Originally from Hawaii, stand-up paddle boarding or SUP has become quite the trend in Japan. While simply riding and paddling is challenging enough for most beginners, some preternaturally talented practitioners even engage in ‘SUP yoga’ these days. Anyway, you need to know how to stand up before pulling off a reverse warrior pose, and that’s where the good folks at ZAC come in.
Based out east in the peaceful, suburban surrounds of Higashi-Ojima, they offer beginner-to-intermediate classes on the calm Kyu-Naka River. If you’re a complete newbie, opt for the ‘Tokyo SUP Experience’, a one-hour class that’ll see you practice all the basic manoeuvres.
The standing part in particular is more strenuous than it looks – we were stiff as, well, a board the day after – and the jellyfish in the water practically rule falling out as an option, but the instructors are friendly and speak enough English to make you feel comfortable. All classes, including the tours to the Skytree that are available for more confident boarders, require you to wear shorts or tights.
Tokyo SUP Experience ¥4,500. zacsports.com/suptop.htm.