As told by ISLE Ambassador Celeste
After moving to Bozeman, Montana this past summer, I felt landlocked. This was the driest place I had ever lived compared to my past homes — Lake Michigan and Micronesia. Nestled in the valley of four mountain ranges, Bozeman is a stunning town, but lacked a nearby body of water. I needed an escape to make me feel more at home. That’s when I discovered stand up paddle boarding.
Since picking up a new inflatable paddle board, I’ve been able to experience Montana’s amazing lakes. I now am happy to call Bozeman, Montana my new home. After spending some quality time paddling, I realized how much a paddle board can help fill in the missing pieces to one’s life. When in doubt, go paddle boarding!
1) A paddle board will get you outside
Plain and simple — you will have the means to get outside and spend as much time as you want to explore your local waters. For me, this was most important. I needed an escape that reminded me of home. I was amped on my new paddle board and would prioritize paddle board adventures whenever I had the free time.
2) You will connect with like-mind, water loving friends
Once I had my board, I was super stoked to go paddle boarding as often as possible. However, I wasn’t crazy about going alone as the weather started getting colder. So, I stepped out of comfort zone, reached out to familiar faces in town and got them to come with me. These acquaintances have since become some of my closest friends.
3) It will be your mental and emotional reset button
The best natural remedy out there is Mother Nature. When paddle boarding, you’re completely immersed in nature. It is somewhat meditative. There’s not only water the surrounds you but also backdrops of trees, mountains, canyons, valleys, etc. Paddle boarding helps me clear my head and puts all my worries to rest. It also gives me time to reflect on life and enjoy the peace away from the hustle and bustle of life.
4) Paddle boarding will get your friends stoked on new activities for summer
As my circle of friends in Bozeman continues to grow, our plans and adventures for the spring and summer continue to grow. We all get to share the stoke of a new hobby and we can’t wait to get on the water and explore more.
5) You will learn about your local weather patterns
Like all paddle sports, and most outdoor activities, knowing weather conditions and patterns is extremely important. As the weather got colder, I was checking conditions daily. I’m stoked to report that after a couple of weeks, I got considerably better at predicting conditions and observing how different weather patterns would and could impact the area I was going to paddle.