Paddle Boarding Tips

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Get Your Paddleboarding Gear

Paddleboarding requires only a few key pieces of equipment, the first one is the actual stand up paddleboard. Choose one that best fits your weight and experience. Experienced paddlers can use narrower boards. Novice paddlers should start with wider flatter boards which will offer more stability. Make sure the paddle itself has an angle or “elbow” in the shaft for maximum efficiency and always, always make sure you wear your PFD (Personal Flotation Device) or life jacket.

Proper Clothing for Paddleboarding

In cold conditions where hypothermia may be a concern, wear a wetsuit or drysuit. In milder conditions, wear shorts, a T-shirt or bathing suit -- something that moves with you and can get wet. Sneakers, flip-flops, sandals, or a comfortable boat shoe is also recommended. If you have sunglasses, you may want a retaining strap for them. You may also wish to plan ahead and by bringing a towel to use after the paddleboarding.

Carrying your paddle board to the water

Some paddleboards have a built-in handle which makes carrying it a breeze. For boards with no handle, the easiest way to carry it is on your head. You can do this by: standing the board on its tail end facing you, laying the paddle on the ground near you; grasp the edges of the board with both hands, walk yourself under the board so your head is in the middle between the nose and the tail; stand upright with your board overhead; and pick up your paddle -- aiming for the water.

Keep your paddleboarding stroke even

When you are paddling on the right, your right hand should be lower and on the paddle shaft with your left hand on top of the grip. Keep your arms straight and twist from your torso as you paddle. Use your core to propel the paddleboard forward. Plant the paddle by pushing the blade all the way under the surface and then pull it back to your ankle and out of the water. Vice versa for left paddling.

Find the paddleboard turning technique which works best for you

The main methods for turning a paddleboard are: sidestroke; backpaddle; and the “C” stroke. With sidestroke, you paddle on the opposite side of the way your wish to turn -- paddle on the right to turn left, paddle on the left to turn right. The backpaddle is best for reversing as you simply drag the paddle or paddle backwards on either side of the board. The “C” stroke is your basic sweep towards the tail stroke.

Bring sun protection

When you’re out on the water, you get the double-whammy of sun shining directly on you and then shining again when it reflects off of the water. Be sure to use sun protection and possibly even bring a sunhat and sunglasses.

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