In case you need convincing to try paddleboarding, here are 5 of the top reasons why you should…
1) It’s fun!
2) It’s great exercise
3) You can see lots of new places and things, from a new perspective
4) It is easier than you think to get started
5) It’s as good for your mind as it is for your body
1. It’s fun! People of all ages, shapes, sizes enjoy paddling. It’s an activity that you can do by yourself, with your friends, or with your family. It’s good any way you do it!
2. Like any exercise, you almost always feel better after you do it than you did before. But unlike the gym, you get to be outside, and on the water! Paddling is great exercise for your entire body. It is a great core workout because you are both balancing yourself on the board (a much less conscious process than you would imagine) and using your core to move the paddle through the water. It is no impact so it is easy on your joints. Using a good paddle will even preserve your shoulders.
3. With a paddleboard you can get into places that you could not otherwise go. Chances are even if you have been to a lake or beach a thousand times…it will look totally different from a paddleboard. You basically get to walk on water…nuff said! You would be amazed at the things you get to see from a standing position in the middle of the water, birds and flowers and little nooks and crannies. You can paddle around islands, and on clear days and in clear water, you can see what’s below you…rocks, plants, turtles, fish (sorry…I know I just freaked some of you out by mentioning fish life…but really, they’re down there and they have no interest in you…just enjoy the view)
4. There is a very small learning curve for paddleboarding. It is very easy to get started, it is harder to get good at it, but who cares? We have all the time in the world to enjoy getting better. If you can kneel down and stand up and you are capable of paddling, chances are you can paddleboard. Typically the worst thing that will happen is you will fall in the water and get wet. You get wet every time you take a shower so there’s no harm there. You learn how to get back on the board and now have no fear because the worst thing to happen just happened, and it wasn’t bad at all.
We have had people from 6-65 out there paddling… and we’re not limiting ourselves there, that’s just who we have taken out so far. It really is enjoyable for people of all ages. There’s no judgement, no pressure and you learn at your own pace. Everyone, at every level, can have fun with it if you just let yourself. And there is very little equipment required…at it’s most basic all you need is a board and a paddle. You may also need a PFD (personal flotation device) and leash, but it is still minimal compared to many activities.
5. Paddling is a great workout…for your body and your mind. Like the soothing timeout that a shower provides, paddling can be similar. I love to paddle with my friends and family and it’s amazing taking people out for their first time and watching the tension melt off of their faces the moment they realize “I can do this…I’m actually doing it!” But as great as all of that is, it can also be amazing to paddle alone. It is very soothing. There is something very meditative about being out on the water. Hearing just the sounds of your paddle and board moving through the water as you glide along makes stress, troubles, and “to do” lists seem much more manageable. It is truly my happy place. It is that place to go when I need to get away from everyone and everything…when I can’t even stand to be around myself and my thoughts, a half hour on the water makes everything better. If I have longer, even better, but that’s all it takes to gain back some perspective, realize there’s a much bigger world than just me and my stuff, and it provides a clarity for me that I have not experienced with anything else.
I love snowboarding and in no way want to wish away the winter. It provides a different outlet, the snow, the mountains, the cold are truly invigorating. Surfing through the snow feels like floating and it is fun and wonderful. But it is different. I think snowboarding in the backcountry will be more of that meditative “one with the world feeling” and that’s why I can’t wait to start splitboarding. But we live in the Ocean State. We have lakes and coastline everywhere, and it’s so easy to just throw the board on the roof, grab my paddle and Silly and head to the water.
Whether I have a half hour on the water or 2 hours, it’s always good and it’s always slightly different. The wind is different or the sun is in a slightly different place in the sky making the water look completely different. There is a new flower in bloom or a new bird on the pond. Each time is different and energizing. If you haven’t already put paddleboarding on your list to do this summer…add it now. You won’t be sorry.
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