I’ve always been a fan of push ups, but I haven’t done them for a few years because I was either paddling, going to the gym, or building my company. When the COVID 19 lock down began, the beaches and the gyms closed. I couldn’t paddle and I couldn’t work out. I had to do something, and I wanted to be strong and ready for the day I could finally put a paddle board into the water. It was time to get back to push ups.
Push ups are almost the perfect body weight exercise, because the movement works so many muscles. But, will it be an effective exercise in getting my muscles ready for paddle boarding? As it turns out, push ups train just about every paddle boarding muscle.
Commonality between the two exercise types can be broken into two groups. Primary muscles which have direct importance to the exercise, and Secondary Muscles such as stabilizers.
Since push ups are such an effective paddle board training exercise, get ready for the upcoming season by taking on this 30-day challenge. It’s starts at 30 push ups and builds to 100. Not only does this quantity of repetitions build muscle endurance, it also improves cardio vascular strength. Even paddling for one hour requires hundreds of strokes. Building strength and endurance is important.
Don’t be intimidated by the number of push ups required. It seems daunting at first, but if you take it one day at a time, and one push up at a time, you will complete the challenge. Don’t worry about trying to do them all in a row. Break your daily goal into sets of 10. Before you know it, it will be day 30 and the challenge will be completed. You will be strong and ready to take on the water. Remember, YOU CAN DO IT!!
How much is a paddle board? Great question, and one that is often asked by people shopping for their first one.
The short answer to that question is that paddle board costs vary. You can purchase paddle boards for as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as several thousand, and everything in between.
Like so much else in life, when you buy a paddle board, you get what you pay for. Don’t expect a quality board that is light and durable for a few hundred dollars. They simply don’t exist. If you want to spend as little as possible on a paddle board, don’t be surprised that the board is wrecked by the end of its first summer.
Now, lets answer the question with a little more detail and take a look at what’s available at different price points. Please note that these prices are in USD.
$300-$500 Paddle Boards
At this price point, pretty much the only paddle boards available are cheap inflatables from brands that no one has ever heard of, and they can only be purchased online. Typically, these paddle boards are made with cheap PVC, lower levels of stitching, etc.…
Rigid board are rarely available at this price.
$500-$750 Paddle Boards
This price point is still dominated by inflatable paddle boards. However, rigid paddle boards are now available.
Most rigid paddle boards in this price range are cheaply made. At the lower end of the prices, you can purchase rigid paddle boards that are essentially a piece of foam with a couple of layers of fiberglass wrapped around it. It may have a stiff plastic base to help the board become stiffer. Unfortunately, the foam is easily punctured as I learned when I accidently pressed my thumb into one such board while at a prospective dealer (I ended up buying the board and gained a new dealer).
Other types of paddle boards at the lower end of this spectrum have hard plastic shells like a kayak which are filled with foam. While these boards are very durable, they are very heavy. Some weigh as much as 60 lbs. Not only are these boards tough to carry, you have to push all that extra weight through the water while paddling.
$750-$1000 Paddle Boards
Once you exceed the $750 threshold the quality of paddle boards starts to improve. Inflatable brands no one has ever heard of start to disappear. The inflatables in this price range are made with a better grade of PVC and has better stitching. These boards still puncture easy, so care must be taken when riding.
The number of rigid paddle boards available at this price point increases greatly. However, it’s this price point that shoppers for rigid paddle boards need to be the wariest. For many new shoppers, one paddle board looks like the next. A $750 SUP may look very similar and even be more visually appealing than a $1500 or $2000 paddle board. The difference will be in how they are made. Ask the salesperson about core densities, core stringers, materials, construction techniques and technology that went into the manufacture of each paddle board.
$1000-$2000 Paddle Boards
This price point is the segment of the market where Wappa Paddle Boards competes. SUPs in this price range are all quality products. Significant effort has gone into the production of these boards. They are not cheaply made, and they tend to be produced by companies that have a passion for paddle boarding or water sports in general.
There are still some inflatable paddle boards available in this price range. In fact, the best inflatables on the market are closer to the $2K end of this spectrum.
