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Paddle boarding with champion Annabel Anderson

Stand-up paddle board champion Annabel Anderson shares her favourite paddling locations and offers some tips for budding enthusiasts.
Paddle board champion Annabel Anderson shares her favourite paddling locations.

Most memorable day on the water:

A day that really stands out for me was last year when I paddled the 22km across the Cook Strait from the South Island to the North Island.

There had recently been a tsunami warning and the Cook Strait is a very unpredictable stretch of water. I had to paddle with a support team. I’ll never forget that day.

Favourite land activity:

When I’m not on (or in) the water, you’ll find me running, cycling, busting out boot camps, exercising on the beach and channelling my inner yogi. I love getting active.

Lake wanaka.

Best paddling locations:

There are so many regions that make for great paddle boarding in New Zealand. We’re really spoilt for choice!

I’m originally from the South Island, so Lake Wanaka and the Clutha River are sentimental locations for me. Other great South Island spots are Doubtful and Milford Sound, Otago Peninsula and the Marlborough Sounds.

When I’m in the North Island, I love paddling in the Coromandel Peninsula, Auckland Harbour, Hauraki Gulf, the Bay of Islands and the Tutukaka and Matakana Coasts.

Tips for paddle board beginners:

  1. Get lessons from a reputable stand-up paddle board operator so you’re briefed accurately on safety and local weather conditions.

  2. Don’t buy the first paddle board you find online, even if it’s a bargain. Boards are different lengths and widths, depending on both the style and the person using it. Do your homework and find out what board will suit you best – you’ll save money in the long run.

  3. Wearing a personal flotation device is now a requirement in most parts of New Zealand, so make sure you have the right safety gear before you head out.

Otago’s clutha river.

Favourite snack:

I’m a big fan of fresh fruit and nuts. I make paleo granola mixes and I keep a jar of Pic’s Peanut Butter with me at all times – there’s nothing better smeared on a banana for a morning pick-me-up.

Must-have beauty product:

Nude by Nature BB 5-in-1 Miracle Cream. I’m always battling the elements, so I need a BB cream that doesn’t sweat into my eyes or wear off during the day. It also contains natural sunscreen to protect me from sunburn.

Words by: Daisy Sillis

Photos: Getty Images

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