If you’re like the hundreds of thousands of others addicted to stand-up paddleboarding, chances are pretty good you’ll end up hitting the coast at any opportunity for some time on the water.
Paddleboarding has been around for a long time – hundreds of years, in fact – but it’s only recently that it has gained popularity enough to challenge other activities like boogie boarding, skim boarding, and jumping from helicopters without a parachute.
The sport may look a little like surfing, but it’s quite different. The boards are similar on the surface, but they’re built in a totally distinct way from surf boards. It’s enjoyed on flatter water rather than on waves, and most notably, you’re propelled by a long oar, or paddle, not by your hands and the power of the waves.
The fact that it looks easier doesn’t mean it IS easier, however. It takes skill and practice. If you’re new to the sport the folks at your local paddle board rental place can help you with the tips. In the meantime, follow this advice to become a better paddleboarder:
Get Off To A Fast Start – Paddleboarding is the kind of activity that rewards steady, continuous action. Get yourself off to a fast moving start, learn to handle the board at speed, and develop the arm endurance that longtime paddleboarders have and you’ll have a much better experience. This is especially good advice if you’re racing. Just get set and GO!
Establish A Rhythm – Paddleboarding is all about tempo and rhythm. You’re going to have a much better time, and for a longer period of time, if you can train yourself to maintain a nice, steady rhythm to your paddling. The steadier it is and the better you maintain it, the better control you will develop over your board and the more you’ll increase your endurance.
Get Your Bearings – When out on the water, it is utterly vital to know where you are at all times. Have a good sense not just for your immediate location, but what is 100 yards beyond you on all sides and you’ll have a safer, more enjoyable experience. Understand the water you’re in, too. Know if it has a lot of sea nettles or deep seaweed, or where unseen currents are churning just below your board. This will help you avoid getting into trouble, and to minimize trouble if you do fall off the board or get a little off course.
Wear Sunscreen, Bug Spray And Sunglasses – Being prepared for a day out on the water is vital for many reasons, your health and safety chief among them. It’s great to be out under the sun, but the sun can be your enemy, too, so protect yourself from sunburn and skin cancer with a good sunscreen. Gnats, biting flies and more can really ruin your day, so be sure to have some bug spray on, or a sunscreen that includes bug repellent. This is especially true if you’re paddleboarding in coves and along undeveloped land. And finally, sunglasses help you see better on the water, allowing you to better keep your bearings and see obstacles, dangers, other boarders, boats and jet skis, and more. Remember, safety and comfort = better boarding!
Incorporate these simple ideas into your routine when paddleboarding at the Jersey Shore and you’ll be ten times better before you know it!