All Aboard! Paddle Boarding 101

Before we know it, summer will be here and we’ll be soaking up the Vitamin D and de-stressing on the beach… or maybe having fun in the water!  One of the fastest growing water sports includes paddle boarding- a great way to enjoy the water and burn some calories!

New to Paddle Boarding? No worries, here’s some basic information to get you started and hitting the beach in no time!

Paddle boarding originated in Hawaii as the preliminary step to learn how to surf. Now it’s a worldwide phenomenon. Not only is it relaxing, peaceful, and an excellent form of exercise, but it’s actually pretty simple to master.

Some tips:

First, and foremost, safety is number one. Make sure you’re wearing plenty of sunscreen, and that you have a lifejacket on, especially if paddling over deep water away from shore.

In Tahoe, you can rent paddleboards at a variety of dealers. Some include: Tahoe Paddle & Oar, Tahoe SUP, Adrift Tahoe, and South Tahoe Standup Paddle.

Along with the rental, certified instructors will teach you the proper way to use the equipment and maintaining a good form.

If you’re looking for some information prior to your maiden voyage-here’s a little bit of what you can expect to learn.
• Take the paddleboard and lay it on the water (with the tail facing away from you.)
• Step onto the board with both feet in the middle (the wider your stance, the easier it will be to balance.) It’s important to keep your toes forward, knees slightly bent, shoulders up, and back straight.
• The hardest part is not the balancing, but the paddling. Make sure that the paddle’s curved end is facing away from you. When paddling on the right side, make sure your right hand is on the bottom and that your left hand is on the top of the paddle (and vise versa.)
• Push down on the paddle with your top hand, using your other hand to help you navigate. Start out with smaller strokes, and go for longer strokes as you get used to it. Some beginners suggest starting on your knees before standing up so you can ease into the balance.
• And remember, falling is part of the process!

Now that you know the gist of it (at least, in writing), let’s talk health benefits. Paddle boarding is essentially training for the core. It targets your abs since you use them to push your body forward.  Moving your entire body to the left and right each time you paddle gives you the best results. Even though it focuses on the core, it’s actually a great exercise for the entire body. You use your hips to maintain a good stance, you use your arm and shoulder muscles to carry your body’s weight, and after a few minutes your whole body feels the burn!