Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tips for Beginners

sup board on beach

If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy the water, the outdoors, or to get a full body core workout, try stand up paddle boarding (SUP boarding), the fastest growing water sport worldwide. Although its US popularity began to grow after surfer Laird Hamilton began using it as a workout in 2004, it’s actually thousands of years old. Historically, Ancient African, Hawaiian and Peruvian cultures surfed their waters using a paddle and a board. It provides a sport opportunity for people of all ages and skill levels. Most people find it easy to learn and start paddling the waters in minutes.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding Equipment
You can buy or rent a board and other equipment. Many waterside vacation spots offer rentals. You’ll need four items to get started:

  • a stand up paddle board
  • a paddle
  • a leash
  • a personal floatation device

Stand Up Paddle Board Like surf boards, paddle boards come in various shapes and sizes, but paddle boards are thicker than surfboards – about 4 to 5 inches. They’re commonly constructed of epoxy and fiberglass surrounding an EPS foam core. A SUP features one or more fins that help it track in the water. Boards range in length from 8 to 12 feet and 28 to 32 inches in width. When you first start SUP boarding, choose a longer, wider, thicker board for the best stability, suggests Isle Surf and SUP. And, you can choose from inflatable stand up paddle boards and hard (rigid) stand up paddle boards. One thing to keep in mind that is even heavier, overweight people can enjoy this sport as long as they buy a proper SUP.

Paddle You’ll find an even greater variety of paddles. A plethora of handle, shaft and blade shapes exist. You could choose a paddle constructed of plastic, wood, aluminum or carbon fiber. The important thing is to choose a paddle that’s 6 to 10 inches longer than your height.

Leash If you’ve surfed or watched someone surf, you’ll recognize the leash that attaches to your board and to your ankle via a Velcro strap. The leash provides a vital safety measure that keeps you with your board in the event you fall. Choose a leash the same length or slightly shorter than your board.

Personal Floatation Device The US Coast Guard considers SUP boards a vessel, so if you navigate past the swim or surf area, you must wear a USCG-approved life jacket/vest.

Kneeling and Standing on a Paddle Board
Start in calm, flat water, suggests REI. Carry the board into the water, setting it down when the water is deep enough that the fin won’t hit the bottom, but still shallow. To get on the board:

  • Stand beside the board.
  • Lay the paddle across the board’s deck with the paddle’s grip on the board’s edge and the blade on the water.
  • Grasp the board by the edges and the paddle grip with one hand.
  • Climb on the board just behind its center in a kneeling position.

While kneeling, learn the balance of the board. In your perfect balance point, the nose (front of the board) doesn’t pop up and the tail (rear of the board) doesn’t dig into the water. Keep your hands on either side of the SUP board while you stabilize it.

To stand:

  • Place one foot on the board at a time.
  • Place your foot where your knee was.
  • Repeat the process.
  • Keep your feet parallel to one another about shoulder width apart.

Paddling
Your eyes and your arms have to work together. Look in front of you while paddling. Practice your grip before you get out on the water so you don’t need to look at your hands. You must remain aware of debris or obstructions in the water.

To paddle:

  • Grip the paddle with one hand on its top and the other at the shaft’s center. The blade angle should face away from you.
  • Hold the paddle in front of you.
  • Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle.
  • Keep your bottom arm, the one at the shaft’s center, as still as possible.
  • Pull your top arm toward your body.
  • Insert your paddle into the water as far forward as possible.
  • Pull yourself past your paddle.

To navigate in a straight line, make two or three strokes on one side, then switch sides making the same number of strokes. When you change sides, you’ll also switch your hands’ positions on the paddle. If you’ve paddled a canoe or kayak before, the concept is similar.

To turn left, paddle on the right side while simultaneously turning your torso to the left. Keep a low stance. You’ll feel the board’s shift.

To turn right, paddle near the tail (rear), pulling toward the nose (front) while turning your torso to the right. Using a low stance with bent knees makes the board turn more easily.

With a little practice, you’ll be exploring your favorite lake or inlet and getting a great workout. SUP boarding provides a fun way for families to workout together or explore their favorite body of water.

