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You’re probably more familiar with other water based activities such as kayaking, sailing or surfing, but stand up paddle boarding is now riding the wave of popularity too. With a wealth of first-time participants it’s time for you to get on board, stand up, and give it a try.
If you’re at home on water, in water, or near water, then the serenity of a water-borne board could be just the activity for you.
There’s no other water sport like it. Unlike kayaking where you’re much closer to the water, stand up paddle boarding provides a higher vantage point of the waters below. The sport originated in Hawaii and if you’re lucky enough to be stand up paddle boarding on clear or exotic waters, you’ll have perfect and unobstructed vision of everything from corals to sea life and all the colours in between. You’re also in control of your own water-bound destiny with a paddle for propulsion to take you where you wish; no need to rely on waves, this activity is popular among snorkelers and tourists alike. Added bonus…you can get fit! Using your core for balance and upper-half for paddling, you’ll experience a full body workout.
With its increasing popularity, many coastal resorts (both in the UK and abroad) now offer stand up paddle boarding boards to rent. They’re easier to balance on than a surfboard, being both thicker and wider, and as a beginner you’ll be able to pick it up quicker than with most sports. Within an hour you’ll be paddling no problem, if you’ve got a strong core then it will come naturally! Being the sole controller of your board you can stop whenever you wish, kneel down or take a dip!
Buying your own paddle board is pricey…and unnecessary. Costing upwards of £550, they do not come cheap and are also burdensome to transport. You would be better to rent one, especially in the beginning – average costs are about £20 for 2 hours, or £40 per day. If you are set on buying your own, consider an inflatable stand up paddle board which works just as well and can be folded easily to transport. Stand up paddle boarding beginner sessions come in around £40pp with slightly pricier private lessons.
Our Top Tips
1. Learn the basics with an old windsurf board and canoe paddle.
2. Get into yoga – it will help you with the feel of balancing on the board
3. Use all your strength and using both arms will help to push you through the water
4. Avoid going in circles: change sides while paddling to keep the board in a straight line
5. Be aware of the wind since your body can act like a sail and you might end up farther than expected!