It's a pretty common fact that when you surround yourself with your best friends, the jokes and antics are sure to be in full effect and more fun is surely to be had. I'm from Dayton, Ohio so there's not exactly a ton of people who Stand Up Paddle and the ones that do, I'm already good friends with. So when you decide to go out and get a river surf session in or some flat water paddling done after work, I text the people I think would want to join but we all have different lives and schedules and more than half the time, I'm going to end up paddling alone.
Years ago, I would start rethinking and questioning my motivation to still go out when everyone else bailed. Majority of the time, I'd still go out and was always surprised by how much fun I still had and how satisfied I was afterwards. It's a different kind of fun, a more soul rewarding experience. I can honestly say I've never had a bad day paddling. Even when the weather wasn't the best, it's maybe rainy and windy or the wave wasn't quite at the right level to surf, I never once regretted going out by myself to paddle. Even some of my favorite river surf sessions were by myself on snowy 25 degree day. Soon I never let the factor of going by myself, impact my decision to go and decided I was going to always go out when I planned to and friends could join if they wanted. You have to just commit to yourself and your plan for the day.
Some days, I need to be out there by myself and just get that peace and solitude and watch a sunset out on the lake. I've seen some pretty amazing sunsets from the water and each one is a memory I would never want to forget or change. When I go river surfing, I never have to wait for my turn on the wave. I can get more surfs in a shorter amount of time, maybe try some new tricks since you're not worried about wasting your turn on the wave to just take a swim. River surfing is always going to be fun to me, solo or with friends. Even day trips down rivers, I've shuttled myself up river using a skateboard while my kayak or board was locked up around a tree at the put in. When I'm race training on flatwater, my ear buds are in, and usually I'm timing myself with each lap. It shouldn't ever hard to stay motivated doing something you love.
I'm not saying that you should be a complete loner and 95% of the time, Id prefer to be out with friends paddling rather than solo. However, you should never let the fear of going out by yourself discourage you. If you love the sport, no matter what it is, you should feel comfortable and confident in doing it alone. Even if you're a beginner and maybe worried you might embarrass yourself in front of spectators or other paddlers there, everyone has to start somewhere and it's a great opportunity to meet new friends with that shared love of your sport. We are all out there for the same reason,... to have fun on the water.