Have you ever wondered how to paddle board your way through unexpected challenges, like navigating a flooded street? While it may seem unconventional, I once found myself in this peculiar situation. A few years ago, heavy rainfall left my neighborhood submerged, and I decided to embark on a unique adventure by paddle boarding to the nearest supermarket.
But let’s set aside my unconventional escapade for now! I’m here to guide you on how to paddle board in more conventional settings and unlock the exciting world of stand-up paddle boarding.
Are you ready?
Is Paddle Boarding Easier than Surfing?
Indeed, paddle boarding bears some similarities to surfing, yet it boasts distinct characteristics that set it apart as a captivating and accessible water sport.
First and foremost, the learning curve for paddle boarding is surprisingly gentle. You’ll find it takes only a short amount of time to become proficient at standing and maneuvering your board. It’s that straightforward. SUP (Stand-Up Paddle) boards are designed with versatility in mind, accommodating a wide range of ages and abilities, including those with injuries or special requirements.
In contrast, traditional surfing isn’t as forgiving for individuals with weak joints. It demands swift self-propulsion and board control when catching waves, which can place considerable strain on the knees and potentially lead to more severe injuries.
Moreover, paddle boarding offers a diverse range of activities to cater to water sports enthusiasts of all kinds. You can embark on a peaceful paddle along a serene lake, embrace the thrill of a high-paced ocean paddle, ride the waves, transport camping gear for a fishing expedition, or even practice yoga on your board. The inherent versatility of paddle boarding ensures that it has something to offer every water enthusiast.
You may find the SUP board more cumbersome and heavier than a surfboard. But how stable you can feel and how well the board can float on the water depend mostly on the volume and weight capacity of the board. These key factors make the SUP board easier to surpass the obstacles and more attainable to catch the wave than a regular surfboard.
Is Stand Up Paddle Board Good Exercise?
It’s not surprising that more and more local fitness centers include the paddling boarding in their training program. Stand up paddle boarding is not only a chill activity but also a solid core workout.
It’s a total body workout when your neck, shoulders, arms, back, toes and legs all work together to paddle or balance on your board. The combination of stability, strength, and endurance offers the best exercise for most people in various body shapes, sizes, and ages.
A number of calories burned is another significant difference between the surfboard and the paddle board. When you engage in surfing activity, you spend most of the time waiting for a wave. Only small bursts of energy in between is used for riding waves. In contrast, SUP requires the long term physicality for gliding across the waves, especially the balance so that you have to pay attention the whole time onboarding.
Compared to other sports like running, swimming, surfing, paddle boarding can burn a lot of calories. Of course, the amount of calories SUP player can burn is based on the amount of time paddle boarding and what intensity he is in the exercise.
Among the most common categories, the highest intensity of SUPing is racing as you have to travel through the water quickly without slowing down. On the other hand, SUP touring requires paddling for a long time at a moderate pace catching waves without stopping in-between.
Besides, one of the categories that calm your spirit the most is SUP yoga. Although the paddle boarding can be soothing and meditative, the energetic yoga flow is more intensive than the performance on land.
How Long Should My Paddleboard Be?
Prior to try this sport, you may have a tough time in choosing the perfect size paddle board in various choices readily available on the market. But remove all of your worries because now we’re here to help!
Keep in mind, the length of a SUP varies according to different categories of users and various types of activities you plan on doing. Normally, longer paddle boards are designed for faster peace while shorter paddle boards are ideal for responding to almost all water conditions.
There are the most common activities you should consider figuring out what length you need as follows:
- Touring: When it comes to touring, you prefer spending more time on the board than in the water. A narrower SUP with a pointed nose is more suitable for a recreational paddler. This type helps you to displace water so that you can travel over longer ways whatever on open oceans and lakes. Moreover, the typical size adds much stability that makes you immediately pretty comfortable once you get on board.
- Fishing: Who can refuse the relaxing and refresh day on the water fishing with SUPs? When the board floats on the water, you can stand up to fish. The SUPs have lots of volumes that allow you to have a further vision and more room to cast out than sitting in a traditional boat. Especially, a paddleboard is lightweight enough for you to carry toward the best fishing spot. However, the SUPs for fishing often come with several optional attachments such as rod holders or fish finders.
- Surfing: If surfing is your favorite SUP activity, you may consider a board specialized for surfing. As a general rule, the surfing boards are relatively shorter, narrower and thinner compared to others used for general paddling. This special design can enhance performance on waves where the surfing board will be skimming over the water surface. The advanced surfers may even go with smaller and shorter boards than the beginners to challenge the bigger waves.
