Let’s face it, stand up paddle boarding looks cool. It’s actually a lot more than just that! It’s a great workout, it will help you build core muscles and it’s fantastic for your mental health. Here are the benefits of paddle boarding and how to get started.
Watching people paddle board just looks like such a cool, fun and peaceful way to spend a few hours. We got into paddle boarding last year and have loved it since. Not only is it fun, but it’s also physically and mentally beneficial too. The weather is getting warmer again so you’re probably considering giving it a go. To help you out, here are the benefits of paddle boarding and how to get started.
What is stand up paddle boarding?
Similar to a surfboard, paddle boards are longer, thicker and wider. This makes them a lot more stable giving you the ability to easily stand up on them. They are equipped with a leash that keeps you connected to your board by attaching to your ankle. You use a paddle to propel yourself forward.
Physical benefits of stand up paddle boarding
The great thing about stand up paddle boarding is that almost anyone can do it. People of all body shapes, sizes and ages can give stand up paddle boarding a try. It is a fun and relaxing fitness activity that won’t put you off trying it time and time again.
5 physical health benefits of stand up paddle boarding;
- The main physical health benefit of stand up paddle boarding is that it increases your core strength. It engages your core muscles to build your abdominal strength and tone muscles. This is happening all while strengthening your arms, legs, back, and shoulders at the same time.
- Stand up paddle boarding is a fantastic way to build up stamina. It’s so much fun and low impact so you can be exercising for hours before even noticing you’re actually exercising.
- Stand up paddle boarding enhances joint stability. Balancing on the board moves the small muscles in your foot and lower leg in a way that mimics existing physical therapy exercises. Balancing on the board whilst on the water strengthens muscles critical for balance and joint support in a way that no other recreational activity does.
- The main muscles being activated are (latissimus dorsi), Shoulders (deltoids), Arms (triceps & biceps) and abs. Paddle boarding is brilliant because it’s an all-body workout.
- Hello, sunshine! Paddle boarding allows your body to produce vitamin D, which is something that so many people are deficient in from spending too much time indoors. Vitamin D is crucial for calcium production and strong bones.
4 mental health benefits of stand up paddle boarding
Paddle Boarding may be a great workout, however, it offers so much more than just the physical rewards.
- Being out on the water and immersing yourself in nature is a brilliant way to reduce stress. Being surrounded by water increases your serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin levels and decreases cortisol the stress hormone. So…scientifically, being on the water is calming.
- Studies have shown that stand up paddle boarding can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It’s a mindful activity that forces you to be present and focus on what you are doing rather than intrusive thoughts.
- Stand up paddle boarding helps to improve sleep. The calmness of being by the water mixed with the physical exertion of the activity is sure to help you get a good night’s sleep!
- Stand up paddle boarding is also known to increase productivity, our ability to focus and improve creativity.
What do I need to get started?
Our top tip if you are a beginner is to prepare to fall in! It’s important to wear clothes that are light and won’t soak up too much water and become heavy if you do fall in. I usually wear swimwear, a vest top, shorts, and a light throw-on shirt if it’s a little chilly.
Wetsuits are great in the cooler months. If you’re hiring your paddle board Some activity companies will provide you with wetsuits. Make sure to take a towel and a change of clothing just in case. I often paddle board barefoot and take flip-flops with me in a dry bag but light trainers or paddle shoes are great too.
Paddle boards will most likely have straps at the front of the board where you can secure a dry bag under, just don’t pack anything too heavy. If it is sunny, don’t forget to wear suncream a hat and sunglasses. When you are out on the water, you are very exposed and burn easily.
Tips for beginners to stand up paddle boarding;
- Always check the weather. The weather can change quickly so it is important to be aware, calm waters are best for beginners.
- Don’t look at your board look at the horizon. When we start paddling we naturally look down at the board. However, for the best stability, you want to keep your head up, your back straight, and your body weight over your toes.
- Be mindful of other water users, especially boats! Make sure you have plenty of room to practice standing, falling, and paddling.
- Try to fall well clear of your board. Falling well clear of the board will let you fall without hurting yourself on the board or the fins. Attach your board to you by the leash so it won’t float away from you.
- Take your time, it will take a little while to perfect your technique. There’s no rush, relax and enjoy the peace.
Here are a couple of paddle boards we love;
If you’re thinking about getting a paddle board yourself we have picked a couple out that are brilliant boards for beginners. You can find our full list of stand up paddle boards perfect for beginners here.
Budget – Feath-r-lite Stand Up Paddle Board
This inflatable stand up paddle board is very light and ideal for beginners wanting to try paddle boarding. This paddle board kit comes with everything you need: your board, bidirectional high-pressure pump, safety line, three fins, kayak seat, backpack, adjustable aluminium paddle and emergency repair kit. Its great value for money and is ideal for paddling, yoga, touring, fishing, or surfing on the water.
