A beginners guide to Paddle Boarding
PADDLE BOARDING FOR BEGINNERS
Paddle boarding is a fun and relaxing sport in which participants using their arms in a swimming position are set in motion by either lying or kneeling on a paddleboard or surfboard in open water bodies.
Stand-up paddle boarding or SUP is the most common and practiced form of paddle boarding. Here boarders stand on boards floating on water and use paddles to propel themselves through the water.
It’s an easy sport for people of all ages. In as much as it’s easy to learn, there are certain things a paddle boarding beginner should know before actually getting into open waters.
So, we’ve taken time out to point out a few important tips for paddle boarding beginners. They include:
1. HAVING THE RIGHT BOARD AND LEASH.
There is an array of paddleboards to pick from. Some of which include surf paddleboards, flatwater paddleboards, or the all-round paddleboard. These listed paddleboards can either be inflatable stand-up paddleboards (iSUP) or hardboards.
As a beginner, it is advised to use a simple all-round paddleboard. This will help you practice and get the hang of maneuvering before getting a specialized board. All-round boards are the largest paddleboards, being about 11 feet long. They are also very thick and stable, making them very safe and ideal for beginners to use.
As a beginner, a leash is an important safety tool you must have before taking off. There are two types of leashes you can get; those that get directly attached to your ankle or the others that go on just below the knee. Although choices of leashes used depend on preference, the ankle leaches are considered the most comfortable and easiest to use in case of falling off the board.
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2. PROPER WAY TO USE A PADDLE
The recommended length for a paddle is about the height of your slightly outstretched arm when reaching over your head. Most paddles can have their heights adjusted as they come with an adjustable knob.
Your paddle should be used to stir and accelerate once you are standing on the board and want to move. To accelerate, you paddle from front to back about five to seven times on each side. To make turns, you will have to move towards the back of the board, allowing the front end to have room to lift and turn. To maintain balance, it is important to maintain your core muscles and legs which give you stability on the board.
3. FALLING THE RIGHT WAY
As a beginner, you are most likely going to fall a few times as you try out the new techniques you have learned thus far. You just have to fall in a certain way to avoid injuries. Firstly, you always have to remember to fall away from your board and not try to hold on to it as you fall. You just have to embrace the fall onto the water. If you fall very often and are scared of getting injured, you should get an inflatable board (iSUP) as they are softer and will less likely get you injured when you accidentally fall on them. They are also cheaper, lighter, and more durable than the hardboards.
It’s also important to avoid falling feet first into shallow waters. It’s advised you fall on your side to minimize the length you’ll delve into the water to avoid hitting rocks or sharp objects at the bottom of shallow waters.
Paddle boarding may seem difficult at first, but with constant practice and following these tips for beginners, you’ll be an advanced paddler in no time!