Getting Started on a Paddle Board

How do you spend your day by the beach? Go kayaking, canoeing, wind surfing, or just lie down by the beach. All these are passé, as the next thing to hit the US water sport arena is paddle boarding. Stand up paddle boarding or SUP is a great new sport that entails standing up on a surf board to propel ahead. Although the sport has its roots in Polynesian culture, it is now gaining popularity among people all over the world and is a common activity in the beaches of Thailand. You can either paddle in the ocean, the river, lakes, and even mangrove forests. Learning the sport is easy as well. All that you’ve got to do is to buy a paddle board, a paddle, PDF, and proper clothing.

Paddle Board: There are two factors that determine the quality of a paddleboard; stability, and volume. Small paddle boards are good if you are looking to paddle rivers, lakes, or other such inflatable paddle board waters that are calm. But for ocean paddling, long boards are an ideal choice. The length of the board helps to propel ahead and hence good for long distances. These can be difficult to carry and store. Go for the longer ones if you can carry them comfortably.

Paddle: Paddles differ in their use; you can choose from one that fits your requirement. There are ones for the waves, for racing, and ones that can be used for waves and flat water. If choosing a paddle for the waves, you can use a small blade paddle that drags less when paddling. And if choosing one for racing, make sure to choose from a long and narrow blade to drag more and get more energy.

PDF: The US Coast Guard requires you to wear the PDF or Personal Flotation Device when paddle boarding.

Protective Gear: You do not want to navigate cold water and suffer from hypothermia without wearing wet/dry suits. But if you are paddle boarding in warm waters, shorts and some sun protection cream is enough.

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