For more information check out the ACA Safety Series-Infographics:
By Adam Eyal
Paddleboarding is quickly becoming one of America's favorite pastimes, but time and time again, beginners are falling for the same old traps. Before getting out on the water, save yourself some time (and potential
embarrassment) by reading through these 5 most common beginner mistakes.
Facing the Wrong Way:
Don't be too quick skipping over this one, no matter how obvious it might sound. The truth is, when you don't know what to look for, the generic paddleboard might look like it doesn't really have a front or back; certainly if you're only just getting into water sports. A long, oval-shaped board with rounded edges—it's like trying to find the beginning of a circle. Okay, it isn't really that difficult, but you wouldn't be the first to make this common mistake. And while paddleboards come in many shapes and designs (check out inflatable boards here), there are two simple keys to recognizing the stern (back-end) of your board: Fin on the bottom and ankle leash on top.
Not Knowing Your Paddle:
It isn't only your board that might seem ambiguous, at first glance. Incorrect paddle usage is perhaps the most common mistake of all beginners. I say, 'incorrect paddle usage' with no reference to special technique or form… I'm just talking about the basics, here: Make sure your blade is facing the right way. Paddleboarding paddles are angled slightly from the shaft to ensure a smoother stroke. The only problem is, many beginners are tempted to angle the blade in toward their body—as though they were scooping the water with a spoon. What you want, in fact, is the opposite. The blade should be angled away from you. It should be pointing toward the front of your board. This is the one of the easiest ways to spot a beginner, so make sure you don't stand out with this one!
Forgetting Your Leash:
This goes for all paddleboarders, really, but beginners are especially vulnerable. You might think that only beginners need a leash, and so if you don't wear your leash then people will think you know what you're doing. Wrong. The leash is an essential piece of safety equipment for both you and other people out on the water. By wearing your leash you're actually paying other water-goers a kind respect. How? Well, there are a couple of reasons. For your own safety, it's simple: your paddle board is a large, buoyant lifeboat that you want to keep with you while out on the water (Wikipedia, 2017). Even in the mildest conditions, without a leash your board can slip away from reach within a matter of seconds. Which brings me to my next point. The last thing that a fellow surfer wants to see, just as he's about to catch that perfect wave, is your rogue paddleboard coming straight for his head! So don't be 'that guy', and be sure to wear your leash.
Don't Look Down!
Balance is the key while learning to paddleboard. It's the first and largest obstacle to overcome, and until you feel balanced you'll never feel comfortable out on the water. This is where beginners make another common mistake. The fear of falling (or the determination to stay upright) can often tempt you to look down at your feet—as if by watching the waves and your board closely enough, you might avoid some silly error of balance. The truth is, looking down is the quickest way to lose your balance and orientation. The best thing you can do is look toward the horizon; or to find a stable object in the distance which you can focus on for orientation. By watching the wobbly rhythm of the board beneath your feet, you will only make things more difficult for yourself!
Check the Forecast:
Only, don't simply take note of the temperature. You'll want to find a trusted surf weather website, with accurate readings for local wind speeds and surf conditions. Too many beginners either neglect or ignore these factors and they pay the price. The ocean isn't a consistent beast, and the difference between a good day and a bad one can be miserable. Perhaps the largest factor you'll want to take note of is wind speed and direction. Wind speeds between 29-38km/h are considered a 'fresh breeze' on the Beaufort scale, which doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, with such wind speeds, as a beginner, you might as well cancel your plans. You'll be looking at 'moderate waves' with 'many whitecaps', which is a disaster for paddleboarding (look here for definitions). Learning to paddleboard in windy conditions is more than challenging—it can be downright disheartening. Save yourself a lot of time and frustration by taking the warning, rather than learning the hard way.
Take note of these simple points and people will be amazed to learn it's your first time out on the water!
So, Pacific Paddle Games 2017 are over now what do we do? In Southern California we are very fortunate that the outrigger clubs start their winter series races, and they have added SUP to these races. They are a great community venue, and you may get the opportunity to demo or race an outrigger canoe.
See you on the water!
Summertime is the perfect opportunity to get out on the open water for a fun fitness experience that will strengthen your body and challenge your balance—no instructor needed. Soak up some sun and try out this total-body workout, which combines the research-supported benefits of standup paddleboarding (SUP) with a few easy-to-follow bodyweight exercises.
