The summer saw many take up stand-up paddle boarding across our beaches, rivers and lakes! Fun-filled and thrilling, this activity is suitable for a wide range of audiences whether you’re an adventure seeker, a fitness fanatic or simply an individual who wishes to be ‘at one’ with nature.
Many who get a taste for the paddle boarding life are then eager to invest further into the hobby by purchasing their very own paddle board. We’ve put together some important factors and information which every paddle board enthusiast should consider before taking up the hobby.
Purchasing Your Paddle board
Before jumping in with two feet, here are some factors that you will need to consider before investing in your first paddle board. Let’s start with your three Ps …
Person – What is your height and weight? How experienced and confident are you in the water? This may impact whether you purchase a paddleboard made for stability or speed.
Purpose – How and where will the paddle board be used? Do you intend on progressing from a beginner to a more experienced paddle boarder later down the line?
Price – What is your budget? Is it realistic? No beginner should be spending thousands on their first paddleboard, Jans Lifestyle’s offer top quality products at a reasonable and affordable price ranged between £450 – £695.
Here’s our advice…
Paddle boards come in an array of different sizes, which can be overwhelming for a beginner who is uneducated in the world of paddle boarding. Stability is important for someone who is starting off on their paddle boarding journey, that’s why we would advise purchasing a board anywhere between 4-6 inches deep and around 10’06 or 10’08 in length. Narrow paddle boards that are more streamline are built for speed, therefore a wider paddle board would be more beneficial. We would suggest to ‘try before you buy’! So have a go on a friend’s or hire one, so that you can get a feel for what works for you.
Keeping Yourself Safe
With all the excitement that comes with paddleboarding, it is easy to overlook the dangers that come hand in hand with water sports – even the most experienced swimmers can find themselves in difficulty when out in the water. The 25th of July 2022 was World Drowning Prevention Day, reminding us of the safety precautions needed when paddle boarding. Here are our top tips to keep yourself safe whilst out on the water.
- Wear a buoyance aid: Paddle boarders are strongly advised to wear life jackets when out in the water, as fatigue can kick in quickly and a buoyancy aid could save your life.
- Have shore cover: Always inform someone on shore of your paddleboarding plans and when you intend to return. This way, if you’re not back, an alarm can be raised. Also avoid going out on the water alone, when its dark or under the influence of alcohol.
- Avoid getting lost at sea: Write your mobile number on the side of your paddle board and that way if you become detached and your board washes up on shore a few days later you can avoid unnecessary panic.
- Check the forecasts: Keep an eye on weather forecasts, this includes winds and tides. Remember weather forecasts may not always be 100% accurate, so ‘if in doubt don’t go out’. We highly recommend weather apps such as My Tide Times, Accuweather, Carrot Weather. These apps are known to be extremely accurate and have all received great reviews on both IOS and Android App Stores.
- Beware of large waves and rip currents: The RNLI website explains the dangers of waves and currents explain why you should be wary of both as they can drag you out to sea. If you find yourself in difficulty or are struggling to swim when out in the sea it is important that you try and to float! Take a look at RNLI’s Float To Live campaign to learn how to do so as this could save your life.
- Take a lesson or two: Taking some lessons on paddle boarding is a great opportunity to learn or to perfect some of the techniques used when taking part in the activity. There are several clubs and facilities across the country that offer lessons to the public such as the SUP Hub NI, Islandmagee SUP, Strangford Lough Activity Centre to name but a few, a simple google search will help you to find the nearest club to you. The lessons are held by experienced instructors which is a great way for beginners to gain some confidence before paddleboarding independently.
- Building core strength: Core strength has an important role to play in paddleboarding, as these are the strongest muscles in your body and provide the most effective power for your paddle stroke. Paddling using your arms is likely to tire you out fast and put strain on your back. Watch this short clip for tips on how to paddle properly!
At Jans Lifestyle we specialise in offering our customers premium outdoor leisure products from premium brands. Let us help you to choose the right board for you!
And please tell us in the comments where your favourite place to paddleboard is.