Paddle boarding is a fun and active pastime, perfect for anyone who enjoys water sports. You propel yourself as if you were swimming; only you’re lying down flat on a paddle board. Some people kneel on their boards while others stand. Trained paddlers can stroke for several hours.
As a beginner, that isn’t a realistic goal at first. When it comes to the basics, how much do you know about paddle boarding? And how can get you get started doing stand-up paddleboarding or SUP? Here are some of the basics:
Choosing a paddle board
It goes without saying that you need the right paddle board if you wish to start paddle boarding! So, how do you know which one is best for your needs? A few different types exist, so it’s important to know what they are to make an informed decision.
All-round or “touring” SUPs are one of the most common types. They have round “noses” and are flat on the bottom. They’re also quite wide and long, offering a greater volume. Because of those characteristics, they are the most stable boards you can get. All-round SUPs are ideal for boarding on lakes and calmer waters.
In contrast to all-round SUPs, “surf” SUPs are shorter and lighter. They have narrower noses and tails, offering more sharp turns. As you can imagine, surf SUPs are perfect for surfing!
Those with a lot of boarding experience that enter competitions will need “racing” SUPs. They get designed to cut through choppy waters and glide for longer. They also keep tracks straight. Racing SUPs with wider tails are more stable while the pulled-in types are more agile.
You can also get inflatable paddle boards. They are useful for ease of transportation. And if you’re into yoga, there are even yoga-specific boards available to buy! Before selecting a board, it’s crucial to check out some paddle board reviews first. That way, you’ll get the best value for your money.
What else do you need?
You’ll need to bring more than just a board to the beach, starting with a paddle. As you might expect, they come in a range of styles and sizes.
You should also get a leash to attach your paddle board to you. The leash fastens to your calf or ankle via a Velcro strap. You’ll also need a paddleboard bag to protect your pride and joy from damage.
Last, but not least, you’ll need a PFD (personal flotation device). They are a legal requirement if you go beyond the limits of a swimming or surfing area.
It makes sense to take some professional paddleboarding lessons beforehand. That way you can learn the right techniques to be a safer boarder. In general, here is how you would get started:
- Take the board out to water far enough, so the fin doesn’t hit the bottom;
- Kneel on the board and take a few strokes;
- Slowly stand up, one foot at a time, and stand on the middle of the board;
- Have a slight bend in your knees and your body centered over the board.