Tips for Becoming a Stronger Paddler

One of the best ways to become a stronger paddler is to just go out there and paddle. Nothing beats hands-on training and endurance. But if you are really serious about becoming a stronger paddler, then you can do some strength training complemented with supplements. Here are some tips for becoming stronger paddler.

paddling

Paddle. Like what we’ve stated earlier, nothing beats getting your hands wet by actually paddling and training yourself. You’ll then be able to determine which part of your body you’ll need to work out in order to improve your paddling strength. If you have the time to go into the water and paddle, don’t hesitate! Repetition is the key to success and there’s nothing that beats paddling itself to train your body to become a stronger paddler.

Cardio. If you didn’t know, paddling is a cardio exercise. That means anything that improves your cardiovascular strength can also help you become a stronger paddler. Running, cycling, aerobic workouts and even just walking your dog are cardiovascular workout. In addition to that, cardio workouts boosts endurance, allowing you to paddle more and gain more strength!

Workout. Although paddling is the best way to make you a stronger paddler, you can’t just be paddling all the time. But there are certain workouts that can help you improve your paddling strength and keep your muscles lubricated to prevent performance degradation. There are multiple workouts that can help you become a stronger paddler and also to maintain your muscles. Here are some of them (mostly done with a cable machine):

  • One arm lateral pull downs – Your feet shoulder width apart and your position balanced your arm by your side and its opposite at head height on the cable machine. Pull down the cable and then do the other arm, repeat the cycle. This is a great exercise to improve core and paddle strength.
  • Triceps pulls – with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, stand facing away from the cable machine and hold the cables or resistance bands over your shoulder. Pull your hands forward until they extend in front of your head. Once fully extended, maintain your body position for a while before slowly returning to the starting position. This is a great exercise to strengthen your triceps.
  • Bosu ball kettle swing – stand on a bosu ball with your legs shoulder-width apart in a slightly crouched position, your back straight and your hands holding a kettle bell between your legs. Swing the kettle ball forward, upward up to head level while maintaining a straight arm, back and body balance. Return to the starting position and then repeat. This is a full body exercise that develops strength and stability in the shoulder and core.

Those are just some of the basic workout to help you become a stronger paddler.

Fitness Tips for Paddling Sports

Staying in Shape During the Off-Season

For those who live in climates that do not provide good water conditions year-around, it can be difficult to stay in paddling-shape during the off-season. Even if you do live in a location where you can paddle year-round, perhaps you’re looking for ways to supplement your fun with workouts that will help you reach optimal fitness for your particular sport.

Therefore, we would like to outline a couple tips and tricks that we have learned over the years that can help you stay in paddling-shape no matter what time of year.

We have listened to the experiences of many paddle athletes, from surfers to kayakers, and have found that whole-body workouts involving your own body weight are beneficial to paddle sport-specific conditioning. This allows for a great balance between cardio and resistance training, and usually these workouts involve multi-joint exercises that require you to engage your core no matter what.

Before we go into too much detail, we first need to identify what the key disadvantages to these types of workout would be. First, it can difficult to motivate yourself to do these types of workouts on your own, and hiring a personal trainer can be expensive. Second, they often aren’t any fun. Lastly, it can be difficult to tell if you’re making much progress, especially if you are taking a break from the water for a prolonged period of time.

All this being said, we have found a solution that addresses most of these points and that many paddle sport athletes have found beneficial in more ways than one. Keep in mind, this isn’t for everyone, but is definitely worth considering. So what’s the solution? Boxing. If you’re surprised, that’s normal, we were too when we first heard of other athletes’ success stories, but here is why it makes sense.

First off, boxing is cheap. Most gyms will only require a minimal membership fee and usually provide equipment for use, but often recommend you get your own pair of boxing gloves at some point. If you don’t want to be at a gym or don’t want to continually pay membership fees, it can be quite easy to get the main equipment for your own home, like punching bags and simple punching bag stands or hangers.

Most importantly, boxing is a crazy workout. They make it look easy on TV, sometimes even boring, but it’s truly one of the most challenging workouts I have personally ever participated in. Don’t worry, most gyms don’t require you to fight, although you can usually work your way up to sparring if you wish. However, minus the actual combat, workouts for both recreational and competitive boxers follows a very similar structure, one that resembles circuit training and targets all muscle groups, while continuously taxing your cardiovascular system.

For those who are involved in paddle sports, you will know that core stability and shoulder strength/endurance are particularly key aspects of the sport-specific fitness. Although the exercises involved in a boxing workout vary, you will always be targeting your core and shoulders. The core is targeted through the stance, movement, and punching techniques, and they also focus on this during exercises that aren’t boxing-specific. Additionally, keeping your hands up by your face for a long time and constantly throwing punches is way more difficult than you would think, and you will see gains to your shoulder strength and endurance almost immediately.