- 🏄♂️ 【Stability】: The inflatable Stand Up Paddling Board is 305×76×15cm but very light only 17.6 pounds. Of course, our Sup also hold up to a maximum safety pressure of 12psi. Maximum capacity is up to 280 pounds, ideal for beginners and advanced users.
Mid Range – Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
This board is brilliant for beginners as well as advanced paddlers. Whether you want to try surfing, touring, river paddling, hobby paddling, fishing, yoga or pilates, this board is a great choice. This board is suitable for all waters, such as lakes, rivers, canals and choppy seas. It is light, handy and can easily be transported by car and taken anywhere. Ideal for travel and comes as a complete kit.
- Professional Brand：Goosehill is a professional inflatable stand up paddle board brand that has our own strength-enhancing technology for SUP board manufacturing and the ability to offer custom paddle boards. To know more about Goosehill and join our adventurers, search Goosehill SUP, or follow us on social media.
Mid Range – Freein Kayak SUP Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board
We love this stand up paddle board. It is constructed of military grade PVC and it can hold up to 23 PSI. This means the board is lighter, stiffer and more durable without the additional weight. The non-slip coated top creates incredible comfort and causes fewer accidents and injuries if you fall. It comes with everything you need to get started and even features a go pro base where you can install a sports camera to record your best moments out on the water.
Premium – Bluefin Cruise SUP Package
This stand up paddle board is a great choice and contains everything you need to get started safely. It comes in a variety of different sizes so that you can pick the one most suitable for your size and weight. It’s great because it’s light but provides rigid stability. Bluefin uses ESL for ultra-tough UV proofed decks meaning this product is going to last. This board package might be on the higher end of the price scale but it is worth it to get a board that you will feel comfortable and safe on.
- 12' - LOOKING FOR THE MOST STABLE VERSATILE ALL-INCLUSIVE SUP PACKAGE ON THE MARKET? Only Bluefin uses 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch These materials make our boards so tough they are can hold up to 28 PSI and are the most stable rigid stable inflatable SUP you’ll ever buy Cruise 12’ is perfect for taller paddlers or for taking seated company 366 cm x 77 cm x 15 cm
Most importantly – 7 points on saftey
- When you venture out paddle boarding if you can, try and go with a friend. That way you will have help if you get into any difficulty. If you want to go alone, it’s a good idea to take your phone and let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.
- Take your phone in a waterproof pouch, you can use it to call for help in an emergency.
- Always check the weather conditions.
- Wear a suitable personal flotation device such as a buoyancy aid or a lifejacket. You need one that allows you plenty of movement to paddle. It will keep you afloat, but it will also help give you time to recover if you fall in and can’t catch your breath.
- You should always use a paddleboard with a leash. The leash helps you to stay connected to your board if you get into trouble.
- Always consider other water users by learning the rights of way and researching any regulations prior. This can save you and others from getting injured.
- It is tempting to just buy a board and head out, but having a few guided sessions can teach you the right technique from the start.
Choosing a good quality personal flotation device (PFD) for paddleboarding will give you peace of mind out on the water and help keep you afloat. You should choose a PFD that allows you to move your arms freely, so you can paddle as efficiently as you want to. Here are a few personal flotation devices that are perfect for paddle boarding.
Helly Hansen Sport Ii Buoyancy Aid
Helly Hansen Sport II is a unisex safety certified buoyancy aid that is classically designed and feels very secure when worn. This buoyancy aid features a front buckle and adjustable bottom hem to help keep the vest in place while yachting, jet skiing, surfing or paddle boarding. Its easy to use design allows for a quick set-up time too.
- Helly Hansen Sport II is a unisex Buoyancy Aid that is classically designed/Feel stylish and secure with this safety certified buoyancy aid
- Buoyancy Aid features a front buckle and adjustable bottom hem to help keep the vest in place while yachting, jet skiing, surfing or paddle boarding
Typhoon Yalu XT 50n Front Zip Buoyancy Aid
Made from non-rip nylon, this buoyancy aid is fully approved and meets safety standards. It is hard wearing and robust with fully adjustable shoulder and waist webbing straps for an individual fit. It features a quick release front clasp and elasticated sides with a front zip making the jacket suitable for multi wearer use. It is extremely lightweight and very comfortable making it easy to wear. All jackets have a removable crotch strap for safety.
- Fully approved & meets safety standard EN ISO 12402-5
- Robust fully adjustable shoulder and waist webbing straps for individual fit
- Quick release front clasp Elasticated sides with robust YKK front zip making the jacket suitable for multi wearer use (within chest/weight range)
Hopefully, you have found this article helpful if you’re thinking about getting started with paddle boarding. It is such a rewarding sport and we have heard so many positive stories from people getting out there and giving it a go. Let us know your experiences with paddle boarding in the comments.