Anna’s Gift Guide for the Health Conscious Paddler

Ready to be the coolest gift giver this season? Give meaningful and fun gifts that contribute to your favorite paddler’s health, wellbeing and passion for paddling. Read on for my top picks  for paddlers who do (or would like to) take on their wellness with as much stoke as they take on the water! Under $25 Asheville Tea Company Pumpkin Pie Chai Delicious, hand packed tea by Asheville outdoor enthusiast Jessie Dean. Perfect for pre and post paddling, especially during the cool winter/spring months. Full of digestive spices that are also sweet and comforting. My favorite recipe for preparation: 1TBS 

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Paddleboard: Effective Core Paddling

Are you missing out on the incredible fitness benefits of paddleboarding due to lack of core engagement? I love that SUP is easily accessible, but I dislike the misconception that there’s nothing to it. Just like any sport there is effective and ineffective technique that can make or break your experience. If your main goal with SUP is to get out, lounge and float then read no further. You’ve probably got all that you need, and I hope that includes a leash and a PFD. If you want to reap the core strengthening, balance and fitness benefits of paddleboarding then 

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Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Mountains

“A perfect weekend with an incredible teacher. Thank you for your patience, guidance and laughter Anna Levesque!” – Jen B, Asheville “I am hooked and can’t wait to SUP again! Thank you Anna for such a lovely experience.” – Paula, WV “I couldn’t ask for a better experience.” – Kellie, Nashville I’ll just let those testimonials speak for themselves. It was a great weekend full of yoga, community, relaxation, paddling and fun! Paula was concerned about her balance on the first morning, feeling wobbly on the board as we learned basic strokes and concepts on the lake. Her legs were shaking and 

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Top 3 Reasons to try SUP Yoga

I’ve been around paddlers and yogis for over 20 years and I’ve heard ‘hardcore’ paddlers make fun of SUP yoga and yogis treat it as a novelty fad. I always say: ‘Don’t dis it until you’ve tried it!’ BTW, why is it so easy for humans to dis stuff we haven’t tried? The health, body and wellness benefits of SUP yoga are many and below I share my top 3 reasons to try SUP yoga:   More Core, Fewer Imbalances SUP Yoga is an effective way to bring greater awareness to imbalances in the body and learn how to effectively 

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The Risk of Playing it Safe

When I struggle with a line it’s usually because I’m trying to play it too safe. In this photo it’s obvious that I’m struggling with my angle. That’s because I used too much right angle attempting to avoid the hole and rock at the bottom. Had I relaxed and kept my boat angle a little more downstream I would not be struggling physically and mentally. I witness this in myself and also in my kayak students. In our attempt to avoid an obstacle or intimidating feature we end up in a more dangerous place. We also often end up in 

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Tips on Packing for a SUP Day Trip

The Black River is the epitome of serene. It’s out in the middle of nowhere.  You drive and drive to a random bridge that signals your take out. There are no people around, and what houses you do see are older and in need of repair. There’s an alligator who lives nearby and he watches you take out! Cypress knees poke up through the dark water, birds are everywhere, and the obligatory alligators hiding where you can’t see them but they can surely see you. The river trail is winding, sheltered, and quiet. No other humans for miles and miles. 

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Eclipse Viewing from the Water: Bald Eagles and Crescent Moons

When I found out that parts of western North Carolina were in the path of totality for the solar eclipse I immediately new that I wanted to view it from the water. My husband and I (and Ceiba the schnoodle) launched our SUPs below Wesser Falls on the Nantahala River. We paddled the flow out and into Lake Fontana and the skies were clear! About 45 minutes into the eclipse the light started to change. We noticed crescent moon shadows traveling across our boards when we floated under trees. The shadows also appeared to be much crisper than usual. We 

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Stand Up Paddleboard Racing 101

Stand Up Paddleboard Racing 101 by Michelle Currier   The official start of summer is a couple of days away which means we move into the height of the Stand Up Paddle Race season. If you have been on the fence about racing or are not sure if you have the right equipment, then this blog will provide some helpful information for you. I entered into the Stand Up Paddle world on my own without any formal lessons or an understanding about the racing world of Stand Up Paddling. I am here to provide that guidance and hope to answer 

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Sharks Teeth!

  I went camping on the North Carolina coast recently where I found my first shark tooth on Shark Tooth Island! I was so excited. At 30 you would think I would have had better luck over the years, but I guess I’m not good at just staring at the ground when I’m at the beach. 🙂 Paddling to Shark Tooth Island is a very simple 1.2 mile loop on the Cape Fear River that can be longer or shorter if you wish. It is dependent on tides and the weather can change very quickly so it’s important to pay 

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SUP in the Mountains: Rivers of Life

Rivers are fickle yet predictable. Teasing you with their perfect eddies and beautiful ripples. You are standing above a rapid, floating at the edge of the drop calculating your next move. The feeling of knowing that you possess the skill to continue standing as you move down the rapid is empowering.  Then, sometimes, you hit a rock with your fin and go flying over the nose into the water! These things are what motivate me to keep going back to the river. I want to try again and again and again. I love reaching the bottom of a rapid and 

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Meet Anna Levesque

Anna Levesque is the leading expert on paddling instruction for women and yoga for paddling, including SUP Yoga. Named one of the most inspirational paddlers alive by Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Anna’s twenty-plus years of experience as an accomplished international competitor, instructor, coach and author has landed her in mainstream publications such as TIME, SHAPE and SELF.

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by Anna Levesque

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Testimonials

“Thanks for the great weekend! My skills are on the right track and confidence is high. Not to mention the new paddling buddies I have now and trips scheduled. You ladies rock!” - Cindy, TX

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