By Allen Brown
When thinking about going out on the water to paddleboard for your first time, it is crucial to understand the basic paddleboarding gear you need as well as some basic paddleboarding techniques to guarantee your safety and enable you to have maximum fun. Here’s how to get started with paddleboarding:
Choose a Calm Body of Water
If it is your first time on the water, let the experience encourage you to continue exploring your newfound hobby and not discourage you. Choose a small body of water that has still water, such as a pond or a lake. Avoid a waterbody with lots of boats and buoys as they can be obstacles to you. Consider going onto water when it is sunny and less windy. And remember not to go alone.
Get the Perfect Gear
Paddleboarding can give you a fun way to play on the water and at the same time guarantee you a full-body workout. Also, since you can stand full-height on the board, you can have a unique view of what is under the water as well as what is on the horizons. There are a variety of stand-up paddleboards from which to choose. Experts advise that you check the top rated sup boards and get an inflatable board that can offer you maximum speed, stability, and safety because of its high quality.
Once you have the board, head out onto the water to get started. While there, be sure to use the wind to your advantage. Let the wind propel you only to a reasonable extent, making sure not to resist the wind as this can cause you to easily fall. Ensure your board matches your weight, the environmental conditions, your target uses, and skills too. And remember, there are different boards for different purposes such as for recreation, surfing, racing, SUP yoga, and touring. Choose a perfect SUP. Get an ideal paddle with a reasonable length. You may also need a personal flotation device if your state has age requirements that require you to have one. Don’t forget to have a safety whistle, a swimsuit, rash-guards, and board shorts. You need some protection elements like sunscreen and sunglasses as well. And make sure you have a leash to help keep it close to enhance your stability and floatation.
Learn the Basic Paddling Strategies
You will require little guidance as a beginner if you can at least stand up on your board. Understand though, in learning it will involve you falling off the board and getting back onto it several times. To help you stand up, stand alongside your board in knee-depth water, hold the edges of the board, and in first getting on the board, kneel on the board only. Keeping your hands on the board side to make it more stable, move one foot at a time to have your feet to the place your knees were. Stand up when you feel stable enough. Understand some basic SUP strokes like the forward stroke, the reverse stroke, and the sweep stroke.
Maintain Your Balance
Did you just manage to stand up? You are a step ahead. There are several things you should do to maintain balance while on the paddleboard. You can place your feet apart in an apparel position at almost a hip-width distance. Your feet should be between the board’s edges. Your toes should point forward, your back straight and your knees reasonably bent. Your head should be upright and steady. Maintain your weight by moving your hips accordingly. Keep your gazing level at the horizon. To sustain your confidence don’t stare at your feet.
Hold Your SUP Paddle Appropriately
Ensure the part of the paddle blade with a tear-drop shape faces away from you and instead face directly towards your board’s nose. While you paddle on the right side of your board ensure your left hand is on the t-grip and your right hand on the shaft. The opposite should apply when you switch sides.
Don’t Worry About Falling
However much you will strive to balance yourself on the board, there are instances when you will fall into the water. Note that even pro paddlers have such moments. It is common to feel wobbly. However, when you fall, try to fall into the water only, and not on the board lest you get hurt. If you can, cling onto your paddle as you fall to ensure your paddle doesn’t float away.
Paddleboarding is a fun activity and you can get to like it on your first date. Choose an ideal board and waterbody to ensure you have ample time to learn and practice. Dress in the appropriate gear and be willing to learn from falling. Know how to paddle and what to do in case you fall. With these basic tips, you can have a successful paddleboarding experience. Your safety and comfort should come first, so do strive to balance as you follow the paddleboarding instructions.