Paddleboarding is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy nature simultaneously. However, if you want to try out paddle boarding, you’ll need to know what to wear before hitting the water. Here’s a quick guide to what to wear when paddling.
Paddling is a sport that involves using a board or floatation device (paddle) to propel oneself through the water. The sport originated in Australia and New Zealand, initially called surf kayaking. Today, paddleboarding has become very popular around the world.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on fancy equipment to start paddling. All you need is a shortboard or longboard, a wetsuit, a life jacket, and shoes.
The first thing to decide is whether you’re going for comfort or speed. Comfort will be your top priority if you won’t be going far. Speed comes behind safety on the priority list.
If you plan on catching waves, a good place to buy a shortboard or longboard is from boardshop.com.au. For beginners, a 10’6″ (3 m) longboard works best because you can use it both inside and outside the breakers. In addition, a shorter board makes it easier to reach the deeper part of the wave.
A wetsuit is essential for any type of water sport, even paddleboarding. It provides added buoyancy and helps prevent chafing. Wetsuits should also be made of neoprene material, so they won’t stretch over time.
A simple life jacket is all you really need. Most people prefer inflatable ones because they can be easily transported and worn on land. In addition, they are usually safe enough for children and adults alike. Check the size chart to ensure you have one that fits correctly.
When you go into the ocean, make sure you put your phone in its waterproof protector or dry bag. You could potentially end up with a nasty bite or scratch from sea urchins, jellyfish, or other marine animals.
Once you’ve packed everything, you’re ready to hit the water!
How To Do Paddle Boarding
Step 1: Get to the beach and check tide times. Before you head off to the beach, check the tide times online. This will give you an idea about how much time you have available before the tide changes.
Always wear sunscreen and sunglasses while out at the beach. Also, take along a towel and a change of clothes if you get caught in unexpected weather conditions.
Step 2: Find the right spot. Look for flat sand and shallow water. Avoid steep slopes, rocks, and deep holes. These spots could pose severe dangers if you slip and slide down them.
Make sure there isn’t too much wind. A strong breeze could carry you away from shore if you’re not careful. Choose a spot where there aren’t any obstacles nearby. For example, don’t pick a spot near cliffs and tall trees, which could cause injuries.
Step 3: Set up your equipment. Find a stable spot and set up your paddleboard.
Step 4: Launch. Lift the board onto your shoulders by placing your feet against the base of your board. Be careful not to drop your board when lifting it.
Step 5: Walk towards the water. Grab the rope attached to your board and pull yourself closer to the water. Make sure your knees are bent, and your toes pointed downward. Put the board in the water and paddle out.
Step 6: Adjust your placement. Slide your feet forward to keep your balance. Then, use your hands to push off from the ground, allowing you to stand up quickly.
Step 7: Stand upright. Hold on tightly to the rope until you hear splashing water. Then, let go of the rope and step up onto your board.
Step 8: Ride the waves. Don’t worry; you don’t have to stop paddling once you start moving. Instead, try varying your speed and technique. For example, if you’re feeling confident, use your front foot as a kickstand and a stabilizer.
Your goal is to stay upright as long as possible. When you begin, stay back slightly on your board. Stay close to the edge of your board for support. Once you gain confidence, move further around and enjoy the ride more.
Paddleboards come in different shapes and sizes. Look for something that suits your needs. There are two main types:
- Flat boards are ideal for beginners. They help you learn to balance and control your body position. However, flat panels lack stability.
- Rounded boards offer better stability. You can also use them to practice turning. As with flat boards, round boards can be used either as a single- or double-person paddle board.
If you’re spending hours out on the ocean, make sure you choose a comfortable board that fits appropriately. Too big a board may hurt your wrists and ankles. It may also affect your ability to steer correctly.
To avoid getting cold, put on a jacket or sweater. Also, choose a hat with a wide brim to protect your face from the sun.
When you get tired, slow down and take breaks. Try riding at low speeds on calm waters and gradually increase the distance between you and the beach as the day progresses.
Catch Some Waves
Surfboard riders must be flexible and agile because they perform tricks like spins, barrel rolls, and other maneuvers. These moves require extreme flexibility and strength.
