Top 5 Tips to Help You Paddle Board Like a Pro
Who doesn’t want to paddle board like a pro? After all, paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world. One of the reasons for its rapid growth in popularity is that it’s easy for all skill levels. Most people can master the basic skills of paddle boarding even when paddling for the first time. But being able to paddle in the water doesn’t necessarily make you a pro. There are differences between a rookie and a pro paddler, even if the differences might not be that noticeable. If you want to paddle more professionally, here’s what you should do.
Prepare your body
You want to paddle board and you want to look good while doing it. The only way to make that happen is by building the endurance and muscle capacity to handle paddle boarding. If you have paddle boarded, you know how hard it can be on your muscles when you start to feel sore afterwards. There are a number of exercises you can do to build the key muscles that are engaged during paddle boarding; namely your arm muscles for paddling as well as your core and legs for balance. Not only will you be building a base for endurance so you can paddle longer, but also the foundation for good posture to help you avoid injury and have an easier time on the paddle board.
Get the right sized stand up paddle board for your height
Paddling with an incompatible paddle can be extremely inefficient for your body’s energy expenditure and compromising your posture. The type of paddle you get will depend on various factors, especially the use of the paddle. If you are a recreational paddler, you will require a different paddle as compared to racing and touring paddlers. For starters, the materials, height, and weight of the paddle will vary. Because of this, you’d want to first identify what type of paddler you are and then choose accordingly so that you choose an optimal paddle that will be comfortable and easy for you to manoeuvre. Generally, the recommended height of your paddle should be about as tall as the total height with your arm outstretched upwards, about 8 to 12 inches above your height. And for beginners, an inflatable paddle board is more suitable than a rigid board.
Practice and improve your strokes
Your strokes are critical to making you a better paddler. The right strokes can make a difference in how long you can stay up, how well you can steer yourself, and how efficiently you paddle among others. To improve your stroke, you’d have to put in the hours in the water practising proper technique. A great way to get started is by learning the correct technique. You can browse YouTube for ideas, but the best way to get better is to find an experienced paddler and learn from them. Not only do you get to make a friend, but you also get a trainer who can correct you while you practice.
Stand up correctly on your paddle board
Striking the right balance on your paddle board can be a tough skill to master, however, like strokes, you can build up your ability to balance and significantly improve. The foundation for balance is physical fitness and muscle capacity, as discussed in the first point. On the water, you will encounter a variety of waves and your balance will determine whether you will fall or keep paddling. One effective method you can use to integrate squats and pull-ups into your workout. These build up leg and core muscles effectively. Additionally, starting small by practising in the water will allow your body to slowly acclimatize to balancing on the board.
Practice being comfortable moving around your paddle board
Because you will be paddle boarding on various water conditions, some will be more turbulent than others, and you will need to develop a sense of how to navigate your board. This, in addition to having good balance, will improve your comfort on the board. Through practice, and you can begin in shallow waters if you feel uncertain, try moving your feet to different positions on the board. Be mindful of your foot positioning and the waves and adjust accordingly. As with anything, however, practice makes it better!
If you really like the sport and intend to invest more time in it, then it’s worth spending time on learning the necessary skills to paddle board more professionally.