Our top tips
If you're just getting in to paddle boarding, here's some tips we have put together to help you get off to a flying start. In addition to our tips you will find the paddle boarding community are a pretty friendly bunch so just ask around and you will find out loads.
1. Thinking of trying paddle boarding
Its a fantastic sport, go for it!
Paddle boarding has been the fastest growing watersport worldwide over the last eight years, but in the last couple of years its popularity has reached another level entirely, and with good reason. With all that's been going on due to the pandemic paddle boarding offers a total escape. It's great fun and an excellent way of exploring our waterways. It's a very social activity and can be relaxing or a really good workout. Its also easier than it looks and within most peoples reach. Our advice is to go for it, with careful research and planning its a fantastic activity to get involved with.
2. Get some lessons
Learning the basics will really help to get you started
Arranging some lessons will be a really good and relatively inexpensive investment. It will help you to feel confident and safe on your board. Lessons will focus on areas such as kit and equipment, forward paddling, turning, bracing, balance, water access and safety.
3. Safety Equipment
The things you will need to take with you
Always wear a buoyancy aid and a leash suitable for the environment you are paddling. Take a mobile phone with you and a sufficient amount of fluids to keep hydrated. A dry bag and small first aid kit would also be useful
What to wear on your board
If your planning a trip on a hot day shorts and a T shirt will be ideal, but use sun screen take some extra items in a dry bag as the weather can change quickly so its best to be prepared. When it's not a hot day (about 80% of the time in the UK) wear layers, wet suites are great if your likely to go in the water but can get very hot. Cagoules are great for keeping the wind/rain off you and a baseball cap are will be good when its sunny or raining.
5. Plan your trips
It's all in the planning so plan well and enjoy
Good planning will really help you to enjoy your trips so its worth spending some time on this. Think about where your paddling and who your paddling with. Weather conditions and tidal flow are also crucial factors, as are Kit, clothing an equipment. Always paddle within your capabilities and if paddling alone always let someone know where your going and the time you are planning to return. Paddling with others is a safer option.
6. Join British Canoeing
It makes sense to join and can actually save you money
Firstly, yes membership does cover stand up paddle boards. Membership includes your Waterways License for most British waterways and your civil liability insurance, You will also receive regular and up to date information about events, news and information from the world of paddle sport as well as discounts from selected retailers. Its well worth joining!
7. Join a club or on-line groups
This will help you to become part of a paddle boarding community
There are clubs and on line groups covering the length and breadth of the UK. Our advice would be to join a few. It's a great way of connecting with other paddle boarders. There is often a wealth of knowledge available. It's amazing how much you can learn just by chatting and paddling with others. It's also an excellent way of meeting new paddling buddies and finding out about local Sup meet-up's
8. Buying you first paddle board
its really not as daunting as it first seems
Wow, we could write a book on this topic! Buying your first board can feel quite daunting as the market is swamped. Our advise would be to do your research and if you get the opportunity try a few boards before you buy one. Think about where you want to use your board, how often, your size, ability and confidence level. There are some good entry level and mid range boards out there, but remember you pay for what you get. The majority of paddle boards are inflatable and priced between £350 and £1000, that's a pretty broad price range right! To narrow it down a lot of people tend to purchase from the cheaper to mid range end of the scale, you can get a super board for £500 to £600. Google the top 10 boards in the UK and see what comes up. Joining on-line forums and reading reviews can also help, as can talking to people if you like the look of their board.
9. Some Useful Links
We hope they help get you started on your paddle boarding adventures