How Much Weight Can a Paddleboard Hold?
The most priority thing when you engage in the paddleboarding activity is your safety. To avoid falling out from your board, make sure that the board can carry your weight. Besides, you should add some surplus capacity if you want to share the fun with someone along with you on the board.
In most cases, the paddle boards manufacturers recommend the formula to calculate the weight limit of the SUP board suitable for you in any condition. Actually, this is no rocket science! All you have to do is to simply multiply your body weight with the number that is classified based on your experience level and type of SUP boarding activity you get.
For example, the maximum weight of 205 pounds is recommended for beginners while 244 and 317 pounds for intermediate and advanced paddle boarders respectively. Overall, your body weight and the weight of the board itself must be under the maximum weight capacity of your paddle board to guarantee the best performance.
But, why the paddle board weight limit is so critical?
Well, the correct paddle board that fits your weight will glide easily through the water when moving. In case the amount of weight you carry exceeds the limit, something goes wrong. At that moment, the paddle board sits too deep in the water so that you will take lots of efforts to get moving. Also, the paddle board becomes unstable that quickly affects your balance.
Don’t be lazy in putting in the time to research your proper boards. Selecting the right weight capacity of boards can bring you miles of safe enjoyment.
Do You Need Water Shoes for Paddle Boarding?
There is certainly no rule that a SUP paddle boarder should wear water sport shoes or go barefoot. It’s totally up to your choice and the conditions you’re planning to paddle in.
In some areas like rivers, bays and shallow parts of the ocean, the ground may hide lots of sharp rocks, oyster shells or other objects. Consequently, your feet will touch the uncomfortable ground so water sport shoes is a good suggestion.
During the chilly winter when the cold water constantly washing over the board along with the freezing air, your feet will go numb. In this case, you will likely want the right type of shoes to add warmth and insulation. Besides, wearing waterproof shoes or socks can keep your feet dry and warm when launching in the areas where your feet may get wet but not be totally submerged.
When it gets warmer, some people tend to go barefoot to use their toes for balance and keeping themselves upright. The closer connection with the board movements supports the players quickly get in or get out the water if necessary. Bare feet also bring greater confidence and more security for shifts in a stance or for tricks on the board. Many flat water paddlers and yoga enthusiasts prefer going barefoot rather than wearing neoprene shoes or booties.
The features for standard SUP shoes is the same for all categories:
- Be made of quick-drying materials. Shoes that absorb water will hinder your movements.
- Contain good drainage and ventilation to allow water to flow out.
- Support quick shifting and gripping the board with the feet.
A Step-by-step Guide on How To Paddle Board
To start out paddle boarding, please make sure your comfort and safety. Therefore, it is necessary to seek flat water and calm wind, for example, a lazy river, to learn how to balance on the board. The strong motion of waves or blowing wind can leave the beginners discouraged. But don’t worry, most beginners are able to stand up and paddle board shortly under the little instruction.
Before mastering paddle board, keep in mind you could be falling. So unless you have natural talent, acquiring the basic techniques may be a good idea. Here are some tips on:
- Standing up
How to Stand Up on Your Board
- Get the board in water so the fins on the board don’t hit the bottom.
- Hold the board by the edges and try to get onto the board on your knees. Remember to locate yourself at the center of the board that you can easily see by finding the carry handle.
- Stand up by placing your feet where your knees were. Rather than standing up in one motion, keep your hands on the sides of the board to stabilize and slowly raise your body up.
- Extend your legs about shoulder width apart.
How to Stay Balanced on a Board
Maintaining your balance seems to be simple once you’re standing on board. But in fact, it can challenge yourself when you start moving without some techniques below:
- Keep your body upright and your eyes on the horizon. Avoid staring at your feet.
- Create a slight bend in your knees or even more if you lose your balance.
- Lean forward a bit by moving your shoulders slightly forward and your hips a bit backward.
Overall, the best strategy to stay balanced is to do more paddle boarding. Get out, ride in the wind and catch some waves! It will make you feel more confident in your ability and you’ll have more fun!
Paddleboarding is created for almost all adventure lovers. Starting paddle boarding now and you’ll have great fun, relaxation, exploration and even meditation.
But remember to explore some experts’ reviews and recommendations before you get into this amazing sport. It helps you to hop on the board that will properly meet your needs and budget.
And we want to remind you of the last but not the least consideration. Always respect and protect nature whenever you perform your paddle boarding.
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