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Stand-up paddling on Lake Ohrid - meeting Linda & Jochen

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Stand-up paddling on Lake Ohrid - meeting with Linda and Jochen

Again and again there are encounters that are neither expected in their form nor foreseeable in their effects for the future. So we had tried to establish contact with the Roman city of Trier many times before the project began, to involve a well-known entry point in our project activity for the development of camper and outdoor tourism route along Roman roads in the northwestern part of Germany. In short, it was not successful.

Here at Ohrid Lake in Macedonia a meeting happened, which may represent a turning point - the meeting with Linda and Jochen from Trier, who are quite active in the field of alternative tourism promotion and tour guiding. Here on the site, however, the first talks were initially focused on the local conditions and the possible activities, in particular the opportunity of stand-up paddling, a sport that is still relatively unknown here on the lake. Lake Ohrid with its predominantly calm water surface offers almost ideal opportunities to move actively, which also is very friendly to the environment.

Polynesian fishermen of Tahiti are the sample

b_450_450_16777215_00_images_mazedonien_stand-up-ohrid-6.jpgStand-up paddling is originally based from Polynesian fishermen who moved on the sea in their canoes at the shores of Tahiti. Especially in Asia, one-man bamboo rafts are still in use today, in which standing next to rods and paddles are used. In Hawaii, where surfing was invented, Stand-Up Paddling was the king's sport. Only chosen people were allowed to move outside standing in the boats.

In the 20th century, stand-up paddling became a comfortable way for surfing instructors in Hawaii to get away from the shore into the wave breaking reefs and back faster by using a paddle. Due to the raised position on the board, the surf instructor also has a better overview of the surfing students. The special feature was that they often sat on the board in a chair and took pictures with non-waterproof cameras.

Stand-Up Paddling is mainly used on inland waters

b_450_450_16777215_00_images_mazedonien_stand-up-ohrid-5.jpgOnly years later, Stand-Up Paddling was also used for windsurfing and surfing, as you can do it without wind or waves. Since the beginning of the 21st century, Stand-Up Paddling has become increasingly popular as a recreational sport and has developed into an independent water sport. In Europe, Stand-Up Paddling is mainly used on inland waters.

Initially, existing long boards or so-called tandem boards from surfing were used because they generate enough lift to carry the weight of the recreational athlete with equipment (paddle, clothing), and can stand on it. Also from surfing comes the board leash, which should prevent the loss of the board. Meanwhile, various manufacturers offer special stand-up paddle boards and paddles. In the past, SUP boards for stand-up paddling in the wave resembled an ordinary surfboard in their geometry. In the meantime special boards have been specially developed for this sport. On the market there are boards in lengths between 1.80 and over 4 meters, with the volume of the boards between 100 and 250 liters.

Stand-up boards on the way to Struga

A tapered board type is used for the Distance Stand-Up Paddling. Alternatively, models similar to outrigger or lifeguard boards in the hull form are also used. On some boards, the volume is enough to carry several people. To ensure a secure footing, rough or rubberized surfaces of ethylene vinyl acetate are used, whereby waxing is especially popular with professionals.

Since 2011, a new Dropstitch-based production technology has enabled the manufacture of inflatable SUP Boards, which are easier to store and transport, and can handle up to 250 kilos depending on the model. This makes the boards for recreational paddlers even more interesting, but even with an internal pressure of up to 1.7 bar, they are a bit less stiff than conventional SUP boards.

We were able to observe Linda and Jochen on their stand-up boards on the way to Struga, once across the Ohrid Lake, where we had arranged to meet at the drain of the lake in the Black Drin to continue our discussions on new, complementary project ideas. Stay tuned.

Please read as well:

St. Sophia Church in the center of Ohrid
Spring at Lake Ohrid - Mountain bike tour to Radolishta

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