Here at China Fleet, by the glorious River Tamar, we’re seeing an increasing sight passing by. Amongst the gig rowers, sailors, kayakers, birds and even the occasional seal, stand up paddle boarders (SUP) are out enjoying the river too.
Paddle boarding has boomed in popularity in recent months and with the warmer weather now here, it’s set to increase.
You may have heard about paddle boarding and how fun and popular it is. But, what is SUP and how did this new trend start?
Many people attribute SUP to ancient Africans, Mayans and American Indians. These early cultures used to use wooden boards and paddles to search for fish and transport possessions along waterways.
In 1939 stand up paddle boarding was identified as a sport, thanks to the surfing community who started to use paddles to find uncrowded waves. Surfers also used the technique to build their core strength and balance so even when the surf was flat, they could still keep fit on the water. By 2009, standup paddle boarding became the fastest-growing paddle sport.
Why is it so popular? It provides you with a great opportunity to enjoy nature, and it is also considered a great workout for your whole body with a focus on the core. I’ve even seen people doing yoga on them too! So, how to start?
- Safety should always be your main concern. You must use a leash to tether yourself to your board. You can find different types of leashes like straight or coiled ones that can be attached to the calf, ankle, or waist. Also consider a lifejacket and whistle too.
- Paddle and Boards – Inflatable boards are great for beginners. They are durable, affordable, portable, and they are easy to stand on. If you want a stable board, you should opt for a wide one! In general, you should make sure that your paddle is 9 or 10 inches taller than your height.
- Learn the Correct Technique. Like any other sport, in order to be good at paddle boarding, you have to learn the correct technique. To do this, it’s best to attend a beginners lesson to give you the basics. Most watersports centres offer them. They’ll also be able to advise you on safety equipment too.
- Most importantly…have fun!
I could do with a new hobby…maybe I should give it a go?! I am hoping I will be ok and not fall off too many times. I take part in the Les Mills Core classes at the Club so this could be a great time to put them to good use!
See you next week and see you at the Club soon,