As Stand Up Paddle becomes extremely popular around the world, people are looking for ways to improve the sport, with the intention to make either more competitive or more diverse. One of these new ways is to mix paddleboarding with Pilates, as it has been performed with yoga. To introduce you to this new trend, Giannis Vasvatekis our Greek Ambassador has interviewed Katerina Vekiou, a personal trainer who recently brought Pilates and SUP together.
While Pilates is typically done in a gym or a studio, indoor space, SUP brings Pilates out into the wild, natural setting of oceans, rivers, or lakes. Not only that, but the water’s constant movement makes for a more challenging yoga practice, especially because of the importance of balance in Pilates practices.
Katerina Vekiou is a personal trainer, and brings her experience and enthusiasm to both Pilates and SUP. Katerina enjoys paddling near her home in Parga, Greece, and teaching Pilates in a studio. She has also been a swim trainer in Parga’s Nautical Association for the past 3 years.
TotalSUP : Hello Katerina, what made you start performing Pilates on a SUP board?
Katerina Vekiou : One day by accident, after training with my SUP board, I did my stretching on it and kept unconsciously doing Pilates exercices. It was a lot of fun trying to balance and not to fall into the water! I realized that my effort had important effect on my body as the session made me work out an incredible amount of individual muscles. I was excited and since then I started doing it systematically. Then I searched over the internet and found out that in other countries outside of Greece, Pilates and yoga performed on a board were becoming popular and more and more enthusiastic paddlers and non-paddlers were practicing it nowadays.
What are the main differences between pilates on the water and pilates on dry land?
Katerina Vekiou : The board is a solid ground that becomes unstable in water. This increases the difficulty of the exercise as greater physical effort is paid. It also needs more concentration, control and movement coordination.
Are they any poses you can’t do on a SUP board?
Katerina Vekiou : I don't think so. It is possible to apply a multitude of exercises on a SUP board. Of course, it does take some practice and familiarity. The experience has shown to me that you can accomplish a lot on the board!
How did your students respond the first time you told them that their Pilates course would be on the sea ?
Katerina Vekiou : Among the practitioners I have a small group of friends who follow whatever alternative exercises I can suggest. Once I told them about it they dared without hesitation, even though they had no previous experience of Stand Up Paddle!
How fit do you have to be to practice SUP Pilates?
Katerina Vekiou : I would say that previous experience of mat Pilates is a good pre-condition.
What’s the most common misconception about SUP Pilates?
Katerina Vekiou : Many believe that it is extremely sophisticated and difficult. It is actually pretty simple and participants get hooked very quickly. You just have to dare and you will find out by yourself.
I am wondering if there have been any powerful moments that come to mind where you said to yourself, “wow, I don’t think that could have happened during a dry land Pilates class?”
Katerina Vekiou : Every sunset SUP Pilate’s session is unique! These moments are dreamy!
Do you practice anything else on a SUP board like surfing, cruising or downwind?
Katerina Vekiou : I love cruising and during winter months I do surfing. When I have time I try not to lose the good days.
Finally is it the dry land or the water that defines you?
Katerina Vekiou : I just can’t live away from the sea…!
The 7th edition of the Agios Nikolaos on SUP 2022 event held in Agios Nikolaos, a coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, brought the world’s top athletes and local SUP community together to celebrate the sport of stand-up paddleboarding. This year’s event was dedicated to Thanos Karaiskos, the father of SUP in Crete, a […]
On 24 and 25 September, Agios Nikolaos, a coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, will be hosting again one of the biggest SUP events in Greece – Agios Nikolaos on SUP 2022. This is the 7th edition of the event and every effort has been made to provide both athletes and visitors with a […]
On Sunday 15 October 2017, traffic in the Corinth Canal was interrupted for hundreds of ambitious paddlers, all lined up in front of the submersible bridge of Posidonia for the 7th Annual Corinth Canal SUP Crossing. This year the race was not only a milestone for SUP in Greece as a discipline, but also for the event itself. The number of […]
Here is the race report of the stop number 9 of the EuroTour by Belar Diaz which took place in Greece this past weekend. Greece On Board Festival – Moraitis Beach The 9th stop of the EuroTour presented by Starboard saw us heading to Marathon in Greece on the 2nd and 3rd July. The II […]
Florent Dode, le rider français de chez 3 Bay Paddle, vainqueur de l’édition 2015 de la Dordogne Intégrale était l’un des 3 premiers à participer à cet événement en Stand Up Paddle et il y retourne. Il nous parle aujourd’hui de son expérience sur la SUP Race la plus longue de France. La Dordogne Intégrale | Par […]
14 races instead of 13, Six Bridges SUP Race replaced by Port of Setubal SUP Race… Belar Diaz founder of the EuroTour reveals the final schedule of the series and the changes that come with it. The 2016 EuroTour This season’s selection of races was put together to be inclusive and representative for the biggest […]
The Bilbao World SUP Challenge was just an incredible event that many will not forget. The 4th leg of the Euro Tour offered hype, tension, excitement on the water and plenty of entertainment on dry land thanks to a professionnally mounted show with live music, merchandising and food allowing for pro-racers, amateurs and spectators to mingle […]
At only 18, the Australian Trevor Tunnington whooped some international sprinting butts yesterday at the Lost Mills Fastest Padder on Earth sprint event, establishing the best time of the day and winning with more than 2 seconds over Casper Steinfath and fellow compatriot Jake Jensen. Here is a fast interview with the Fastest Paddler on […]
Racing season is now over in Greece and what a season this one was! Greece had the biggest number of races with more participants than ever this year. This proves how much SUP is growing in Greece and how this sport generates enthusiasm from recreational paddlers. More than 11 races took place in Athens, various islands […]
Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.
3rd Party Cookies
We use a set of third party tools to provide information on how our users engage with our website so that we can improve the experience of the website for our users. For example, we collect information about which of our pages are most frequently visited, and by which types of users. Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!