Stand at the center of the board, parting the feet just a bit wider than hip-width, with toes angled out slightly. Hold the paddle with the hands about hip-width apart, arms extended in front of the thighs. Hinge at the hips and bend the knees, lowering to a squat position, while raising the paddle up to shoulder height and keeping the arms extended. Slowly lower the arms and extend the hips and knees to return to the starting position and repeat.
Begin in a split-stance position with the left foot forward and the right foot back. Hold the paddle in front of the body at shoulder height. Keeping the arms extended, bend both knees, lowering into a lunge position. Draw the paddle across the body until the hands are outside the right hip. Slowly extend both knees, rising to standing while drawing the paddle diagonally across the body with the arms extended and the hands above the left shoulder. Repeat the sequence, completing the desired number of repetitions before switching sides and repeating.
Lie on your stomach with the elbows bent and the hands in line with he chest; position your naval over the center of the board. Tuck the toes under and press into the palms, lifting the chest off the board. Next, extend the elbows to lift your entire torso up along with the knees and shins. Reverse the movement, releasing the knees and shins to the board before slowly lowering your stomach and then your chest back down to the starting position; repeat the sequence.
WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE
Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet flat on the board, positioned hip-width apart. With the arms extended and the hands hip-width apart, draw the paddle to rest across the hips. Keeping the back of your head and shoulders in contact with the board, gently press through the feet to extend the hips and lift the glutes (buttocks). Slowly lower your body back to the starting position and repeat.
Sit over the center of the board with the knees bent and the feet flat. Hold a paddle in front of the shins with the arms extended. Pick up both feet, keeping the knees bent 90 degrees and the paddle in front of the shins for high boat. Inhale and recline the torso back slightly while maintaining length in the spine as you lower back to low boat, hovering the torso close to the board while simultaneously reaching the paddle overhead. As you exhale, rise back up to high boat and repeat the sequence.
About the Author:
Jessica MatthewsHealth and Fitness ExpertJessica Matthews, MS, E-RYT500, is a well-known blogger and kinesiology professor at Point Loma Nazarene University. In addition to holding ACE Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach certifications, she is an experienced registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. Jessica is regularly cited as a wellness expert by outlets such as CNN, Shape, Self and The Washington Post.
Summer’s here and it’s time to get out on the water, but many paddleboarding parents haven’t been properly educated on the important topic of water safety for kids. Stand up paddleboarding is the fastest-growing watersport in the world and while it’s a wonderful family activity, there are a few important things to keep in mind before paddling out with your children.
To help educate parents and children on the importance of SUP safety, we’ve put together this fun infographic which lists an easy, 7-step water safety checklist for paddleboarding parents. Please help us get the word out by sharing it — thanks!
#1: Avoid Spots with Waves and Strong Currents
When preparing to paddle out with your children, it’s important to avoid areas with rough water, waves, and strong currents. Calm lakes and bays are the safest places to paddle board with your kids, and they’re also more enjoyable.
It’s also a good idea to look for spots that offer plenty of places to get in and out of the water, and you need to make sure that there isn’t a lot of motorized boat and personal watercraft traffic.
#2: Make Sure Your Child is Accompanied by an AdultIf your child is old enough to paddle their own SUP, it’s important to make sure that they are always accompanied by an adult. Unfortunately accidents do happen, and having an experienced adult present at all times will help to ensure your child’s safety while on the water.
#3: Wear a PFD (Personal Flotation Device)Wearing a SUP PFD is a must anytime you and your child are out on the water. While adults have the option of wearing a belt-style PFD, children under the age of 12* must wear a USCG-approved life jacket.
*California state law requires all children under 13 years old to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on board a vessel that is 26ft or less while underway.
#4: Use a SUP LeashA paddle board leash is another must-have SUP accessory. SUP leashes ensure that paddlers won’t get separated from their boards if they happen to fall off. Strong winds and currents can quickly move a board out of reach, so a SUP leash is an important safety accessory that can literally save lives.
#5: Review Proper Paddling TechniqueIf you’re going to bring your child along on your SUP, it’s important that they know where and how to sit. Since your SUP will be more unstable in the water with two people onboard, it’s best if your child sits in a stationary position toward the front of the board.
