This year I have decided to abandon all indoor exercise and take my activities outside. As a result I have never felt better both physically and mentally. It is written in medical journals about the effect of sports on controlling stress and mood that outdoor exercise in more beneficial to the mind and body than indoor exercise. It is also recognised that activities on or in the water are better for your overall health than those on land. Maybe it is something to do with the reflected light on the water or the feeling of being close to nature. Having carried out twice weekly trips on the Hobie Eclipse from March until now I know feel physical stronger, my balance is improved, I am also happier and less stressed. The great beauty of the Eclipse is how easy it is to launch and recover from the water, I require no assistance to get out on the water which means I am able to get out more often. It is also a great social activity where you can have a good chat with a friend whilst exploring and exercising. As an activity it is very low impact, unlike running there is no jarring so your knees and other joints are not put under any stress. At the end of a 10 mile trip there are no aching muscles the following day. The other great beauty of the Hobie Eclipse is that you do not have to put on a wetsuit. For most trips out on the water I have been in my gym kit with bare feet and on chilly days I have layered up with a spray top and some neoprene shoes.
My family have also loved going out on the Hobie Eclipse, the controls are so easy that even a child can do it. The handlebars can be lowered so that they can easily reach the controls. The added benefit which none of us could have predicted was how much the local seal would be fascinated by the drive under the Hobie Eclipse. In the early part of the season when all was quiet out on the water the seal was our regular companion whenever we went out on the Hobie Eclipse much to my children’s delight. The children have now invesnted a new form of trick Hobie Eclipsing!
The other aspect of the Hobie Eclipse that was unexpected is the interest it generates when you are out and about. You feel a bit like a celebrity when people are constantly calling out to you and asking how it works. It looks like you are casually strolling on the board yet it picks up a good turn of speed and is faster than most paddle kayaks which causes people to stare in surprise.
At the beginning of June I challenged myself by doing an endurance race on the Hobie Eclipse. The event called ‘Vogalonga’ took place in the heart of Venice. 1000 boats participated in the event which covered 20 miles around the canals of Venice finishing at the Grand Canal where crowds had gathered to cheer the boats home. The atmosphere was amazing and this event is definitely something I will do again.
My next challenge will be a 10 mile charity event in the Oxfam Kayak Rally Exeter on the 15th July. For more details of this event visit the Pedalpaddle Facebook page
If you would like to discover the Hobie Eclipse for yourself and use it to explore the coast, harbours and rivers of the UK, Pedalpaddle rent the boards out for a very reasonable rate. You collect them from the Pedalpaddle hub in Honiton and take them anywhere in the UK. We have already booked some extra boards for the rest of our family when we head to Kingsbridge in Devon for our holidays. My 69 year mum is very keen to give it a try.