The vast majority of the boards in this price class are rigid boards. Rigid paddle boards are what all inflatables inspire to be. Why? Rigidity translates to balance, speed and power. If you love paddle boarding and plan on doing it for the foreseeable future. You should consider a rigid board in this price range.
$2000+ Paddle Boards
Once you hit $2K and more for a paddle board, the inflatable market disappears. Boards in this price segment are oriented for high performance. Carbon fiber is a dominant feature at this price point. If stronger lighter faster is what you need, then these are the boards for you. Competitive racers and paddle surfers are drawn to this end of the market, as is anyone who loves the best of the best. If you are the typical paddle boarder, this is probably more board than you’ll ever need.
Paddle board prices vary greatly. You can be on the water and paddling your own SUP for less than $300. However, you probably won’t want to be paddling that board for a couple of years. Cheap boards are slow, unstable and not very durable. So, if you plan on owning and using a paddle board for several years, you’ll probably be happier spending more on a better-quality product. Find something that will meet your current and future needs without breaking the bank. And remember, you always get what you paid for.
For the second year in a row, we're proud to be a sponsor for GET ON BOARD, a paddle boarding fundraiser for brain cancer near Niagara Falls, Canada.
Wappa's founder Layne Pennell is a cancer survivor (not brain cancer), and when he saw the opportunity to sponsor a SUP event aimed at defeating cancer, he had to get involved. The event continues to grow every year as do the proceeds.
Twenty-one-year-old Madeline Leblanc has continued to turn her passion of stand up paddle boarding into a fundraiser to honour two friends lost to cancer. Madeline bought her first board and started paddling in 2012, after she fell in love with the sport at age ten. In 2011 Julia Turner passed away at fifteen due to a brain tumor, and earlier that same year Lynn Lambert passed at thirty-seven.
As a result of the young girls passing’s Madeline created ‘On Board’ where she paddled 10km on July 10th 2014 down the Welland Canal in a little over two hours to raise funds for brain cancer research. Madeline raised a grand total of $4013.05 her first year hosting On Board to hand into the Canadian Cancer Society. Creating On Board was her way of saying goodbye to Julia and Lynn, and also her way of giving back to the cancer community. The impact this event has left on Madeline has driven her to run this event again for a fifth year in a row with raising over $23,000 to date.
On Sunday July 15th2018 Madeline will be paddling 5km’s down the Welland Canal while encouraging others to join her. At 10am the paddling journey will start at the Pen Financial Credit Union Flatwater Centre. Why not join her? What a great reason for a paddle.
Choosing the right paddle board length is imperative if you want to enjoy your SUP experience. Especially, if this is your first board. Anything to big or to small could lead to a negative experience and the end result could be a paddle board sitting unused in a garage collecting dust. I don’t want this to happen to you, so keep reading, gain some knowledge and go armed into your next paddle board shopping adventure.
Selecting Proper SUP Length
For most people, paddle board length shouldn’t be the primary shopping factor. In my opinion, all length does is provide guidance to the amount of displacement (volume) a board offers. Instead of shopping by length, try to find a paddle board that meets the following needs, and the length will take care of itself.
Factors That Shouldn’t be Considered
I chose to write about this topic because it’s a question that’s been asked to me many times. Not only by my students when I taught paddle boarding, but also by prospective customers. Below are some of the factors that customers think should be considered when determining SUP length, but in actuality, are not important at all.
So now that you know what to consider when selecting paddle board length, stop fixating it. Instead, consider what you want to do with your SUP, your weight and experience level. Once you have selected a board based on those needs, the length will take care of itself. Now, take this knowledge you just gained and go buy the paddle board that is right for you.
Wappa was created so people could make an affordable eco friendly purchase decision when they buy a paddle board.
If you love paddle boarding, you might experience soreness and pain in your shoulder area, lower back, as well as your wrists after stand up paddle boarding. One of the most important things that we neglect to do before any paddle boarding session is to warm up. The importance of stretching before any type of exercise, even ones that are seemingly low impact, cannot be stressed enough.