But it’s not just physical attributes that allow surfers to perform these acrobatic feats. Riding a wave requires patience.
Surfboards need to be light enough so that their riders can maneuver comfortably. Riders should also practice making minor adjustments to adjust to changing conditions.
You can enhance your performance by wearing a wetsuit. Some people even prefer dry suits because they’re less likely to get tangled in the ropes that hold the board to the surfboard.
Other ways to improve your surfing abilities include:
- Practicing on smaller waves.
- Watching instructional videos.
- Learning how to read the break.
- Practicing with a friend and practicing while standing on land rather than sitting on a boat.
What To Look For In A Wetsuit
When shopping, look for the following features:
- Wicking: The fabric draws moisture away from your skin and into the suit’s material, where it evaporates.
- Waterproof: The suit keeps you dry when the wind blows through.
- Breathable: The suit allows air to circulate around your body.
- Flexible: The suit has stretch panels to give maximum mobility.
- Durable: The suit will last longer than others.
How To Find Your Ideal Fit
The easiest way to find the right size wetsuit is to check the size chart provided by the manufacturer. If the chart doesn’t fit correctly, check the measurements carefully. You’ll need to measure the circumference of both arms (under the armpit) and legs (above the ankle bone). Next, measure the chest (over the sternum), waist (where pants meet shirt), and hips (at the widest part) and add one inch to each measurement.
In general, wetsuits are sized based on weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you would typically order a medium-sized wetsuit.
Choosing A Size For Beginners
A beginner usually wants a wetsuit that is too large. That extra length helps prevent chafing and keeps you warm. After just two or three rides, you’ll want to start sizing up.
Consider purchasing a slightly oversized wetsuit to begin with. Then try another size during the summer months when the temperature rises.
Waterproof Or Wind Resistant Or Dry Suit
Most modern wetsuits have neoprene as the main component. Neoprene is a rubberlike material that feels great against your skin and provides the necessary waterproofing to stay comfortable.
While neoprene is ideal for protecting you from the elements, it does not provide loads of insulation. Therefore, it is not recommended to get in freezing temperatures unless you plan to spend a lot of time paddling out of the water.
Neoprene wetsuits are rated at either 4 or 5 on the American Snorkeler Association scale. Both ratings indicate good protection from saltwater spray and strong winds.
The more breathable rating means the wetsuit might let in more moisture than a higher-rated suit. However, it is still much better suited for warmer waters than other types of wetsuits.
If you live in an area with frequent lightning storms, choose a suit with a polyurethane coating on its inside surface. This additional layer of protection reduces the chance of getting zapped.
The best type of neoprene used in wetsuits is called “duck.” Duck neoprene is stiffer than regular neoprene but softens quickly in the sun.
Some wetsuits come with removable sleeves. These allow you to remove them easily when going from the ocean back onto shore. They can also be helpful when riding on choppy seas.
There are many styles of wetsuits. All require careful fitting before use. Take some time to learn how to do this to get the most out of your investment.
Finding The Right Fitting Material
Many wetsuits are made of nylon. Others are constructed from Lycra spandex or tri-blend fabrics, which combine nylon with Lycra and Spandex. Lycra is more durable and flexible than neoprene while being less expensive.
Tri-blends are often chosen because they are lightweight, easy to move in, and more affordable, though they may feel like plastic.
Check the label on your wetsuit.
To conclude, we will list some essential things you should know about paddle boarding:
- There are 3 different types of boards, Surfboard, Kayak & SUP (Stand-Up Paddle).
- Surfboards are more extended and broader than Kayaks, and kayaks are generally shorter and narrower than surfing boards.
- You need to wear a life jacket for paddling, even if you’re only paddling for fun.
- When learning how to stand-up paddle, practice balancing, paddling in shallow water, and learning basic strokes first.
- Avoid using your fins until you’ve mastered standing up paddle.
- Standup paddle surfing requires balance and strength.
- While paddling, hold the board by leaning forward with your legs straight out and your arms stretched wide.
- Beginners usually focus on relaxing their hips and shoulders.
- Once you’re confident enough, begin practicing single arm paddling and add the second hand.
- If you’re looking for a new hobby, learn how to surf by watching YouTube videos and surfing videos available online.
Happy paddle boarding!