Activity to try: Stand-Up Paddleboarding

By , August 3, 2013 8:32 am

If it’s a hot summer and you’re ready to try something different, let me introduce you to the fastest growing watersport in the world: stand-up paddleboarding (or SUP as the cool-kids call it). You don’t need any waves, in fact it’s better to begin on a river or lake, and it’s an activity the whole family can do.

Is Stand-Up Paddleboarding for me?

While you may worry about being uncoordinated, stand-up paddleboarding is much easier to learn than surfing, and you’ll probably feel surprisingly stable once you’re balanced in the middle of the board. Get an instructor to show you the basics, and make sure you start on a day with calm water and little wind.

The best thing about stand-up paddleboarding is you can tailor the workout for how you feel that day. Feeling tired or lazy? Simply float around and enjoy the sights. Feeling energetic and daring? Head out to the surf to really challenge yourself. Because you’re standing up, you’ll be treated to views that you wouldn’t usually see such as marine life and the horizon. It really is like walking on water.

What Kind of Workout can I Expect?

Stand-up paddleboarding delivers a killer low-impact workout, and targets almost every muscle in your body as you have to work hard to stay on the board. Your abs in particular get stronger every time you go out onto the water, and your arms will soon be toned from paddling.

Yogi’s have discovered stand up paddleboards as well, allowing them to have an even better workout, while the super-fit are doing everything from push-ups to lunges on theirs.

How do I get started?

Sign up for an introductory lesson so you can learn the basics. This will allow you to get a feel for the board and learn how to paddle without falling off. The instructor will be able to give you pointers on your technique so next time you can go out alone.

A paddleboard and paddle will set you back between $1000 and $2500. Borrow a few different boards and get a feel for them before you buy, and make sure you get a board with a strap so it’s easier to carry.

Stand-up Paddleboarding Tips:

  • Keep your feet shoulder width apart and parallel to spread your weight evenly over the board. Don’t make the mistake of putting one leg behind the other as your balance will suffer.
  • Your grip on the paddle should also be about shoulder width apart, allowing you to have the maximum amount of power in your stroke and get some leverage.
  • Keep your gaze on the horizon or at least make sure you’re not looking at your feet-that’s the best way to make sure you’ll end up in the water.
  • Keep the paddle in the water as much as you can, and don’t drag the paddle behind your feet.

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