Paddle boarding into the new year is a great way to start as you mean to continue; with a sense of adventure and getting active and healthy outdoors. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just getting started with paddle boarding, there's something special about hitting the water and exploring new areas. Here's a guide to getting started with paddle boarding in the new year.
First, let's talk about the basics of paddle boarding. Paddle boarding is a water sport that involves standing on a board and using a paddle to move through the water. It's a great full-body workout that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Paddle boards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be used for different activities such as touring, racing, surfing, yoga, and even fishing.
Before you head out on the water, it's important to make sure you have the right equipment. You'll need a paddle board, of course, but you'll also need a paddle, a personal flotation device (PFD), and a leash. The PFD is especially important for beginners or those who aren't strong swimmers. It's also a good idea to bring along a dry bag to keep your belongings safe and dry.
Once you have your equipment, it's time to hit the water. If you're new to paddle boarding, it's a good idea to start in calm, flat water, such as a lake or a slow-moving river. This will give you a chance to get comfortable on your board and practise your paddling technique. To get started, stand on your board with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold the paddle with one hand on the top and the other on the bottom, and use a side-to-side motion to move through the water. As you gain more experience, you can try different paddling techniques, such as the "J-stroke" or the "sweep stroke," to improve your efficiency and control.
As you explore different bodies of water, you'll discover that each one has its own unique features and challenges. For example, surfing waves requires a different set of skills than touring a flat lake. If you're interested in trying out different types of paddle boarding, it's a good idea to take a lesson or two from a certified instructor. They can teach you the proper techniques and safety guidelines for your chosen activity.
Paddle boarding is not only a great way to stay active and have fun, but it's also a great way to connect with nature and explore new areas. As you paddle through different bodies of water, you'll have the opportunity to see a wide range of wildlife, from birds and fish to dolphins and whales (depending on where you are). Paddle boarding can also be a great way to relax and unwind, as you take in the beautiful scenery and soak up the peaceful atmosphere.
As you paddle into the new year, don't forget to stay safe on the water. Always wear your PFD, and be mindful of your surroundings. If you're paddling in an area with boats, make sure to stay out of their way and follow all relevant regulations. It's also a good idea to let someone know where you'll be and when you expect to return, just in case something goes wrong.
Stay Safe, Happy Paddling & a Happy New Year!