Stand-up paddleboarding, or simply SUP, has become one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. Each year, more people take to the water atop their boards and explore with comfort and ease. What’s more, in addition to the standard practice of paddleboarding, there are also new branches of practice, with an increasing number of SUP enthusiasts endeavouring to surf, practice yoga, and even pack their camping gear so as to paddle their way along rivers.
Joining this growing crowd is easy. In fact, the accessibility of SUP is one of its most appealing qualities, and many of all ages and physical abilities find themselves able to enjoy it. All that’s needed is a little knowledge and a few pieces of equipment.
Know Your Water
Setting out for the first time is an opportunity to find your feet on the water and get comfortable navigating atop your board. If you choose the wrong area to practice, however, you might find yourself becoming frustrated. Lakes are an ideal location for beginners because, unlike the sea, they are more serene, with calm waters that won’t pose too much of a challenge for those learning how to balance.
It’s also a good idea to choose a location without much traffic. This could be an area generally free from swimmers and surfers but one that’s also from boats, since these vehicles are not only quick moving but can create a significant amount of wake, knocking first-timers off the board.
Choose The Right Board
Paddleboards can vary in design and there isn’t necessarily a one-size fits all option. Even outside of different shapes and sizes of paddleboard, there is the visual design and the choice between solid and inflatable too. This latter point is particularly important, especially for those wanting or needing to transport their board.
When speaking to professionals, they are likely to suggest that the right board for you is a solid board, that is, one that maintains its shape and density at all times. While this design has its advantages, especially when performing at higher levels, they can be cumbersome to transport and store, making them problematic for those simply wanting to enjoy the watersport more casually.
Instead, it might be worth considering an inflatable board, since these can be compacted and inflated easily, as well as be simply fit into a small backpack.
While paddleboarding is certainly a relatively safe endeavour, there are certain risks involved, especially if you are to push yourselves further and in more extreme environments. For all beginners, it is recommended to find a group to first set out with. In addition to the social experience, having a more experienced guide can help you overcome bad habits early on and ensure that you’re fully prepared to explore the water.
It is also important that, in addition to a paddleboard, individuals make efforts to equip themselves with necessary accessories too. This includes a safety leash, which is essential for keeping a board tethered to an individual should they be dismounted.