Paddle boarding is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and spend time with friends and family. But if you've never paddle boarded before, it can be a bit daunting. Here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Choose the right board. There are many different types of paddleboards on the market, so it's important to choose one that's right for your needs. If you're just getting started, we recommend an all-around board. These boards are versatile and can be used for a variety of activities, from surfing to yoga. You can also rent boards from most beaches or recreation areas.
2. Get the proper paddling equipment. In addition to a board, you'll need a paddle and a life jacket (or Personal Flotation Device). You can find paddles at most sporting goods stores or online retailers. Be sure to get a paddle that's the right size for you; too short and you'll be constantly stooping over, too long and you'll be constantly knocking into things. Life jackets are typically available for rent at beaches or recreation areas.
3. Dress for success (and comfort). While you don't always need to wear a wetsuit, we recommend wearing swimwear that covers your entire body. This will help protect your skin from the sun and from scrapes in case you fall off your board. We also recommend wearing sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the sun's harmful rays.
4. Get in the water (safely). Once you've chosen your board, gathered your paddling equipment, and put on sunscreen, it's time to get in the water! Slowly walk your way out until the water is waist-deep, then gently hop on your board. If you feel unstable or start to tip over, just grab hold of your paddle and use it as a stabilizer until you get your balance.
5. Start paddling! To move forward, simply alternate between left and right strokes with your paddle. It takes a little practice to get the hang of it, but soon enough you'll be gliding across the water like a pro!
Paddleboarding is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise, but it's important to know what you're doing before you get started. With these tips in mind, you'll be ready to hit the water in no time!
Further reading: Paddleboarding in the Fall