Other areas that I personally noticed were very strongly worked were my calves, back, and chest. In fact, I was surprised at how sore my lats were after my first boxing workout, and I think it was just from the variety of movements and focusing on pulling my hands back to my face after throwing punches, but all in the proper technique.

Lastly, it’s a fun alternative to putting a mat on your floor and doing push-ups and sit-ups. It’s way easier to motivate yourself to do a really challenging workout when it’s fun, and when you can track changes in fitness and skill. Boxing offers all of this. Of course, it may not be for everyone, but if it’s something you think is worth considering, we recommend simply checking out local boxing clubs and getting their thoughts as well.

Start Paddle Boarding, Stay Fit!

Exercise on Paddle BoardI grew up in a small California community that had access to a beautiful lake that I always enjoyed spending time in. My parents owned a little cabin on the lake and there we had access to canoes, kayaks and other equipment to be used in the water. I would always have  friends over in the summertime to stay for weekends or even weeks to play out on the water, exploring every cove of the lake and just having a really great time. Back then, I had never even heard of Paddle Boarding but now it is one of the fastest growing sports in North America.

The reason for its success I think is because it is such a great exercise option for those looking to get out on the water and enjoy the sunshine. It is also very social which is also a big draw for people who are looking to participate in an activity which is both physically demanding and fun. I spent an afternoon with a group of young adults from a local community group and we hit the beach to try out paddle boarding and although I had done it many times before, it was amazing how much fun it was for everyone including first timers.

Often times when a sport or activity is challenging from the get-go it leaves a lot of people out who feel too intimidated to participate. An example of this would be tennis which has a very steep learning curve from the beginning which makes it hard for people to connect with the sport right away. Paddle boarding however is quite simple in concept which allows people to try the sport who might never have looked at water sports as an option.

The other thing I really like about paddle boarding in particular is how great of an abdominal workout it is. When you’re standing on the board, you are forced to activate your core and as you paddle, maintaining a strong core becomes increasingly more of a challenge especially as a beginner. If you begin to lose control, you’re probably going to lose balance and might end up in the lake! The best part about ending up in the lake is that it’s probably the most refreshing thing on a hot day that often times, paddle boarders will jump off of their boards just for fun.

Paddle boarding is one of my favorite activities nowadays and one that I hope you will explore to as it’s allowed me to stay fit!

How To Choose A Paddle Board & Paddle

SUP Board

Looking to get started with paddle boarding? This article will cover the basic gear and techniques to get you up on your way!

I briefly discussed what you’ll need in my last post, you can find that here. If you want a really in-depth guide to paddle boarding gear check out paddlers retreat. If you read that article you’ll know you need the following

A Paddle Board

A Leash

A Paddle

A Personal Floatation Device

Appropriate Clothes.

I mostly want to talk about the paddle board and the paddle. The leash and the PFD is pretty straight forward. Of course the clothes can be a bit trickier but overall if it’s cold bring a wetsuit if it’s warm bring sunscreen and a nice hat to protect your face from the sun!

The board is the most important part of the experience. It’s also the most expensive piece of equipment you’ll need to buy, so getting it right is very important! You don’t want to end up with a board that is completely out of your element or is so cheap it can’t hold your weight!

Good beginner paddle boards

The best paddle board for beginners is the Tower Adventurer 9’10” Inflatable SUP. Tower has cut down on the cost of manufacturing the board by cutting out the middle man.

In the past paddle board manufacturers wouldn’t let companies sell their product for less than a certain amount. Despite the fact that the markup was huge!

Why?

They had worked out agreements with the big players in the market to make sure the prices were “set”. So Tower Paddle Board’s did what any sane person would do. Build your own plant.

The result? They produce and sell high quality inflatable boards for several hundred dollars cheaper than the competitors. Since then other players have emerged in the market place but in our opinion Tower’s Adventurer still remains the premium board under $800.

If you want to spend a little bit less you can look at the solstice which is a pretty good board in it’s own right. It’s not as firm when fully inflated at the Tower Board but in terms of bang for your buck the solstice is pretty darn hard to beat.

Other alternatives include Pelican and Isle. They both offer decent boards for under $1000.

What About The Paddle?

Don’t skimp on the paddle. Buy a tower paddle board to save a few bucks and then buy a carbon fibre paddle.

You can get an aluminum model, but it’s just not worth it! Buy a quality paddle, the aluminum ones are simply too heavy. Carbon fibre will cost you another $100 but it’s money well spent if you plan on spending any time paddling.

Also make sure you get a paddle that is 6-8″ bigger then you. If you buy a paddle that is too short you minus well be standing on a paddle board that doesn’t hold your weight!

