Paddle Boarding: A New And Addictive Way Of Staying Fit
Flat water paddling has been gaining in popularity over the last decade. It is an ancient technique, performed by many cultures on many continents, including India, China, Italy and so forth (read more about it here).
The discipline is often referred to as SUP, meaning stand up paddle boarding, for it implies paddling while standing. It is a reasonably simple technique to learn.
Moreover, it is a beginner-friendly discipline, and an excellent alternative to gym sweating: instead of weightlifting, you’ll be propelling yourself across the flat water, building your muscles and enjoying the view.
Fun And Fitness
SUP is for people who are tired of sweat and gym, for those who want to have fine and exercise at the same time. Fitness coaches often have trouble motivating people to exercise and stay fit. Moreover, getting new people into the world of fitness is even harder.
Thus they came up with a beginner friendly and simple way of introducing people to the fitness: stand up paddleboarding. SUP requires the movement of your entire body, emphasizing balance and control.
Furthermore, the discipline doesn’t require any precognitions nor form practice. In fact, the entire process of learning SUP comes down to balance control. And most importantly, SUP is fun. The entire process is engaging and non-punishing; the worst thing that can happen to you is falling in the water.
SUP Fitness In Nature
SUP is often performed on lakes, rivers, and sea. This strong connection to nature makes SUP even more appealing: you can explore caves, travel across lakes and glide across the sea, and exercise at the same time.
SUP is more about intuition than technique, which also helps bring the intuitive aspect of human beings. As such, SUP is attractive to yoga practitioners, meditation practitioners, even anglers (fishing is both sport and form of meditation, in a way).
SUP derived out of surfing, which helps bring out that zen-effect. This doesn’t mean that you’ll suddenly start growing beard and wear flip-flops to your job, but that you will relax, breathe practice.
However, if yoga and meditation aren’t your things, if you want to paddle because you want to be fit more than anything else, SUP is still a valuable technique. It takes roughly 30 minutes to learn the basics of SUP, and during those 30 minutes, you will activate every muscle in your body.
Paddle Boarding Is Raising In Popularity
Flatwater paddleboarding has been gaining in popularity over the last decade. In fact, old-school surfers knew about SUP long before it became popular. For surfers, SUP was a way of relaxation and fun in times with no winds and waves.
SUP exploded in America in 2008 as a form of exciting and entertaining way of exercising and staying fit, and it quickly spread to Europe and then across the entire globe. That’s the thing with SUP: you don’t need waves.
Where there are seas, lakes, rivers, accumulated water, there is a potential for SUP. As the discipline grew, so did the number of paddleboards, the thing upon which the paddlers stand. This is another beneficiary aspect of paddleboarding.
SUP requires that you have inflatable paddleboard. Since it is inflatable, the board is easy to transport, store and maintain. You come to your favorite place, inflate the board, enjoy the ride, deflate, store it in a backpack and go home.
Getting Started Paddle Boarding
The first thing you need to obtain is the inflatable boards. You can rent one in via a rental agency, or you can buy it. Whichever you choose, there are a couple of things you should know. For starters, you should go with the wider and thicker board, more than 30 inches in width and 5 inches or more in thickness. Why? Well, wider and thicker boards are more balanced, easier to control and fit for beginners.
You will also need a paddle, which is often included in the offer. Paddles are either made of aluminum or carbon and are usually very light and adjustable. If they are flexible, modify it so that it aligns with your body dimensions. Now, you can sign for a course of paddling, or you can try learning it on your own.
So What Kind Of Paddle Board Do I Need For Flat Water Boarding?
We wrote a great article on what are the best flat water paddle boards here. It will go into depth or what we feel are the best boards for flat water SUPing.
If you are interested in this subject this video will explain you more on how to start to stand up paddle boarding:
This next video will show you how to balance yourself as you enter the water with your board:
This last video will help show you how to stand up if you fall off your paddle board:
Conclusion On Paddleboarding
Paddleboarding is gaining momentum, and there is no sign of stopping. It is a discipline that attracts people who seek adventure, peace, and exercise.
If you are interested in staying fit and are tired of gyms and running shoes, then maybe you should consider SUPing. Buy or rent the board to start and join a class or just watch a couple of youtube videos and prepare to have an experience of your life. It really is fun and addictive!