Stand up paddle boarding, or SUP, is a great way to get outside and also grab a great workout. Paddle boarding can increase core strength and improve other muscle groups like your back, arms and legs. SUP can really be a whole body workout, and if you haven’t been before it can be a really fun time too.
Stand up paddle boarding is a very old sport with it’s traditions lying in the Hawaiian culture. Until recently, however, it was relatively unknown outside of it’s birthplace and has since gained a huge following across the globe. There are SUP tours, SUP racing leagues and even whitewater paddle boarding taking place all over. People are finally starting to see just how fun, exciting, and healthy this sport can be.
For first timers paddle boarding can seem a little intimidating, it requires a little balance, a little endurance, and at least a little daring attitude. But fear not! Paddle boarding is very forgiving for first timers and after your first few strokes you’ll be hooked. Here’s a list of what to bring with you.
Being out in the sun, even for a little while, can take a toll on you. When you’re paddle boarding you’ll be out on the water for long enough that the sun can get to be too much and having the right provision can really help out.
When you’re on the water the sun’s energy becomes twofold, once from above and once from the reflection off the water. Having a hat, sunglasses and some sunscreen really help to combat the suns rays. Some people even opt for shirts that incorporate U/V protection. The sun is a powerful thing and not respecting will get you into trouble.
When you’re headed for your first SUP’ing adventure something that is often overlooked is the need for foot protection. Getting in and out of the water can be tricky in bare feet if you’re having to walk over rocks or navigating in anything less than clear water.
When you’re thinking about the best shoes for paddle boarding there are a few things that come into play. Traction, drainage, and a secure fit are the main features you should consider. Getting in and out of the water all day means you’ll want to be comfortable and having the right footwear goes a long way.
A personal flotation device, or PFD, is required by the Coast Guard in many areas that are popular for standup paddle boarding. Besides being the law it just makes sense to bring a PFD in case you were to fall overboard, they’re also a good place to keep snacks and your other necessities.
There are a lot of different options for personal flotation devices and you’re bound to find the right style for you. The best PFD for paddle boarding is the one you’re going to wear so take you’re time, do your research and find the one that fits your personal and paddling style.
Did I say snacks? Yup, making sure to bring water and something to nibble on can make a huge difference while you’re paddling all day. While paddle boarding you exert a lot of energy and replenishing your reserves with water and calories will make you a better paddler.
Things like a granola bars, energy chews, or Gatorade will help your body maintain it’s stores of energy so that when you get back you don’t feel like a zombie. If you do get back to shore and are feeling a little drained sit down and have something to eat and drink. It sounds weird but if you’ve been in the hot sun all day having a cold regular, not diet, soda when you’re finished will bounce you back fast.
There you go! When you head out for your first SUP adventure just be sure to keep these recommendations in mind you’re sure to have a great time!