6 Tips For Those Getting Into Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Starting your stand-up paddleboard (SUP) journey is an exciting prospect. It only takes a single trip out onto the water for you to realize how many potential adventures will become available. Lakes, rivers, and seas all begin to open themselves to exploration, as do the hidden coves and caves that may not otherwise be easily explored, all of which are part of the appeal.
Before you begin this new level of exploration, however, it is important to keep in mind the basics that will not only keep you safe but will also ensure you remain comfortable and enjoy every minute that you spend out on the water.
Comfort In Water
While paddleboarding takes place atop a large board, there will inevitably be moments where you willingly or unexpectedly enter the water. This necessitates that each person who begins paddleboarding has comfort being in the water, being able to swim and remount their paddleboard without anxiety.
The Right Location
Taking your SUP to the coast as part of your first foray onto the water can sometimes be a mistake. This is because the nature of waves and coastal winds can make finding one’s balance slightly challenging, especially when compared with placid lakes. As such, it is recommended that beginners find a safe and calm spot upon which to first begin paddleboarding.
Choose Your Board
Paddleboards aren’t all the same and, as such, boarders will need to choose the right SUP for their needs and comfort. Variations include differences in size and material, both of which will affect the efforts required to navigate various types of water. Additionally, boarders can choose between inflatable or hard SUP options. An inflatable SUP is generally preferred for its ease of transportation whereas hard, or solid, boards are valued by professionals and those looking for the best performance.
Getting Back On
Being able to remount your board is a crucial part of the paddleboard experience, preventing the anxiety of falling into the water or being stranded. The process is relatively easy and will be the topic of most paddleboarding experiences should you endeavour to take a class. Regardless, however, it is recommended that time is spent in shallow and safe waters, practising the act of remounting a board.
There are a number of accessories that will make your SUP experience far more enjoyable and even safe. Ankle cords are required to ensure your SUP doesn’t float too far away, waterproof bags are essential for ensuring belongings are carried safely on board, and gloves are ideal to sustain a strong grip as hands become wet or cold.
SUP is known for its accessibility, being open to a wide range of ages and abilities. This, however, is not to say that there isn’t a learning curve. Practising remains important and will not only help to form a habit that will keep your new watersport activity a part of your life but it will also develop your ability and see you take on new and exciting challenges