How to Enjoy Your First Paddle-board Adventure
Picture by ArtWithTammy from Pixabay.com
Paddleboarding is a great way to spend a day on the water, get a little exercise, and explore your favorite outdoor spot in a way you never have before. But, if you’ve never been on a paddleboard before, the idea of getting on one can be a bit intimidating for most. Paddleboard enthusiasts and instructors insist that once you get over the learning curve, made easier when you know what you are doing, it is a relatively easy and all skill level friendly form of recreation.
If you are ready to enjoy your first paddleboard adventure use these tips to help get you going and able to have the most fun possible on your first time out.
Be Ready to Fall and Get Wet
Falling off your board and into the water is an inevitable part of learning to paddleboard. On your first paddleboard adventure, be ready to make mistakes and struggle a little bit. The equipment is new, the stance you need to master is new, and you will need to learn how to coordinate everything you’ve learned while on a moving body of water.
Don’t give up after immediately struggling, but be ready to learn by doing and you’ll look like a natural in no time.
Keep Your Board on a Leash
Because it is normal to fall off your board in the beginning, save yourself a lot of time and energy and attach your board to yourself with a leash. Depending on how you fall off your board, it can easily go skipping across the surface of the water and stop far away from you. The leash will keep it nearby during your first paddleboard experience and make it easier for you to climb back on as many times as necessary.
Stand Up On Your Paddleboard Step by Step
Getting on and standing up on your paddleboard for the first time is a step by step process, and honestly does not involve the most fluid motions. Your first adventure will make an expert out of you because you will have plenty of chances to get back on the board as you learn to find and maintain your balance.
In knee deep water, stand straight up with your board next to you. Hold the board on either side and use your core to lift yourself onto the board in a kneeling position. Kneel in the middle of the board until you gain some balance. Move your feet one at a time, into the middle of the board where you were originally kneeling. Now comes the hardest part- standing- go slow and raise each part of your body little by little starting with your head, then chest, before extending your legs straight out under you.
Maintain Balance Before Moving
Before you can even begin moving or paddling on the board you need to be able to maintain your balance and do so comfortably. To improve your balance, stand with your feet straight forward and parallel to each other. You want them to be grounded under you, hip distance apart. Your knees are the only part of your body that should bend at any point, keep your back and neck straight and facing forward. And whatever you do, avoid looking down at your feet or the water, because doing this will throw off your balance and make you wobble in no time.
Add a Paddle
Learning to hold and use a paddle while standing on your paddleboard for the first time is the next big hurdle. It is important that you get this step right or you will struggle with the actual paddleboarding. Hold the paddle with the shaped end of the paddle away from you, and towards the front of your board. You need to remember to alternate your grip and the way you position your hands each time you move the paddle to a different side of the board. When the paddle is on the left side of the board, hold the paddle from the top with your right hand and place your left hand a couple feet down from the grip. Reverse this grip each time you change sides.
Keep it Fun
Paddleboarding is supposed to be a fun new way to get out on the water. Even if it isn’t your next favorite hobby, it is important to remember to have fun while learning to paddleboard.