A lesson in stand-up paddle-boarding was an unexpected but exciting Christmas present for Albury's Gemma and Tayla Spinelli.
Despite their initial hesitation about its difficulty, trying out the sport with Paddle Tribe Albury at Lake Hume was a Saturday well-spent for Gemma and her sister.
"It's a lot of fun - you laugh a lot," she said.
"I'd really like to stick with it."
Gemma said becoming a regular paddle-boarder would be easier with inflatable boards.
"It's surprising they are inflatable as they're so solid, but it would be great to be able to transport them easily," she said.
Paddle Tribe Albury owner Hannah-Leigh Wolki imported the boards for her business and has watched the sport's popularity grow over the past three years.
"I spent about six months just importing the boards, and then began selling the boards, but I found people were more interested in classes," she said.
"They're growing in popularity because anyone can have them; if you have a solid board like me, you need roof-racks or a trailer, but the inflatable ones can go in a hatchback."
Ms Wolki runs one-hour classes on Saturdays, taking participants through safety techniques on land, turning methods and standing.
"It's really taken off ... I run lessons pretty much every Saturday, four months a year," she said.
"When I first started, it wasn't very common ... but now I see paddle-boards all the time."
Lessons have been taking place at Ebden recently due to the higher concentration at Bowna of blue-green algae, which has been detected across Lake Hume.
"It is a little tricky with the algae ... we're usually at Bowna as there's less boats on that side," Ms Wolki said.
"It can be good fun navigating the trees as obstacles."
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Hundreds of people in Albury-Wodonga and Yarrawonga have taken part in lessons so far this summer.
Ms Wolki said it was great to share her love of paddle-boarding.
"I come from a retail family, so your busiest time working is usually Christmas and the summertime," she said.
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