Older children who are able to paddle their own board should be taught proper paddling technique.
#6: Don’t Forget the Sun ProtectionOverexposure to the sun is dangerous for kids and adults alike, so it’s always important to exercise caution while on the water. Sunscreen and proper attire (sun hats, swim shirts with SPF protection, etc.) can greatly reduce the risks associated with sun exposure.
#7: Bring Along Plenty of Water and SnacksPaddleboarding is great exercise and a super fun way to experience the outdoors, but it’s important to give your body the fuel it needs. Staying hydrated and bringing along some healthy snacks will ensure that you and your kids are up to the challenge!
Thank you Jason from Inflatableboader.com
Sharing the limelight with some friends in the Summer 2017 edition of SUPTHEMAG!
Sometimes the better option for staging a workout lies in the great outdoors.
Across the country, trainers are increasingly taking their clients outside.
From the trailheads of the San Francisco Bay Area to the boulders of Manhattan’s Central Park, more trainers and clients are lunging up hills, playing bear-crawl tag in the grass and soaking up the experience of exercising under open skies. What is driving this interest? After all, gyms are climate-controlled spaces designed and outfitted to optimize exercise performance. The outdoors is subject to weather, traffic and uneven terrain. What’s the appeal of leaving an ideal exercise setting and embracing an uncertain outdoor environment? Here, several fitness professionals who have integrated the outdoors into their programs weigh in and share their motivations for moving their clients closer to Mother Nature.
She started Baby Boot Camp to give moms an opportunity to work out with their children without the guilt of dropping them off at daycare or having to pay for a babysitter.
“Everything is outside as much as possible,” Horler says. “Imagine being at the park and having your workout, then afterwards your little one can come out for playtime.” (Naturally, these programs move indoors if the weather does not cooperate.)
For Hank Ebeling, owner and coach at H4 Training in Wheaton, Illinois, the weather window for outdoor activity is short but impactful. Since opening 3 years ago, H4 Training has taken clients outside in the late spring and summer.
“People love it,” he says. “You’re outside; you’ve got trees. It’s a different vibe. It gets you out of a square box inside—especially in the Midwest when you’ve been freezing all spring and winter.”
Several studies have shown a correlation between being outside and feeling emotionally, mentally and physically better (Coon et al. 2011; Harvard 2010; Barton & Pretty 2010).
“Being outside, it almost provides a distraction,” Flynn says. “Humans are innately connected to nature, and so that’s one potential reason why that release would occur” (see the sidebar “Health Benefits of Outdoor Exercise”).
At H4 Training, Ebeling’s personal and small-group training company, outdoor workouts occur at local parks, and clients’ spouses can go along for free (friends are welcome, too). Ebeling uses basic equipment like bands and balls and puts down old mats for clients when there is dew on the grass.
“But for the most part we try to use what’s out there,” he says. That can mean integrating monkey bars and picnic tables into the workout. He also uses body-weight exercises and fun games like bear-crawl tag and partner mirroring—where one person picks a movement like jumping jacks or squats, and the other has to copy it.
“Don’t make it too technical or too detailed,” Ebeling advises. “Make it more simple. You’re outside, and you’re active and moving.”
Rick Richey, owner of Independent Training Spot in New York, uses the outdoors to train small groups for specific goals like Spartan® or Tough Mudder® adventure races.
“I just think it’s always nice for there to be some type of goal you’re striving for, so it’s not working out for the sake of working out or for losing weight,” says Richey.
He does his small-group training in Central Park, weather permitting. He uses everything from fartlek runs—sprinting from one light post to another or one tree to the next—to step-ups on benches and stairs.
“Everything that isn’t normally a fitness tool becomes a fitness tool,” he says.
“It’s nice to just go outside and play,” Richey says. “[The outdoors is] more conducive to playing, and when you can get people to see their fitness as more about having fun, you’re going to get more compliance and adherence.”
Tina Vindum, MS, owner of Outdoor Fitness in San Francisco, urges trainers to find creative, unique uses of outdoor terrain. She has used mailboxes, parking meters and even trash cans to do rows.
“The more clever you can be, the more fun [it is].”
Vindum says she also gets clients to connect with the environment, feeling the trail under their feet or the grass on their legs as they lunge forward up a hill.
