on your knees and slowly paddling a few strokes on the left then the right side. Get comfortable in balancing and paddling around the quiet coves nearby the rental docks until you feel confident enough to stand up. There is a handle to pick up the board directly in the center that can serve as a guide point as to where you stand. Stand up dead center on the board and slowly pull the paddle easily through the water until you gain a little glide through the water. As you gain speed, you will also gain control just as you do as you start peddling a bike. Now you are all set to start to begin to follow a new road in life that may become a passionate addition.
This morning before work I got out on the lake at 6am sharp and was rewarded with a windless, glassy lake which makes for optimum conditions for many water sports. A friend and I paddled the length of McHenry Cove to the 219 bridge and then turned up toward the direction of the DCL Dam. The sun was peeking through the clouds and there was not a boat on the lake to interrupt our morning therapy. On the way back in, we saw a magnificent Bald Eagle gliding over us in search of his morning snack. I can only think of one other time that I saw a Bald Eagle here at the lake. Take some time out of your busy life before or after work to discover and submerge yourself into a sport that may have you hooked for a lifetime.
Locals Cup Sunset Paddleboard Race Deep Creek Lake. Tonight on July 24, 2010 is the Locals Cup Sunset Paddleboard Race #2 at Deep Creek Lake State Park sponsored by Wisp Resort. There will be time trials around four different buoys and you can select from different classes to participate in. There is a $10 per person entry fee. The fun starts at 7:00 pm and will continue on until close to midnight. Come out and join the fun and watch the sunset with friends and locals and show your skills stroking to paddle board victory. Call Mike Valach from Wisp Resort at 301-387-4911 ext-0 for entry details.
Wisp Resort has set up shop at Deep Creek Lake State Park with their new Beach Hut. The Deep Creek Beach Hut has a bunch of different recreational equipment to rent while visiting DCL. Take a 1-2 hour course learning the basics about sailing then rent a Hobie Cat. Enjoy renting by the hour or if you really have a knack for sailing, rent one for the week. They also have kayaks, canoes, tubes, and paddleboards for rent. Don’t hassle your family and yourself trying to haul bulky equipment around on your vacation. Just show up with a picnic basket and your favorite cool drinks and relax at the beach and enjoy your favorite lake activity.
They also offer guided paddleboard, kayak tours if you want to explore the lake with trained professionals. The weather is perfect at the moment, so pack up the family and come de-compress here with us at Maryland’s favorite vacation destination.
Paddleboarding Deep Creek Lake. My passion for surfboard construction tipped me off to paddleboarding many years ago, as builders looked for new ways to experience the soulful glide of surf crafts. Basically, the boards were stretched out a bit longer than their modern longboard cousins and widened by about a foot around center. The curve in the bottom of the board or “rocker” dictates if it’s going to be good for paddling/speed or performance and ability to turn. At my favorite surf break at my second home in the OBX, high performance paddleboards are the norm and have been in the line-up for many years. The surfers there are taking the sport to extreme levels surfing waves in excess of 10 feet. This sport is constantly evolving and being refined by the board builders and wave-riding community.
This year paddleboarding has made its way to Deep Creek Lake. Both Deep Creek Marina and Wisp Resort rent an array of different paddleboards to suit your taste. I had my first attempt at it last night and can tell you that it is a blast. Being very tall does offer a disadvantage for balancing as you can be a little top heavy but it doesn’t take long to master it and be off on your way. I suggest starting off on both of your knees facing the front of the board until you get stabilized, then stand up at about the center of the board. I found it easier to keep your eyes on the horizon as opposed to looking down at the board, to maintain your optimum balance. Start sweeping your paddle through the water gently and you’re on your way to a peaceful glide across beautiful Deep Creek Lake. A word of warning, you are required by law to wear a life vest at all times when on a paddleboard; you can be ticketed and fined for not wearing one. Be safe and have a fun time this summer enjoying DCL’s newest craze.