Are you looking for a fun way to work out? Paddleboarding is a popular water sport that burns lots of calories and engages your core and multiple muscles in the body. Paddleboarding is a great way to unwind and be one with nature, allowing you to appreciate nature and gain a new perspective. Let us take a sneak peek at everything you need to know about stand-up paddleboarding.
Types of SUPs
Your choice of paddleboard will depend on your lifestyle and needs. Each board is different from the next, and you should choose the best board for you. Below are some types of stand-up paddleboards.
All around SUPs
If you are a beginner, all-round SUPs are the perfect choice as they are the most common and most versatile SUP shape in the market. You can use all-round SUPs to glide on calm lakes as well as surf through ocean waves. Activities you can participate in with all-round SUPs include SUP fishing, SUP touring, SUP yoga, and SUP surfing.
Inflatable SUPs are better suited for users who travel a lot as they can be rolled up like a sleeping bag and stashed away until subsequent use. These boards are also very durable and, even when dropped, cannot get damaged.
Fishing SUPs, as the name suggests, contain a broader deck to provide more space to store fishing gear. Some fishing SUPs also offer attachments such as bait trays and fishing rod holders for your convenience. Using a fishing SUP provides you with a better angle to view fish in the surrounding, not to mention how lightweight and easy they are to transport.
Yoga SUPs can not only be used for yoga but also as a recreational paddleboard for beginners. They come with a broader deck pad to create enough room for yoga stretches.
If you are a more experienced paddler who loves long-distance paddling, look into getting yourself a touring SUP. These paddling boards are also designed for competitions. Touring SUPs are long and streamlined to increase speed and contain displacement hulls for tracking.
As the name suggests, surf SUPs are designed for surfing ocean waves as they are more responsive and maneuver very well in the water. However, surf SUPs are the least stable on the water, making them unsuitable for beginners.
A paddling board is not all you will need to hit the ocean. Here is a couple of additional paddleboard equipment you will need.
Stand up paddle
A rule of thumb is that your paddle should be six to ten inches above your height. If you are using your paddle in flat water, size it a bit longer than you usually would and shorter if you use it in the surf. Stand-up paddles can be made out of either wood, aluminum, or plastic and come with various shaft shapes and handles.
A SUP leash is one of the most crucial paddle board accessories. It consists of a Velcro strap around your ankle that keeps you attached to your board. We recommend using a leash that is slightly smaller than your board. In the unfortunate event that you fall off your board, the force of the ocean waves can turn your board into a lethal weapon.
Inflatable SUPs come with a board bag that helps safely transport your board and prevent wear and tear.
The US Coast Guard recommends paddlers use a USCG-approved life vest beyond a paddling board for recreational use.
How to stand on a SUP
Starting on a small board will leave you feeling discouraged due to the lack of balance. We recommend beginners jump on a comprehensive and thick board. The steps below will guide you on how to stand on a SUP.
Step 1. Push the board into the water so that the fin is not hitting the ground.
Step 2. Kneel on top of the board and take a few strokes on each side.
Step 3. Slowly stand up on the board one knee at a time, ensuring that your feet are parallel to the stringer. Your feet should also be shoulder-width apart and balanced in the middle of the board.
Step 4. Make sure your core is centered above the board and that your knees are slightly bent.
Step 5. In case you fall off, hop back on the board and try again.
Use the paddle as a lever, the bottom hand is the pivot, and the top hand is the load. Check out the following paddleboarding techniques.
Ensure your bottom arm is straight while you pull your upper arm toward your body. Bury the blade deep into the water as you rotate your shoulder forward and extend your reach. Aim at pulling yourself forward past the paddle rather than pulling the blade through the water.
Turning with the Forward sweep stroke
To turn to the left, you should turn your torso to the left while placing your paddle in the water on your right side. Bending your knees will make it easier to turn the board.
Turning with the Reverse sweep stroke
If you want to turn to the right, shift your torso to the right, place your paddle near the board’s tail, and pull towards the nose.
Common SUP mistakes to Avoid
It is not advisable to hold the shaft of the paddle with both hands like a broomstick. Instead, one of your hands should be at the top of the handle and the other on the shaft. Standing in a surf stance will increase your chances of falling.
Spread your feet about shoulder length apart and keep them parallel. A short grip on the paddle will result in a powerless stroke, so ensure your hands are shoulder-width apart. Use your back muscles rather than your arms for a more efficient stroke and ensure you dip the blade entirely into the water.
Gather your friends and loved ones for a relaxing weekend of paddleboarding in the location of your choice. Expect to fall off your board a couple of times but don’t let that discourage you. Practice makes perfect, and even the most experienced paddlers started somewhere!