You can't go to a beach these days without seeing a bunch of children playing with a standup paddleboard. But is it just a plaything for children or old people cruising down the river or is it a serious sport too? Let's take a closer look at this today.
Last summer I bought my very first Uhrdal standup paddle board. And I have been using it a lot ever since. To begin with it was mainly play and fun for me too. It was fun trying to learn how to keep the balance on the board or try to out race your friends on it. But as I got better and better it become much more. After a few months me and a few friends backed our gear and went on a 2 days trip down a large river and it was an amazing experience. Much more fun than doing the same trip in cano like we had done many years earlier. For some reason it just felt more right on a stand up paddleboard. I also started doing it as a part of my weekly training program. At least once a week I did 5-10km on the paddleboard which lead to a nice weight loss and improving my physical form quite a lot. So it's also a great exercising tool for those of you who - like me - doesn't really enjoy running.
Read more - Choosing the best paddleboard
Which paddleboard should you buy?
At lot of people think it's very expensive to get started with paddleboarding, but it's actually a really cheap sport. You will need a good paddleboard, a lifewest and a swimsuit and that's more or less it. You can later spend more money on the sport if you wish, like buying a faster supboard, a carbon paddle, various accessories and so on, just like you can do with any other type of sport.
Many people make the mistake of buying a too good a paddleboard to begin with. Often the more expensive paddle boards are longer and slimer, which means they go faster through the water. But that increased speed comes at a price (and not just money here). A faster board isn't also a stable board, and as a newcommer to paddleboarding it can be pretty hard to keep your balance, even on a beginners board. So unless you are the type of person who is born with an excellent sense of ballance I wouldn't recommend starting out with a touring or race board. Instead choose an intermediate model like the popular 10'6 size which is a great all around board. I myself settled on the Uhrdal Vidar board which is more than fast enough for my needs. You can always sell it a year or two later when you have more expensive and may want something better.
Is it a safe sport?
Most sports have a little bit of danger and this goes for subboarding too. You risk falling of the board and if you can't swim you could get in trouble if not wearing a lifewest. There are also some examples of people getting to far from the shore at water with strong waves and are having a hard time getting back to the shore. But that is something we also see every year with people swimming and at least you will have a supboard to hold on to. All in all I would say that paddleboarding is a rather safe sport. Much less dangerous than hanggliding, skiing, kite surfing and mountainbiking. It's not without a reason we see children down to the age of 5 on a paddle board or old people of 70+ using it. Just always wear a lifewest no matter how good you are at swimming and keep the leach attached to your ankel at all times. Then you should be good to go and be able to paddleboard in a safe way.
Read more - Stay fit with paddleboarding
That was a little info about one of my favorite topics at the moment - standup paddleboarding. I hope you enjoyed the little read and learn a thing or two about paddleboards and maybe even wants to give it a try after reading this. I can recommend you try it, not just for 5 minutes but give it an hour and I am sure you will be just as hooked on it as I have become. I used to do a lot of gymnastics on my Airtrack, but now I mainly do paddleboarding. For me it's a great way to keep fit and enjoy the nature.