Good morning y’all.
This month I am having a few guest posts here on Fit Coffee Mom on Thursdays. One thing that has been on my “to-do” list is stand up paddleboading or ‘SUP’ for short.
What is SUP? Well I am bringing on of my virtual friends, Jenna, to tell you all about it! Now that I am not pregnant or recovering from surgery this summer, I can be more active!
One of my favorite Yoga studios in the Northshore, Yoga Sakti, holds paddleboard classes. Be sure to check out their website for their class schedule!
On to Jenna’s post…
Stand up paddleboarding has been one of the fastest growing sports these last several years, and for good reason. It provides an incredible workout but is very low impact. People of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy paddleboarding.
‘SUP’ also gives you an amazing view of your surroundings, much different than if you were to be viewing from a kayak or swimming in the water. I’m so pumped that Sabrina has asked me to write a guest post about stand-up paddleboarding because it is one of my very favorite things.
My name is Jenna and I’m a yoga teacher in Oakland County, MI. I am so lucky to live in a beautiful area full of lakes and rivers. I tried paddleboarding for the first time two summers ago, quickly fell in love and purchased a board of my own.
Last summer I began SUP Yoga classes at the yoga studio I teach for and teamed up with a local paddleboard dealer to offer rental boards for our students.
If you haven’t yet been out on a SUP, I would highly recommend trying it out if you have the chance to do so. Today I’m here to share my tips for having the most enjoyable SUP experience possible!
- Safety First
Well, this one probably goes without saying! My favorite tip to help be safe is to always paddle with a buddy! Paddling with a friend (or many friends) is a great way for you to be active together. Choose your paddling weather wisely. If you are new to SUP, you might not enjoy your first experience if you are trying to battle fierce winds or really choppy water. Be sure to check the forecast before you head out.
You don’t want to be far away from your launch point when a storm rolls in (or, I wouldn’t want to be at least)! In addition to checking your weather and bringing a friend, make sure you that you are aware of the PFD regulations in your area. Life jackets are not always required, but they do make lightweight, inflatable PFDs that you can wear. Some paddlers will keep a life jacket on deck. In addition to any PFDs, it is HIGHLY advisable that you wear an ankle leash while paddling. It’s a simple, unobtrusive way to stay connected to your board no matter what.
- Be Prepared
One of the things I love about paddleboarding is that I can stay out for hours, but when you’re going to be outside for hours in the summer you need to be prepared! A few essentials I would recommend to anyone who SUPs on a regular basis are a waterproof phone case and a dry bag. It’s nice for at least one person in your group to bring their phone just in case of any emergencies, and you also might want to capture some pictures of your adventure! A dry bag is great for storing car keys, your phone and anything else that you may want to bring on the water with you.
Some other things that you may want to consider bringing along are: water (or perhaps an adult beverage?), sunscreen, bugspray, an anchor, and flip flops. I don’t wear shoes while paddling but I have encountered situations where we had to carry our gear from one body of water to another and it was definitely nice to not do it barefoot! If you are really getting serious about the sport, some other fun accessories I like to bring along are: cupholder that suctions onto your board, a small cooler, and a waterproof speaker! If anyone in your group has a GoPro or similar, encourage them to bring it along for some amazing shots!
- Use Your Core
At first it can be tempting to power through with your arms, but this will cause you to tire out way faster than using your core! Proper paddle technique will go a long way. Make sure that your paddle is the proper height: Stand straight and reach one arm straight up towards the sky. That’s how tall your paddle should be. Grip the top handle with one hand, then your opposite hand is lower on the paddle (not too close together).
Keep your arms locked straight and think about using your torso to paddle. You have more strength in your abdominal muscles than in your arms. The stroke will be in a straight line alongside the board. Relax while paddling, you don’t have to power through it too much. Paddle about half a dozen strokes on one side, then reverse your hand position and paddle to the other side.
If you feel nervous about standing or falling off, especially if you encounter some choppy water, you can always begin, or come down onto, your knees and paddle from there! You can begin in a low-kneel with your hips on your heels, then come up to high-kneel with the hips over the knees.
When standing on your board, keep your feet about hip’s-width apart and knees slightly bent to help balance.
- Tips to consider when purchasing a paddleboard
Buying a paddleboard has been one of my favorite purchases ever, but there are definitely some things you’ll want to consider before buying a board, and I wish someone would have told me. The biggest consideration is that it’s not just the board you’ll be buying. Some boards come with a paddle, but many do not. You may also need to purchase an ankle leash, a board bag, and possibly a roof rack, as well as any other fun accessories. Plus you may need to have the board delivered; it all adds up quick.
Think about where you will store your board as well. I live in an apartment and am lucky that my parents live 5 minutes away and have room for me to store my board in their garage. Keep in mind that these things are HUGE! My board is 11.5 feet long – make sure that you will have room store your board in your garage, shed, or wherever. If you get a racing board or are a really tall rider, your board may be closer to 14 feet long. It is not recommended to leave a board outside in the sun for storage because the heat will eventually warp the board from the inside.
Here is some other great information to read before you choose a paddleboard, this helped me immensely when I was trying to figure out what type of board to purchase:
- Have Fun!
Any time you get on a paddleboard is an opportunity to enjoy the moment, enjoy the water, and enjoy the company of your friends and family. Even your little ones or fur babies can come out as passengers on a board! You can do it in practically any body of water, and people of all ages, experience and physical fitness can enjoy this sport together! Should you have the chance to give it a try, I would not pass it up!
– Jenna Penfound, RYT500 yoga teacher. Michigan. SUP enthusiast. Hedgehog mom. Bookworm.
Find me at jennapenfoundyoga.weebly.com or on Instagram @jennapenfound
Thanks Jenna so much for being my guest today on the blog. If you love the outdoors and being active, get out there, find a class and get your “SUP” on!