Paddleboarding is a unique water sport. It gives you a low impact, full-body workout while enjoying your surroundings at a pace that suits you. As you glide along the water, you get a unique vantage point, allowing you to see everything going on above and below the surface.
In this guide to paddleboarding for beginners, we will highlight the essentials of the sport, from the equipment to the correct technique. We will also give you some top tips to help you enjoy your time on the water more.
You don't need a lot of equipment for paddleboarding, but there are some subtle differences in the equipment available. Here is a rundown of paddleboarding equipment:
If you have never been paddleboarding before, hiring or borrowing one first is best. You will soon decide if you want to do more and buy your own.
The paddleboard you buy will be determined by your skill, how heavy you are, and what you want to use it for. But as a beginner, you will get more out of a paddleboard designed as an all-rounder. These paddleboards are large, which makes them stable in most conditions.
The paddle used while paddleboarding has a teardrop-shaped blade that angles forwards. It is shaped in this way to be as efficient as possible in propelling you across the water.
The blade is attached to a long shaft, which is usually adjustable so you can fine-tune it to suit you. To determine the correct paddle length, stand it upright in front of you, and raise your hand above your head. Adjust the shaft length until it reaches your wrist. This is when you know your paddle is the ideal length.
You will notice that the paddles available can have shafts made from three different materials.
Alloy: Alloy shafts are pretty flexible, making them less efficient than stiffer ones. They also weigh more than other options, but they are still great for recreational paddling and kids.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass shafts are lighter than alloy ones and are stiffer. Therefore, they make paddling more efficient.
Carbon: Carbon is super light and stiff, which gives you maximum power throughout your paddle stroke. However, these paddles are more expensive than the other options.
When paddleboarding, you are attached to your board with a leash. Still, wearing a life jacket is a good idea, as it gives you an extra element of safety. In fact, you won't be able to go out on the water without one in some places.
What To Wear Paddleboarding
What you wear on your paddleboard depends on the local weather conditions. If you are paddleboarding in cold weather, you may prefer to wear a wetsuit, but a hat will protect you from the sun.
However, paddleboarding in sunny climates will only require a swimsuit or board shorts. But a long sleeve rash vest will protect you from the sun, which is very important, as you are very exposed out on the water.
You can get sunburned while paddleboarding very quickly. Therefore, you must wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing.