Stand up paddleboarding is a unique and fun way to keep fit. I was introduced to stand up paddleboarding (S.U.P) 5 years ago when we moved to Australia and it is a form of exercise that I fell in love with. Not only does it allow you to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the world, but it incorporates upper body strength work with core and balance work whilst you paddle the ocean or the creek.
To get yourself started with S.U.P, itâ€™s best to find somewhere you can hire a board from â€“ as boards can be quite expensive to buy, and you want to try it out first and see if you like it before making the financial commitment to buy a board. If you live or are holidaying, near the water, you should be able to find a local company that will hire you a board and paddle to get you on your way. Obviously, youâ€™ll need to be near a body of water to get yourself out paddleboarding, but the beauty of S.U.P is that you canÂ take your board out in the ocean or on a lake, river or creek. I would advise starting on a lake, river or creek, as you wonâ€™t have to compete with the waves of the ocean and can focus on learning how to balance and focus on practising how to paddle and turn your board on relatively still water. If you can get a basic lesson or go out on the water with someone who knows how to paddleboard then youâ€™ll get a headstart on your S.U.P skills too. But donâ€™t worry, I know plenty of people who have hired a board and just taken to the creek to have a go and mastered it pretty quickly by themselves.
What to expect
Be prepared to get wet, as falling off the board is very likely in your first few sessions. But within a few goes, youâ€™ll get it mastered and be able to maintain your balance on the board even in choppy waters.
Be prepared to have a great workout as this form of exercise not only works your arms and upper back muscles but also your balance and core muscles too. In your first few sessions, youâ€™ll definitely get off the board and feel muscles you didnâ€™t even know you had!
The added benefit of going out on a stand-up paddleboard is that you will also get to enjoy the natural environment around you, from the beauty of the local creek to seeing dolphins and whales in the ocean (if you are lucky enough to live on the East Coast of Australia). Being outdoors, soaking up some vitamin D and being able to enjoy the natural beauty of the world is a definite added extra of this fun form of exercise.
Most importantly, be prepared to get â€˜the bugâ€™ for stand-up paddleboarding. I wouldnâ€™t be surprised that after your first trip out on a stand-up paddleboard youâ€™ll get back home and be looking up where to buy yourself your first S.U.P!