Stretching your muscles before and after you hit the water can prepare your muscles for the task ahead by warming them up which ultimately allows your level of flexibility to improve. It reduces the chances of sustaining injuries, as well as improve your recovery time after a hard day out in the water.
SUPing is a great way to spend time out in the water but most of all; you enjoy the added benefit of a full body workout. As paddleboarding works your entire body, it is vital that you warm up the whole body before you head out into the water. Additionally, you should also keep mobile during the process and take time to cool down after.
Also, be sure to take two to five minutes performing active stretches that mimic some of the movements and patterns you would make while paddle boarding. It will ensure that you’re ready to perform the intense activity to come. To sort you out, here are some paddle boarding warm-up tips:
The obliques, allow you to bend sideways and rotate your trunk. When these muscles are tight, it can inhibit your performance. Begin by standing with your legs shoulder width apart. Intertwine your fingers and extend your arms overhead, turning your palms up toward the ceiling. Inhale and contract your abs and glutes. Exhale while bending to one side, keeping your hips still throughout the exercise. Hold the peak position for 20 to 30 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat the movement to the opposite side of your body.
Upper Back Twist
Place your paddle behind your neck and over the length of your shoulders and arms. Your arms should rest comfortably on your paddle’s shaft. Keep your feet a little wider than shoulder width. While standing straight and keeping your core tight, rotate the upper back and forth while still keeping your arms on the paddle. Repeat this 7 to 10 times to warm up your upper back, as well as your thoracic spine. The movement will prepare you for standing up for extended periods.
Lie down on your back with your shoulders, buttocks and heels all touching the ground. Your entire body weight should be supported by the ground. Lift your head so that your shoulders only come off the ground but don’t lift your head too high such that your back loses engagement with the floor. Then, lift the right leg to about a 90-degree angle and pause for about 3 seconds. Lower it and repeat that movement using the left. Repeat this movement engaging the lower abdominals 5 to 15 times.
Now that you’re warmed up, strap on your leash, grab your board and paddle and head out for a great time!
Paddleboarding is fun, and there is no doubt about it. However, if you are ill-equipped or fail to prepare adequately, it can be dangerous. Safety is an issue that many paddle boarders take for granted while SUPing because many individuals do not realize the danger of stand-up paddleboarding particularly when you are not armed with the right protective gear.
Paddleboarding accidents and fatalities are actually more common that they should be. Sadly, most of these fatalities do not occur in extreme conditions such as the ones experienced professionals encounter. In most cases, most SUP escapades are otherwise safe trips that become disastrous as a result of lack of proper preparation.
SUP is just as serious a sport as surfing or kayaking. As such, you must always take the time to arm yourself with the right safety devices and that includes life jackets, leashes and a range of other safety equipment. Initially, it might seem like overkill preparing for an event that might never happen, but as always, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In countries such as Canada and the U.S, many state and provincial regulations require that a PFD (personal flotation device) must always be carried on a paddleboard except when you are in a surf zone or a selected bathing or swimming area. Please note that when buying a life jacket, you must try as much as you can to match the life jacket to your level of activity; the more straps you have, the more custom your fit will be for maximum safety.
When SUPing, you should always remember that you are the most vulnerable person out there in the water. Leashes are, therefore, indispensable. Leashes are a big deal and are one of your best sources of survival when paddleboarding. A leash keeps you attached to your board at all times so you should wear one at all times.
Lifejackets or leashes?
Whether lifejackets or leashes are the best pieces of safety gear for SUP is a hotly debated topic by experts and novices alike. If you have a leash on, it means that you are also attached to the PFD, which keeps you in the safest position possible. Whenever you are separated from your board, it can spell danger even for the most experienced paddle boarder.
In almost all accidents that have occurred while paddleboarding, the victim was not wearing a life jacket, when the rider became separated from his or her board. If you should fall off and your paddleboard gets caught in the wind, you will most likely not be fast enough to swim and catch up with it. If you do not have your lifejacket on, you could be in serious danger.
If you, fortunately, manage to get back on your board, the lifejacket is buoyant which will make it easier for you to climb up on it. Of course, you would not have to swim after your board if you had the right leash on. Leashes are typically tethered to the board and they keep you connected to your board even if you fall down. As a rule of thumb, both the lifejacket and the leash should be worn at all times when paddleboarding.
