With warmer weather around the corner now, our minds and bodies start to wander to watery destinations and along with that comes water activities. One of the really up and coming ways to spend time on the water and stay fit is paddleboarding.
Like any sport associated with the water safety is paramount together with the normal safety precautions needed when starting any new sport or activity.
Paddleboarding is all about core strength and balance, so picking a calm stretch of water is the best choice for your maiden voyage. Also make sure you take a keen interest in the weather forecast, ideally you don’t want Mother Nature trying to teach you a lesson or two before you’ve even learnt how to navigate your board.
Starting your first trip standing is not the ideal way to begin, in fact kneeling on your board is recommended until you feel stable, from this position you can gradually begin your upward ascent as your confidence grows.
Selecting the right type of equipment is important so ensure you take advise. In fact a lesson or two before you invest might be the best way to go, this way you can ensure you start to develop the correct technique and you don’t have to invest in a board until you are absolutely sure you enjoy it. Local recreation shops, gear shops or beach equipment rental businesses are the ideal place to look for those initial lessons.
Being prepared for your day out on the water is essential. Bring food, preferably in a watertight dry bag, plenty of water and hydrating drinks. Wear appropriate sunscreen, glasses and a hat and re-apply the sunscreen ever hour or so. Securing your sunglasses with a pair of eyeglass straps reduces the worry of your expensive shades ending up in the bottom of the lake/ocean, also water shoes designed for immersion with a mesh top and hard bottom sole will help when walking in and out of the water. Funny as it sounds wear something warm even on a warm day as it is inevitable that at some stage you will fall in the water. Wool or a synthetic material will help keep you warm even when wet but be aware cotton is a real no-no when it comes to heat retention.
Before you leave the house check the whole day’s weather forecast, if it looks even close to bad weather don’t chance it, safety always comes first. Wear a coast guard approved flotation vest and carry a whistle and torch light in case you need to attract the attention of other boaters day or night. Ensure your paddleboard has a leash to ensure it doesn’t travel off on its’ own journey if you fall, this way you can reel it in.
After a day on the water, be sure to clean your equipment, rinsing off salt water, mud or any critter that may have attached themselves to your board.
There is no doubt that paddleboarding is a great core, leg and upper body workout, it’s also a wonderful way to enjoy the scenery and have a fun day out so whilst the sun is shining give it a try!