If you venture beyond an Intro class with SUPGirlz, no doubt you'll work with a few different members of our team. And if you love sunrise paddles, then you're definitely going to meet Queena, if you don't know her already!
Queena Kwok IG: @The_Kwok_Work Years of Paddling: 20+ years on canoe and kayaks; seven years on SUP Instructor - In - Training; Sunrise Instructor/Enthusiast
Tell us a bit about yourself: I love spending time in the water. I have been to both polar regions for polar dips and kayaking. I had my first SUP class with SUPGirlz owner Janna seven years ago and I have been hooked ever since. This former nightowl became an early bird after trying Sunrise SUP: I really love starting my day on the lake, seeing the sunrise coming up over the horizon, the birds waking up and flying eastward on the lake as we paddle, and of course tea and breakfast no.1 on my board as a bonus. I still watch the sunrise by Lake Ontario during the winter from the shore; the ice-encrusted boulders and trees along the waterfront are quite magical. Fun Fact: In June, Lake Ontario is colder than the North Atlantic.
What's your favourite thing about SUP?
The freedom and ease to explore and access the water, and any secret cove along the Great Lakes.
Favourite thing(s) about Sunrise SUP?
The zenness of the lake before the city wakes up, the potential of the day ahead, the beautiful pre-dawn sky and watching the day begin with the sun rising. It helps me set the tone of the day and start my day with intention. I also love a quick swim after Sunrise SUP, it's super refreshing. I am calm and relaxed after a Sunrise SUP/Swim and ready to tackle the day.
Can you share with us a memorable SUP moment? I can't choose just one!
Watching the Solar Eclipse last summer with 15 other paddlers at SUPGirlz.
A young seal pup trying to climb on board while I was SUPing in the Santa Cruz (California) Harbour. while I had a little adventure on a work trip.
Getting up close to and watching the Blue Grey Herons and Cranes on the Credit, Humber and Rouge Rivers, without spooking them.
What is most important to you when it comes to SUP? Having fun and staying safe.
What advice or tips do you have for people getting into SUP? Take a beginner's class, so you know how to SUP safely, efficiently and confidently. A beginner's class with an instructor will teach you the basics such as front and back turn, how to handle wakes and waves to keep you standing upright, as well as important safety tips and general rules. I also recommend joining a Social Class, they're great for meeting other paddlers and to try out different boards before committing to your own.