Stand up paddling is a sport that is becoming popular worldwide. It became popular among surfing instructors because it gave them a very good view of what was going on with their students. This is especially true for surf coaches who have relatively large classes.
Very similar to walking on water, stand up paddle boarding provides a full body, “core” workout. If you’ve never tried this amazing sport before, now’s as good a time as any to get learning! Here are a few tips on getting started.
What You’ll Be Needing
Certain equipment is essential before you get started on your new exciting hobby of Stand Up Paddling. Here’s a short checklist:
- Stand Up Paddle Board
There are many different sizes to choose from, but if you’re a complete amateur at this, you might want to try boards that are wider and larger in size, as they tend to be a lot easier to balance on. You can choose between rigid, fiberglass boards or inflatable boards.
Sizes here also vary, but experts recommend that you get a paddle that’s about 8 to 10 inches higher than the top of your head.
- PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
This could be a vest or a belt; whichever you prefer. As long as you can keep it on you at all times while you’re Stand Up Paddling, and it will keep you afloat in the water, it’s fine.
Sunblock or sunscreen is also useful. Depending on the climate of your country, proper attire may vary. Tropical country dwellers can sport T-shirts and shorts while people who live in colder countries that have the tendency to give you hypothermia should wear wet or dry suits.
Stand Tall – Don’t Look Down!
Okay, first thing’s first: it’s always best to start practicing on calmer waters. Anyone could imagine how difficult it would be to try getting on a board when waves are moving about.
Now, to mount your board, place the paddle along the side. Then, while holding both edges of the board, just lift yourself up onto the board on your knees. If you feel that standing up is still too difficult for you to attempt, it’s okay. Just keep on your knees and get a feel of where the center of balance of the board is. Once you’ve gotten that down, simply get on your feet.
Some important tips to remember for keeping your balance: resist the urge to look down at your feet and balance with your hips, not your head. Keep your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees, straighten your back, and paddle to your heart’s content!
Time for Some Fun!
So what are you waiting for? Grab your board, get in your car, and find the nearest beach so you can start Stand Up Paddling. After all, practice makes perfect!