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How to Prepare for Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding is an active and engaging water sport many people love to indulge in. But, more often than not, people come unprepared in multiple ways. To get the best out of each session, it is important that you prepare physically and mentally beforehand.

Adequate arrangement can range from checking the weather conditions, warming up, having the right gear and so forth. Following are details on how you can prepare so you don’t miss out on a single thing the next time you go out paddleboarding.

Paddleboarding Preparation Steps

Following are the steps to get ready for paddling.

paddleboarding

1. Observe the Weather Conditions

Unlike surfing, paddleboarding is supposed to be a controlled water sport. You get to choose which direction you will go unless you’re an advanced player where you can steer yourself past the strong winds.

But as a beginner, it’s always recommended that you check your weather conditions, from how strong the wind is blowing so you’re not propelled every other way, as you try to learn the sport.

You may also prefer a warm sunny day which is why you should heed the weather forecast before the day you go out paddling.

Secondly, check on the water conditions. The strong winds may affect the water causing them to have large waves making it unfavorable for you to learn about stability and balance.

You don’t want to end up lying on your belly flat on the board the entire session because you’re avoiding being hit by strong waves.

2. Have the Right Gear

This point can’t be emphasized enough. Much like any other sport, paddleboarding has skill levels from novice to an apprentice and finally the advanced players. As a beginner, you can’t be using a racing stand up paddleboard to learn about gaining stability on the water.

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) gear
SUP Equipment

The boards are manufactured in different kinds to cater to different people. There is the beginner paddleboard that’s wide to about 30 to 35 inches wide and 11 to 14 inches long to give you ample space to master the techniques. That can be a touring or yoga SUPs. They have the widest surface area.

You also need one that’s compatible with your size and weight not to say that a wrong one will cause you to sink. But your body type should match against size and volume. Moreover, many novices will also prefer either a soft or inflatable board compared to the solid kind.

The paddle also needs to be if the right length. It’s not a unilateral canoe used by everyone. You will have to fit the right length to avoid overexerting your back muscles to bend or stoop over all the time. Furthermore, you can preserve energy and maintain stability. Select a paddle that’s ideally nine to 11 inches taller than your height.

3. Get a Leash

From the tip above, your gear can also include accessories that aid with your learning. The leash, for example, is an excellent accessory you shouldn’t miss to take with you.

This safety tool is used to tether you to the board so that the board doesn’t get away from you. It helps you revert back quickly once you fall.

Not only is it life-saving, but it’s also genius because once you’re tethered to it, you no longer have to worry about losing your board due to the strong winds.

When purchasing the leash you will notice that there are different kinds. There’s one that offers attachments at the calf or ankle, straight and coiled leashes, and branded ones made of high-quality materials that can’t be broken off

However, ensure that whichever option you go for, it can be easily detached to avoid injury in case your board gets tangle up by plants it is pulled by currents in the water.

4. Warm Up

Just like any other sport, it is absolutely necessary warm yourself up before getting into the water with your board. A full body stretch is a good place to start from.

Paddleboarding is more like just pulling water from under you backward, or reverse. But it takes more work than that. The number of calories you can burn out in an hour is unbelievable compared to even the gym.

This is why doing some warm-ups and learning how to engage your core is a necessary preparatory process.

The core – precisely the oblique muscles play a significant role in how you play the sport. Using your arms alone will only tire you easily and can even affect your general strength capacity.

Your core muscles, however, will aid you to build on stamina, which in turn builds on stability and balance – the two vital skills for this sport.

5. Master the Right Paddling Technique

There are different techniques and strokes you can be taught to ensure you are exerting the right energy and your burning calories the right way. From the basics of mounting on the board to balancing, standing, and paddling, there are comprehensive training that guides one on the right way to do it.

Common mistakes beginners tend to make are to;

  • Hold the paddle incorrectly – many users tend to scoop water with the canoe rather than paddle through it which means you will be using much more energy. Plus you will be splashing water everywhere making you lose your stability.
  • Standing closer to the deck area or tail area of the board rather than the midsection where you can control the balance.
  • Sticking the paddle in too deep in the water

These plus many more mistakes are the reasons you need to learn the techniques first before hitting the waters. Better yet, get an instructor or a professional to teach you how to go about these techniques and strokes.

6. Get Help

This water sport is more recreational than competitive but as a beginner, the best way to learn is to get help from someone.  An instructor or a friend/family member who has some knowledge can guide you through all you need to get started.

Of course, you can go online and watch numerous videos, read on blogs, but when you take a look at your board, you have no idea which side is the nose or the tail…it happens.

In addition to transferring their knowledge to you, the helpers can give you company as well as watch you as you build up your confidence.

Getting the right assistance can save you a lot of time having to maneuver aimlessly in water instead of learning such an easy water sport.

Only Do What You Can Handle

It’s easy to get swayed into this sport, from water splashing all over, the sun warming you up, great views, and fresh air. But you should also stick to your cup of tea.

Train for as long as you can without using too much energy, learn the skill gradually rather than rushing off for competitions. Heed the instructions from professionals since they most probably know more and have reasonable experience

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