Paddleboarding is a fun and exciting way to explore the water and stay active. However, if you’re new to paddleboarding, it can seem daunting to get started. In this blog post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to start paddleboarding and enjoy this water sport to the fullest.
Take a lesson with an instructor
One of the best ways to try out this activity safely and learn the basic tecniques at the same time is to take a taster session, lesson or tour with a local instructor. Try googling ‘paddle board lessons near me’.
Choose the Right Board
Before you start paddleboarding, it’s essential to choose the right board. There are various types of paddleboards available, including all-around boards, racing boards, surf boards, kids boards, touring boards, and both rigid and inflatable boards. All-around boards are versatile and suitable for beginners. Touring boards are ideal for longer distances, while inflatable boards are easy to store and transport. Ultimately you have to decide on what you are going to use your board for first and, essentially, choose one that fits your weight and budget. Your local instructor can help explain what’s probably best for you and also explain how to select the right type and length paddle too.
Get the Right Gear
The right gear is essential when it comes to paddleboarding. You’ll need a paddle, a buoyancy aid (chest/vest type or waist belt with inflatable sac), a leash, a phone for emergencies and proper clothing for the day’s weather (always dress for the water temperature). Check out our full gear guide.
Find the Right Location
When you’re ready to paddleboard, choose a calm and safe location. It’s best to start in flat water away from any strong currents or waves. Look for a beach in a sheltered bay, lake, river or canals with zero to a gentle breeze, and avoid areas with lots of boat traffic/obstacles in the water.
Get On the Board
To get on the board, start by kneeling in the middle of the board. Keep your feet flat on the board and your hands on either side of your knees. Gradually stand up, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees slightly bent. Look forward, and keep your weight evenly distributed on the board. Remember you can paddle whilst kneeling until you build more confidence, or if the water is moving.
Once you’re on the board, it’s time to start paddling. Hold the paddle with both hands, shoulder-width apart, and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Dip the paddle into the water as far in front of you as possible. Pull the paddle back towards you, parallel to the side of the board, using your core muscles, and lift it out of the water as it passes your feet. When you start paddling, you may feel you have to use the paddle on both sides of the board to help go in a straight line sometimes alternating sides with each stroke but as you become more experienced, you will soon be able to paddle from one side only. Local instructors are the best way to gain experience really quickly and have great fun at the same time.
Practice and Have Fun
The more you practice, the better you’ll get at paddleboarding. Start with short sessions and gradually increase the time and distance. Experiment with different paddle strokes and techniques, and don’t be afraid to fall off the board – it’s all part of the learning process. Join a local club, there are plenty out there on facebook, and learn from others whilst having enjoying the social aspect of paddling too.
In conclusion, paddleboarding is a great way to stay active and explore the water. By following these steps, you can start paddleboarding and enjoy this water sport to the fullest. Remember to ask help from local instructors on how to choose the right board and gear that’s suitable for you, find the right location, get on the board, start paddling, and practice to improve your skills. With time and practice, you’ll be a pro at paddleboarding in no time.
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