Paddle boarding is one of the most fast-growing water sport around the world. One of the reasons for its rapid growth in popularity is that it’s easy for all skill levels. Most people can master the basic skills of paddle boarding even when paddling for the first time. But being able to paddle on the water doesn’t necessarily make you a pro. There are differences between a rookie and a pro paddler, even if the differences might not be that noticeable. If you want to paddle more professionally, here’s what you should do.
- Prepare your body
You want to paddle and you want to look good while doing it. In order to do so you will need the endurance and muscle capacity to handle paddle boarding. If you have paddled before, you know how hard it can be on your muscles when you start to feel sore afterward. There are a number of exercises you can do to build the key muscles that are engaged during paddle boarding; namely your arm muscles for paddling as well as your core and legs for balance. Not only will you be building a base for endurance so you can paddle longer, but also the foundation for good posture to help you avoid injury and have an easier time on the board.
- Get the right sized SUP paddle for your height
Paddling with an incompatible paddle can be extremely inefficient for your body's energy expenditure and compromising to your posture. The type of SUP board you get will depend on various factors, especially the use of the paddle. If you are a recreational paddler, you will require a different SUP board as compared to racing and touring paddlers. For starters, the materials, height, and weight of the paddle will vary. Because of this, you'd want to first identify what type of paddler you are and then choose accordingly so that you choose an optimal paddle that will be comfortable and easy for you to maneuver. Generally, the recommended height of your paddle should be about as tall as the total height with your arm outstretched upwards, about 8 to 12 inches above your height. And for beginner, an inflatable paddle board is more suitable than a rigid board. For a solid and reliable choice of inflatalbe stand up paddleboard, check out Goosehill. The company's Rainbow R series is one of the best inflatable SUP boards to invest your money in.
- Practice and improve your strokes
Your strokes are critical to making you a better paddler. The right strokes can make a difference in how long you can stay up, how well you can steer yourself, and how efficiently you paddle among others. To improve your stroke, you'd have to put in the hours in the water practicing proper technique. A great way to get started is by learning the correct technique. You can browse YouTube for ideas, but the best way to get better is to find an experienced paddler and learn from them. Not only do you get to make a friend, but you also get a trainer who can correct you while you practice.
- Stand up correctly
Striking the right balance on your paddle board can be a tough skill to master, however, like strokes, you can build up your ability to balance and significantly improve. The foundation for balance is physical fitness and muscle capacity, as discussed in the first point. On the water, you will encounter a variety of waves and your balance will determine whether you will fall or keep paddling. One effective method you can use to integrate squats and pull-ups into your workout. These build up leg and core muscles effectively. Additionally, starting small in practicing in the water will allow your body to slowly acclimatize to balancing on the board.
- Practice to be comfortable moving around your board
Because you will be paddle boarding on various water conditions, some will be more turbulent than others, you will need to develop a sense of how to navigate your board. This, in addition to having good balance, will improve your comfort on the board. Through practice, and you can begin on shallow waters if you feel uncertain, try moving your feet on different positions of the board. Be mindful of your foot positioning and the waves and adjust accordingly. As with anything, however, practice makes better!
If you really like the sport and intend to invest more time in it, then it’s worth spending time on learning the necessary skills to paddle board more professionally. After mastering these skills, you can consider taking further advantage of the board and try something more challenging, like SUP yoga. One of the benefits of SUP yoga is helping you improve balance on the board, which is basic in requiring higher levels of paddling skills. Also other activities like SUP surfing, SUP racing are also worth trying. But they all require higher levels of skills. If you are confident, you should totally give them a try.
When your skills advanced, you may challenge yourself by participating in one of those paddle boarding events around the world. It's a great way to test your skills and an opportunity to meet new people and expand your life experience.