With summer both Alicia and I (Lisa) are naturally shifting a little bit more into recreation and play rather than bearing down and working hard. Not coincidentally we’ve both also developed an interest in stand up paddleboarding and are currently researching the best stand up paddleboards after having rented boards previously. There’s actually quite a lot to buy when you consider all the safety gear and even clothing. Here are a few of the things you need in addition to the board and paddle:
- Tether – to keep the board from floating away if you fall off.
- PFD (personal floatation device) which is the same thing as a life jacket – in most places it is illegal to use a board without a life jacket.
- Knife – a good fixed blade knife is useful in the event that you need to cut your tether and for all kinds of tasks if you are on an extended paddling trip. Possible knife choices are a good hunting knife or survival knife or maybe even a diving knife.
- Wet suit or dry suit – depending on where you are going paddling and at what time of year one of these could be essential.
Alicia is really more into the beach fashion side of things and wants to somehow combine her fashion sense with her desire to get out on the water while, right now, I’m more concerned with being safe and prepared and making the experience as trouble-free as possible.
For those of our readers who don’t know much about paddleboarding I’ll give a basic overview from a new convert’s point of view! Paddleboarding has been around for thousands of years as a way to get around and also as a way to fish, but it is only recently that it has gained popularity as a recreation and sport. In fact, it has only been in the last ten years that it has really caught on. Right now, in 2015, it is still gaining in popularity and has arrived at the point where it has become commonplace enough that it is no longer a strange new thing. Paddleboards are a little different from surfboards which they are at first glance quite similar to. There are, however, surf board/paddleboard hybrids that are great for catching waves and paddling out to catch waves. A perfect hybrid has yet to be designed and likely never will be though. There are inevitably compromises to be made. You can’t design the best surfboard and also expect it to be the best paddleboard. Paddleboarding is also quite easy to pick up; you can get around half-decently after just an afternoon’s practice. Surfing, on the other hand, takes weeks or months to start to get any results.
Paddleboarding, too, is touted as a very enjoyable way to get in shape and stay in shape. I can attest to that. You do get a workout but you hardly notice that you are breathing hard or sweating since you are having so much fun. Give it a try!