“Mats on the sidewalk is not outdoor fitness,” she says.
“It didn’t make sense for me to be a mountain athlete and not be on the mountain,” she says.
She took that passion and built it into a personal training career. Today, Outdoor Fitness boasts an outdoor fitness training and certification program. Vindum trains solely outdoors, rain or shine.
When the weather is cold or wet, the key is in the warm-up, she says. “It’s like jumping in a swimming pool. Once you’re warmed up, you kind of forget.”
“We’ve actually gotten a lot of clients off of it,” Ebeling says of his outdoor workouts, noting that they create a buzz and that people at the park often inquire and follow up with him.
He sees that being outside also teaches people what’s possible—that working out doesn’t have to happen in a gym or be done in a complex way.
“You can bring fitness anywhere,” he says.
And that makes it so much easier to attract clients and keep them coming back.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR EXERCISEJust being outside is better for our health: We get more vitamin D, our mood improves, stress levels drop, and we actually heal faster, according to research compiled by Harvard Medical School (2010).
Exercising outdoors even delivers specific benefits to children, say experts. Exercise science instructor Jennifer Flynn, PhD, points out that kids who spend more time outdoors are more physically active (Cleland et al. 2008; Cooper et al. 2010).
“One of the things that studies in kids have found is that typically just being outside tends to be associated with higher physical activity intensity,” she says. Cleland et al. (2008) found that children who spent just 1 more hour per week outside participated in 26.5 more minutes of moderate to vigorous play.
“That logically makes sense,” she adds. “When kids are outside, they’re bouncing around and they’ve got all this space to play in.”
A 2011 study by Dasilva et al. found that people had a greater sense of well-being less fatigue and anger, and more enjoyment—when they walked outdoors than they did when walking indoors on a treadmill. The study’s participants self-selected a higher walking speed on outdoor terrain—yet they felt the exercise was less draining and more fun.
“I think really that’s one selling point for the outdoor activity,” Flynn says. “You’re getting a great workout, but it really doesn’t feel as hard.”
Improving Mental States
Humans need to be in nature, “otherwise we feel unwell,” says Tina Vindum, MS, owner of Outdoor Fitness in San Francisco. Vindum, who trains clients outdoors in the San Francisco Bay Area, has a master’s degree in kinesiology, serves on the faculty of the American Council on Exercise and gives speeches on the scientifically proven benefits of outdoor fitness.
Vindum says training clients outdoors improves their mental state and facilitates a release that comes from their innate connection to nature. “I’ve seen clients weep on the trail,” she says. “And it’s not because it’s so difficult. They’re so overwhelmed. It’s such an amazing feeling, and that’s the addiction.”
Being outside also challenges clients’ muscles in a variety of ways.
Kristen Horler, CEO and founder of Baby Boot Camp in Sarasota, Florida, says the fresh air alone is an added health benefit when exercising outdoors.
“I just think that not everyone is fully aware of how much better they feel to be breathing fresh air and being exposed to sunshine as opposed to the feeling when you’re indoors and there’s recirculated air and cold AC blowing on you. It’s almost as though it’s counterproductive to our body,” she says.
Author: Shelby Spears IdeaFit May 2017
Equipment: Medicine Ball 8-10lbs
Preparation: Hold medicine ball in middle of chest. Balance on R leg.
Execution: Step back with left leg into lunge and simultaneously rotate torso and medicine ball right in diagonal chop or paddle. As you complete movement, lift left leg to starting balance position and return ball to middle of chest. Repeat on same leg; switch sides.
Regression: Keep ball close to chest, and place foot on ground instead of balancing.
Progression: Extend arms straight.
What's safe? What's legal? And what PFD is best for you? From life jackets, to life belts and beyond, TJ pulls some air canister tabs to reveal your ultimate flotation device for SUPing. Find more here: bigwinds.com/Which-Life-Jacket-is-Best-for-Paddle-Boarding
Proudly Announcing Cali Paddler's Podcast...
Since we began, we strive to listen to everything you tell us you want. Now we ask that you list to us too! In our new PodCast – The Paddler’s Pulse. YES! You read that right. We have heard the clamor to shares the stories of our awesome sport and community. and now it is real! Enjoy our 4 launched episodes and get ready for more.
We want your help to help make it a success. Please do the following steps: