Most people who try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) are hooked straight from the off, leading them to buy SUPs for themselves. It’s a unique activity that can allow you to enjoy some of the most beautiful places from the vantage point of your board, while also getting some exercise too.
However, there are those out there who get ‘paddle-bored’ (I know, we can’t believe it either!), so we’ve looked at five ways you can make sure your next SUP trip is as fun as it possibly could be, making certain you’re forever hooked on SUP!
Combine Paddle Boarding with Food
Everyone loves food! So why not combine paddle boarding with this love? Many places abroad have venues close to local waterways, so if you are paddling abroad, this could be a perfect way to enjoy the best of both worlds.
If your destination doesn’t have any nearby local foodie haunts, pack yourself a tasty (and nutritional) little picnic basket and strap it to your board. You can head off and find a sweet spot en route to the turnaround point and relax.
You could fill a flask of coffee and grab some breakfast items and enjoy a morning on the water, or perhaps in a little cove that you discover while out paddling. Or if you wanted to head out with fishing gear, could challenge yourself to catch something a little more fresh!
Don’t Paddle With Your Arms
People can get frustrated with paddleboarding as they feel they aren’t getting anywhere very fast, which is more often than not a result of poor technique. One of the biggest culprits is arm paddling.
Many people new to the sport will paddle just using their arms, which will not only cause you to become more tired more quickly but won’t get you anywhere anytime soon!
You should be aiming to use your core when you paddle, rather than just your arms. Your core contains a larger group of muscles than your arms, which means they won’t wear out as fast.
Instead of bending at the elbows and taking a stroke, try practising keeping your arms relatively straight and bending at your waist to reach the blade as far forward as you can. Then, imagine you are pulling yourself towards the paddle rather than pulling the paddle to you.
Doing this will give you a better core workout, as well as letting you glide through the water much quicker than you did before. You’ll look like a pro in no time!
Workout on the Water
Paddleboarding in itself is a really good workout, and that is why it has become such a popular sport in recent years. But you can always make things a bit more interesting and incorporate other exercises while on your board, which can make things even more exciting!
From yoga and Pilates to workouts that incorporate balance and agility, you can be as adventurous as you like with your exercises. Remember, don’t be afraid to fall in the water, it won’t hurt!
Find yourself a nice stretch of flat water and try out some basic moves, such as press-ups, sit-ups, squats, calf raises and maybe even give some burpees a whirl if you are feeling confident enough in your ability!
Combine these exercises with the cardio-based paddling, and you are sure to give your workout a new, exhilarating edge.
Adjust Your Blade
Before you go checking out new SUP paddles for sale, consider getting your technique right. This can be the difference between having an energy-zapping paddle and a more memorable fun time on the water.
Make sure the flat edge of your blade is facing back, and the bevelled edge is facing forward. It may feel unnatural, but if it feels awkward to start with, chances are you are doing it right.
Getting your blade right allows for maximum power so you can have a more efficient push going forward. You’ll find that people having a tough time paddling, are often the ones who aren’t engaging the right muscles and are adopting poor blade technique.
You should also ensure the entire blade is submerged in the water, to allow for maximum power and the least amount of energy output. Anything less and you’ll be too tired to soak up the spectacular surroundings that await!
Get a Paddle Buddy
Yes, you can take in the beauty of nature and relish the places that you may not have otherwise been able to see if you weren’t travelling by paddleboard, but you can appreciate it all the more if you have a paddle buddy out there to experience it with too.
Not only does having someone paddling with you give you some company, but it also offers a sense of security, someone to share a floating meal with, share a workout with and even have races with on the water!
What’s more, you are more likely to stick to longer paddles, which will greatly benefit your fitness. Your paddle buddy could always be one of the four-legged kind as well.
Dogs are great company, and after some training can be the perfect partners for you on your board. There have been lots of instances where dogs have been spotted out enjoying a paddle with their owners, so grab them a dog life jacket, and get them good to go!
Experiment With Your Paddling Trips
These are just five ways you can ensure your paddling trip is as enjoyable as it possibly can be, but this isn’t an exhaustive list. Experiment with your paddling trips and find things that you enjoy, and treat every trip like an adventure – don’t be bored on your board!
When travelling around the world, there are some fantastic locations which have the perfect conditions for stand-up paddle boarding. Places like Hawaii, Santa Barbara in California, the Bahamas and Costa Rica all have the ideal conditions to give this sport a go!
If you are seeking adventure on your travels, why not try your hand at this activity? We’re sure you’ll be hooked!
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Photo credits: Workout on the water by Zach Mahone Photography. SUP fishing by Zach Mahone Photography. Paddleboarding in Asia by Zach Mahone Photography. Cave paddleboarding by Zach Mahone Photography. Paddling with dog by Klaus Krumböck.