Now having said this, I personally believe that a leash is more important than a PFD. Maybe it’s from all of my years living in Mexico. No one ever wore PFD’s. It wasn’t macho. Personally, I find them constricting and hot (especially in the warm Mexican summer). However, I would NEVER go out without being attached to my leash. As I see it, as long as I could get back on my board it was all good.
Can’t decide if you want to wear a life jacket when paddle boarding? Fair enough. Just make sure you always have your leash attached. After all, no matter how good of a swimmer you are, eventually you will get tired swimming after your board. Then what…
Stand up paddle boarding is quickly becoming a common hobby for lovers of water sports. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced veteran, all paddleboarders are bound to make mistakes. So, if you fall a bunch of times in the beginning, don’t worry about it. However, to make your life easier, try to avoid these common mistakes often made by beginners to paddle boarding.
Looking Down While Standing on the Board
If you are participating in paddle boarding for the very first time, do not look down while using the paddle board. Although you might be tempted so that you can get a view the board, it can actually make it harder to maintain your balance. If you want to feel more stable and balanced, you should relax, look forward and choose a spot off in the horizon to focus on instead. By looking forward, the wobbly surface you are viewing disappears, your brain becomes more comfortable and you instantly become more stable.
The Paddle Blade is Facing the Wrong Way
When you look at the profile of a paddle board paddle, you will notice that the blade is offset from the shaft. It’s positioned that way to maximize the amount of water you can pull through your stroke. When using a paddle, make sure that the blade is bent away from you, which will ensure a more powerful and efficient stroke. If you can’t visualize the way the blade should be oriented, think of an ice cream scoop being pulled through the ice cream. You have the offset curve facing away from you as you pull the scoop/blade towards yourself.
Using the Wrong Equipment
Contrary to popular belief, not all SUPs are created equal. Some are designed for choppy conditions while others are created specifically for use on flat water. If you are a beginner, you should make sure that you talk to your salesperson first and explain the conditions in which you plan to use the paddle board for the best pick. Generally, large boards are your best bet if you want a versatile paddle SUP because they make it easy for you to use your technique and they make it a lot easier to balance on. Purchase an All Around style for your first paddle board. They are capable of doing almost everything. Once you gain experience, you can get more specialized boards.
Maintaining the Wrong Posture
The way that you stand up on a paddleboard can be the difference between failure and success. Posture is the key to maintaining balance, which is essential to becoming a good stand up paddler. If you have never used a paddle board before, you should try and stand in a symmetrical position around the handle area, which is the middle. More advanced veterans usually know a range of advanced techniques that allow them to execute moves like the pivot turn.
Using Bad Technique.
When using your stand up paddle board, you should try and avoid:
Now that you’ve read about many of the common mistakes beginners to stand up paddle boarding make, it’s time to get away from the screen go to the beach and get out on the water. Don’t worry about falling or looking stupid. You’re out there doing it, so be proud of yourself.
Have a great paddle!
More and more people are starting to realize the benefits of paddle boarding. Not only is paddle boarding a lot easier to learn unlike other water sports such as surfing or sailing, but it is also extremely beneficial to your health. It is for this reason that paddle boating has become the number one outdoor activity for first-time participants.
Here are some of the health benefits of paddle boarding:
It is a Mood-Boosting Activity
Water and most water-related activities for that matter are some of the best activities for stress relief. Water has a natural calming and soothing effect that can reduce stress easily. Hanging out in nature has been known to have therapeutic advantages, which can have a positive effect on your overall attitude and mental health. In addition to this, you also stand to get a dose of vitamin D, which is recommended in good amounts.
Anyone Can Do It
Everyone can take part in paddle boarding regardless of how inactive they are or how old they are. The appeal of SUP is that it offers a changeable level of intensity so the activity level can easily be adjusted to suit the participant. Cruising on a paddleboard can mean drifting on a lake or engaging in a heart-pounding cardio workout or even paddle surfing in the waves.
