GETTING INTO STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING
1. What is Stand Up Paddleboarding?
Paddleboarding is a popular water sport that can be enjoyed on any type of open water location, you don’t have to be coastal. Standing up on a board, typically around 12 feet long, the rider propels through the water using a paddle.
One of the best things about paddleboarding is its accessibility - no matter your age or ability, you can get out on the water and have some fun. It’s also great exercise, connects you with nature and is a fantastic activity to enjoy with friends and family. An all round win for our general well-being.
Paddleboarding’s earliest roots trace back to 18th century Hawaii, when locals would paddle along the Pacific Ocean from island to island. The now known SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) emerged in the 1960’s amongst the popularity of surf culture. Now it’s enjoyed by people all over the world.
2. Where can you SUP?
You can SUP on any form of open water whether it be rivers, lakes, canals or the ocean, and this is one of the reasons why the sport is now so popular. Wherever you live, you can get involved.
One thing you need to be aware of when paddling on the ocean is tides and currents. You should try and gain a proper understanding of these before you venture out to avoid running into dangerous situations. Buy yourself a tide chart for your local area and use it to plan your paddles. Low tides can be great for exploring shallow waters when calm but can make the walk back to the car a lot further! There are also rocky beaches and marshy estuaries you will want to avoid at low tides. On the other hand high tide can bring big waves and currents so it’s important to know what works best for where you plan to paddle.
Another major consideration is the wind. The wind’s strength and direction will influence your choice of paddle route and, if really strong, might mean not going out at all. You don’t want to spend long periods of time paddling into the wind as you won’t get very far and it will be extremely tiring. The best days to paddle are those with little or no wind, particularly if coastal paddling as you don’t want to risk getting blown out to sea. WindGuru is a great website for checking wind direction and strength.
Musto’s top UK locations for SUP:
The Isle of Wight There are so many bays, riverways and beaches to explore.
Chichester Harbour At high tide paddle for a pub lunch or beach picnic amongst the dunes.
Ullswater - The Lake District Stunning scenery and great for beginners.
River Cam - Cambridge A peaceful and calm paddle with lots of lovely cafe stops on the way. You also get to paddle past the beautiful colleges.
To find your best local spot have a look at the following link: https://www.bsupa.org.uk/weather-search/
Important note - Always check your local conditions and laws before going out SUPing.
3. How easy is SUP?
SUP is an easy watersport to learn regardless of age or sporting ability! With a few hours tuition you can easily become a confident paddler. Before heading out for the first time as there are a few key things that are good to know before you start such as where to stand on the board, how to launch, the best way to hold and use your paddle and how to stay safe on the water. Once you have cracked these simple steps, paddleboarding will be a lot easier to learn and you’ll have a lot more fun.
4. How safe is SUP?
SUP is a really safe activity if you have the right safety kit, have checked the weather, the tides and the wind and have researched your paddle location. You need to stay aware of all of these things to stay safe.
5. What to wear SUP?
Being prepared for the right conditions is of utmost importance when going out SUP. Key essentials for SUP:
- A personal floating device to keep you floating if you fall in the water. Check out our Regatta Buoyancy Aid.
- Correct clothing - clothing designed specifically for watersports is ideal for SUP, so if you do end up in the water, you can swim freely and are appropriate for the water temperature.
- Mild conditions - our Flexlite Vapour range of 1mm wetsuit will offer protection from the elements.
- Cold conditions - our Flexlite Alumin range will keep you nice and toasty.
- Hot conditions - our Sunblock Long Sleeve Rash Guard will protect you from the sun whilst keeping you cool.
- Layering - on days which are cold add layers to keep yourself toasty warm with our Championship Smock.
- Suncream - a good strong suncream is a must when participating in activities out on the water. Be sure to reapply regularly.
- Leash - You must wear a leash at all times (this is a safety line that attaches to your ankle and board)
- Water bottle - Be sure to keep yourself hydrated.
- Cap - keeping your face out of the sun is key when out on the water. Why not try our Essential Fast Dry Crew Cap.
- Bag - useful for any snacks or essentials you need to take and keep dry. Check out our Waterproof Dry Backpack 40L.
- Mobile phone - be sure to keep this in your waterproof bag and know any emergency numbers for the area you are SUPing before you head out.
6. What are the benefits of Stand Up Paddleboarding?
There are so many benefits of Stand Up Paddleboarding, the first obviously being enhanced fitness. Just standing on the paddleboard engages your core and the use of your legs for stability engages your leg muscles. It’s amazing for balance and the chance of muscular injury is low as there’s no excessive impact, like with running for example, but it’s still a great all over workout!
The second amazing benefit of paddleboarding is improved mental health and wellbeing. We all know being outdoors allows us to unwind and connect with nature. Being on the water - the sounds and movement - is a real escape and a proven stress reliever. You really find rhythm when you paddle, inhaling fresh air and breathing out any tension or stress. The environment will also make you feel happier no matter where you paddle - seeing views you are used to seeing from the land are even more amazing from the water. It gives you a new perspective!
Another benefit of paddleboarding for any Yogis is a new environment to practice yoga. SUP Yoga has become really popular and is an amazing way to practice. Being on the water makes those moves just a little harder but it’s really great for practicing balance! Being surrounded by water is also incredibly relaxing for some of those more peaceful moves.
For adventure seekers, paddleboarding can open up new doors to all kinds of new adventures. Some boards with bungee cords allow you to take any kit with you onboard, such as tents and supplies for longer expeditions. Whether it be an overnight adventure close to home or a week long expedition further afield, SUP adventures are so much fun and a great way to explore the world.