It's easy to fall into a comfortable routine when paddling boarding, but if you're looking to add some excitement and variety to your outings, here are some ideas to mix things up:
Once you know a few places to paddle, you may stop looking for new options. We only know what we know, and there may be lakes or streams nearby that you had no idea existed. It is easy to overlook great paddling spots if you don’t ask around or go searching for them. Study a map and see what’s around you, or ask someone who SUPs, canoes, or kayaks for ideas on where to go. Every new spot will give you fresh things to explore, and branching out every now and then can help keep things interesting.
Add a playful competitive element to your SUP sessions by challenging friends or family to races. You can dare your paddling partners to a race at any time. The finish line can be just about anything - any tree, rock, or outcropping is fair game. Try this a few times, and an impromptu race might become an essential feature of all your future outings.
Experience the calming and peaceful sensation of lying down on your board with closed eyes and drifting on calm waters. This can be extremely rejuvenating and makes the surroundings look fresh and new when you open your eyes. Just ensure the area is safe and free of hazards before closing your eyes!
Many waterways have intriguing offshoots and hidden nooks waiting to be discovered. Investigate these lesser-traveled areas and let your curiosity guide you. Just remember to take note of landmarks to help you find your way back.
Invite a friend new to SUP or someone unfamiliar with your favorite spots to join you. Acting as a guide and mentor can offer a fresh perspective on your usual locations and remind you of the excitement of being a beginner.
Waterways often teem with wildlife, so keep your eyes and ears open as you paddle. From commonly spotted animals to unexpected encounters, each adventure offers unique opportunities to observe and appreciate nature.
Do you think your dog might have a good time on a paddle board? There’s only one way to find out! If you give it a try and your four-legged friend enjoys it, you might find you have a new paddling partner who is always eager to get out on the water with you.
Challenge your balance, stretch your muscles, and connect with nature by practicing yoga poses or exercises on your board. Start with simple stretches and gradually progress to more advanced poses as you become comfortable.
Start with some easy stretches like child’s pose or downward facing dog, try working some muscles with planks and lunges, and eventually proceed to test your balance with tree pose or headstands. No need to make special plans, just let your inner zen come out whenever you are feeling it.
Recapture the excitement of being a beginner by attempting new paddleboarding maneuvers. Here are some fun things to try if you are OK with falling in the water:
Get into a surfer stance and slide your rear foot back until the nose of your board pops out of the water. Take a sweeping stroke on one side of the board and see how far you can pivot with a single stroke. The deeper you drop the tail, the faster you will be able to pivot! Challenge yourself to rotate 360 degrees on a single stroke. You will fall in repeatedly while learning this skill, and it’s all part of the fun.
Hold your paddle out in front of you horizontally with two hands like a tightrope walker. Take small steps toward the nose of the board until you feel the nose dipping into the water. Turn around and walk back toward the tail of the board. Keep going back and forth until you fall in, then get back on and try it again!
Tip your board in one direction until you fell like you are about to fall, then slap the water with your paddle and see how it helps to avert your fall. Start trying this with with a slight lean, and as your bracing skills improve, progress to more aggressive leaning and bracing. Challenge yourself to see how far you can lean and not fall in.
Paddleboarding is a versatile and exciting activity that allows you to explore new places, engage with nature, and have a lot of fun. Try some of these ideas to add some variety and excitement to your outings and make every paddle a unique and memorable experience.
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