It Helps to Improve Balance
Standup paddleboarding, as the name suggests must be done standing upright, which requires a lot of core strength and stability to maintain balance. Additionally, almost every muscle in your body is utilized including muscles on your arms, shoulders and back when paddle boarding so partakers enjoy the benefit of a full body work out whenever they take part.
It is a Low Impact Activity
An additional benefit of SUP is that it provides immense benefits at a low impact. Therefore, if you suffer from any debilitating issues such as back pain, it is unlikely that you will cause any damage to your tendons. SUP is especially advantageous to anyone that that lifts weights and wants to take a break or for any runner that is recovering from knee or hip pain.
It is Easy to Learn
Another handy quality of stand up paddle boarding is that it is very easy to learn and pick up once you get the handle of it. The paddleboarding kit can be rented inexpensively and it does not take much to master the various basic techniques fully. The only thing you need to do is get a grip on how you should stand, turn the board and fall.
Paddleboarding can help to improve your endurance once you learn how to stand up and control the board. Once you master the various techniques and you notice that your muscles are not as sore afterward, and you can paddle much further than when you first started you will have improved your endurance considerably. Like running, you can get a whole lot of cardio exercise when you paddle.
Those of you who already paddle won’t be surprised by these benefits. You’ve already experienced them. If you haven’t taken up paddle boarding yet, what’s stopping you. As you just read, there are many benefits to this great water sport. Come on! Give it a try. You’ll love it!!
During my years teaching paddling boarding in Canada and Mexico, I have taught many first-time paddle boarders. One thing I’ve learned is that there are as many questions as there are people. This isn’t an article about paddle board technique. I have written about that subject elsewhere on my blog. Rather, these tips are things new paddle boarders should know, but is rarely taught during a SUP lesson.
Use Your Core Rather Than Your Arms
Ok, this tip is probably taught during a lesson (at least it should be), but it is definitely worth repeating. When you get on the paddleboard for the first time, your first instinct when paddling will be to use your arms in an effort to move further ahead. What many beginners do not realize is that the power to move ahead comes from your core, which is a bigger and stronger muscle group compared to the arms. Using your arms will only work against you as it will tire you before you can begin to fully enjoy the paddle boarding experience.
Ensure the Board is Facing in the Right Direction
This tip may sound obvious but I’ve seen it enough times that it’s worth mentioning. Inexperienced people don’t always position the board in the correct direction. Before you jump on the board and into the water, check where the fins are located and ensure that they are facing the back of the SUP when paddling. The fins help to keep the paddleboard going in a straight line, which is called tracking. When your fins are facing the front, you will find it difficult trying to control the board because it will not move in a straight line regardless of how hard you try.
Invest in a Leash
Leashes are critical because they ensure that your safety is maintained at all times. A leash that is attached to your ankle keeps you connected to the board should you fall. No matter how strong the swell or current. You are no more than 10 or 12 feet from your board. There are different types of leashes for paddle boarding and the type that you pick is based on your preference. There are mainly two types of leashes on the market, straight and coiled leashes.
Be Mindful of Other Paddleboarders
If you are paddling around other people, be sure to be mindful of the space. Paddleboards are big and they can hurt someone seriously. When you are learning how to SUP, try and find an isolated spot where you will not disturb others. Once you gain confidence and the ability to control the board’s direction, you’re ready for more crowded waters.
Learn How to Fall
When falling, you want to fall away from the board in a manner that will not hurt you. Ideally, you want to fall backwards landing on your butt. This position helps to prevent injuries, especially head injuries. Don't be afraid to practice your falls. It helps develop muscle memory. Although to be honest, as a new paddler, you’ve probably had enough of that practice already.
As a new paddle boarder, incorporate these newbie tips to help you get into the sport safely while being mindful of other water users. However, if you want to have an even better paddle boarding experience, I suggest getting a lesson from a qualified instructor. While these tips are helpful, there is nothing like learning the proper stroke technique and turns to get the most out of this great sport.
The Wappa Blog
Written by Wappa's founder Layne Pennell, the blog's aim is to educate and share his love of stand up paddle boarding with anyone interested in SUP.
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