 

Paddleboarding in Action – Learn how to Paddleboard

Standup paddling otherwise called SUP has been around in its current modern structure for 10 years. Despite the fact that a standup paddle board is not yet as recognizable as say, a bike, SUP is without a doubt getting recognized. Almost every body of water, around the world, has turned into a playground for standup paddlers.

If you read the last article which covered the history and gears for Paddleboarding, then I’m sure you’re now eager to learn how to take your paddleboard in action. If you already have the gears ready with you, then we can get started!

Taking your Board to the Water

Most SUP boards have a built-in handle. Simply lean the board on its rail (edge), then reach for the handle (a grasp in the middle of the board) and tuck the board under one arm. Bring the paddle with your other hand.

For longer distances or if your board has no handle, you should to carry your paddleboard on your head. Here are some tips to get it done:

  1. Stand the board on its tail (end) with the deck (top of the board) facing you.
  2. Lay your paddle on the ground inside easy reach.
  3. Handle the rails (the edges of the board) with both hands.
  4. Walk yourself under the board so your head is about halfway between the nose (front) and the tail.
  5. Stand upright with the board overhead, still holding it by its rails.
  6. Twist down to get your paddle and head for the water.

Standing on Board

For a person like you that’s new to the game, its best to begin in flat, calm water that is free of snags like boats and buoys. At first, you may find it easier to kneel on the board instead of standing upright. Here are the steps to kick you off:

  • Standing alongside the board in shallow water, put your paddle over the deck of the board and use it as an outrigger. The paddle grip is on the rail (edge) of the board; the blade rests on the water.
  • Hold the board by the rails. One hand will additionally be holding the paddle grip.
  • Pop yourself onto the board into a kneeling position, just behind the center point of the board.
  • From that kneeling position, get a feel for the balance point of the board. The nose shouldn’t pop up out of the water and the tail shouldn’t delve in.
  • Keep your hands on either side of the board to balance out it.

Once you’re prepared, stand up on the board one foot at a time. Place your feet where your knees were. You may additionally bring a friend to help balance out the board as you get the hang of standing on it.

Starting to Move Around and Paddling

  • You’re upright on the board, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Twist your knees, utilizing your legs as individual shock absorbers even out any movement in the water’s surface.
  • Eyes on the horizon, not on your feet.
  • Your head and shoulders should be erect and your hips should be in line with your shoulders.
  • Begin paddling! Forward momentum increases your stability.

Stand-up Paddle Boarding – Brief Introduction

One of the quickest growing watersport in the World, stand up paddle boarding is developing very fast. You can do it on any body of water from seas, lakes, rivers and bay – even a swimming pool if it’s huge enough. It’s an incredible full body core workout and is an even better approach to experience the water in the outdoors. Individuals of all ages, skill levels, and experience could be up and riding right away. There is even room to toss a little youngster or a dog on board.

The Inventor of Paddle Boarding

Maui surf legend Laird Hamilton was searching for an approach to cross train for enormous waves in the early 90’s. He got a canoe paddle and his longest surfboard and discovered paddling while upright to be an awesome workout. A lot of people erroneously accept he designed the sport of paddle boarding, however, its unique roots dates back over a huge number of years to ancient Hawaiian, Peruvian and African culture. Every one of the 3 culture had some type of paddle boarding, however, the Hawaiians are given the credit as the first to really surf waves with a paddle for actual sport and had a saying to depict surfing with a paddle as Hoe He’e nalu.

Paddle Boarding Gear

Stand-up paddle board – The way to discovering a decent fit is to talk with a certified paddleboard expert and try out the boards in the water before you purchase them to get an idea regarding how they handle. Wider, flatter boards are more stable, and a basic, all-around board for most guys has a tendency to be something like 12 feet to 12 feet 6 inches in length, for example, the Riviera Voyager. You’ll be spending at least $800 to $900 on a basic yet quality board. Purchasing a paddleboard is an investment, as is purchasing, say, a road bike, however it won’t lose its dollar value because you can always sell later.

Paddle: Stand up paddles differ, however most have a straight shaft with an angled blade whose size is specific to every person. A decent dependable guideline is to pick a paddle that is something like 10 inches taller than you in case you’re flat-water paddling. The grip ought to be at midpalm with shoulders square and hand extended overhead. A good paddle will cost you about $300-$400, yet you shouldn’t need to ever replace it.

PFD (Personal Flotation Device): The U.S. Coast Guard groups stand up paddleboards as vessels, so always wear a PFD whenever you’re paddling navigable water.

Standup Paddleboard Leash: Maybe one of the most imperative pieces of equipment is the leash, the thing that connects you to your board. For any paddler, this little thing can mean the difference life and death. If you find yourself tired and you’re still a long way from shore, the leash will keep your board inside your reach if you fall in. Even in a light breeze, your board will go out of your reach in seconds.