Paddleboarding Kit Guide

 

Stand Up Paddleboarding (known as SUPing) is one of the UK’s fastest growing watersports. Just a decade ago, the sight of someone gliding along our waterways atop what looks like a surfboard whilst brandishing an unusually long paddle, was a rare one. Now it’s commonplace – and for good reason. SUPing is an activity almost anyone of any age or fitness level can enjoy.

 


The repetitive nature of paddling is almost meditative, requiring concentration and effort that, whilst sustained, is not backbreaking. Couple that with the simple pleasure of being on (and sometimes in!) the water and the appeal of this slowed-down form of travel becomes obvious. Get into SUPing and you’ll find it offers its own unique form of escapism. If you are new to SUPing, or intrigued enough to give it a try, our expert guide will give you all the info you need to get you started on your water-bound adventures.

 



What is SUPing and where can you go on one?

SUPing or paddleboarding is a mix between surfing and kayaking. Simply put, it involves standing upright on a board (about 10-12ft long) and then propelling yourself along using a paddle. What makes SUPing so popular is its versatility. Many people use their SUP simply to have fun and pootle around on, socialising with friends whilst splashing about on a small local stretch of water. But SUPs are also great for short bursts of exercise, providing a great workout of anything from 20 minutes to over an hour of strong paddling after work instead of your usual walk or run. You can even do yoga on a SUP (yes, it’s a thing!). It’s also entirely possible to spend a whole day (or even multiple days) on a SUP, and with an average leisurely paddle speed of 3-4MPH (similar to, or slightly faster than walking) you can cover a decent amount of distance, making them great for mini expeditions too. 

 

They’re not just great on rivers either. You can take your SUP on lakes or even coastal areas of the sea in the right conditions. And although they are most commonly used in the summer, their use isn’t necessarily confined to the warmer months. With the addition of a wetsuit and other equipment, there’s no reason why you couldn’t be getting good use out of your SUP practically all year round. 

Is Stand Up Paddleboarding good for you?

Undoubtedly yes. Take part in SUPing and you’ll be giving yourself a full body workout, but less in  a full-on, circuit-training-in-a-gym way that puts most people off. It’s more subtle and less intensive than that – that’s why the yoga angle should now start to make more sense. Being out on the water means you’ll need to stay mentally focused and work a little to stay balanced and upright, all of which is good for your core strength, and your back, shoulders and arms will all benefit from the paddling too. It’s also wonderful for the mind. Be it from the fun, social aspect of SUPing, the act of concentrating, the soothing repetition of a paddle stroke, or just the sheer amount of rare wildlife you’ll see and new perspectives you’ll glean from travelling on water, SUPing provides nourishment for mind, body and soul.  

 

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