Best Gold Coast Beaches

Gold Coast summer, Burleigh Heads Beach

When one is on the lookout for the best beach scene in Australia, anyone would easily agree that Gold Coast holds the record for this. Residing in the northeast end of the country, the state more commonly known as Queensland or the ‘Sunshine State’ actually accommodates this coastline that is said to be over fifty (50) kilometers or thirty (30) miles in measure. This particular stretch of land is surrounded by the Coral Sea and the Pacific Ocean, which makes it a very attractive destination for any person who enjoys the water.

Out of the numerous beaches along this coastline, it would be helpful to take note of those worthy of your visit but of course; it would be better to see everything that it has to offer. The preference of activities would depend per person, which is why it is also advisable to distinguish what the majority would want to get out of the trip. Nonetheless, this article will discuss top beaches suitable to any type of group due to the fact that the Gold Coast area itself basically has everything anyone would want to do during the holidays.

When people think about the Gold Coast, they easily associate this with the ever-famous beach called the ‘Surfers Paradise’. This beach, contrasting to its name, is well known to tourists because of its proximity from a variety of restaurants and stores that what most people look forward to after a long day under the scorching heat of the sun. This appeals mostly to the young generation owing to the fact that the area comprises superb theme parks and dynamic nightclubs. Unlike this active district, ‘Broadbeach Kurrawa’ is more favorable for groups who seek for valuable family time. Located at the northern end of Gold Coast, this area provides a more laid back feeling manifested by the suburban setting that it is in. More importantly, this beach highlights a long coastline that is just perfect for open swimming competition between family members.

If you are looking for a place to demonstrate your surfing skills, the ‘Burleigh Heads Beach’ is just the perfect place for you. Acclaimed as a hotspot for various water activities, this beach area also caters to those who just want to appreciate the scenery from a spectator’s perspective. Aside from these examples, there are still a number of beaches that comprise the Gold Coast, which may better cater your preferences as a traveler or even as a local. The list would include beaches such as the Coolangatta Beach, Currumbin Beach, Duranbah Beach, Kirra Beach, and the Main Beach.

So what else are you waiting for? Go and explore the beaches in the Sunshine State of the land down under!

Image: By Kerrie Brailsford [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Best Australian Beaches Not On The Gold Coast

Get To Know Life Outside the Gold Coast

bondi beach

Australia is best known for the coastal city, the Gold Coast. Here millions of tourists flock to the beaches in this city. It is popular to tourists due to its subtropical climate making it the perfect condition to enjoy the beach. The Gold Coast is also very popular among surfers, as it hosts a leg of the ASP World Tour for Surfing including the Quiksilver Pro. This coastal city is one of the main driving forces of tourism for Australia but it should be noted that there are a lot of other beaches outside the Gold Coast.

First on the list would of course be Bondi Beach located in Sydney. Better brace yourself for this area is jam packed with tourists. Bondi Beach is known not primarily due to its quality but the environment that surrounds it. This area is filled with restaurants, cafes, and other establishments for tourists. It is a great area to pass time people watching. It’s also quite safe here since there are a lot of lifeguards present in the area. This is where the first Surf Life Saving Club was established so it really has a good track record with regards to safety.

Next on the list is Mandalay Beach in Western Australia. This is a more isolated beach that has a more untouched and rugged vibe to it. If you’re into nature adventures then a hike in this area will surely satisfy you. Don’t forget to check out the Norweigan shipwreck in the beach, its skeleton is visible during the lowest tides. This wreck in 1911 is where the name of this beach was taken from. Nearby is the Chatam Island nature reserve, which should also be on your list. Picturesque sights of the dense greenery and waves are waiting for you in this island.

For a unique sight there is the Wineglass Bay in Tasmania. You may have seen the bay in countless posters and advertisements. This place really embodies how majestic nature can be. The clam shaped shoreline that deeply contrasts with the pinkish granite peaks complemented by the teal and turquoise waters make it a sight to behold. Go around and explore this area by snorkeling, kayaking, or walking around the rock pools. After seeing this beauty up close you will leave Wineglass Bay in awe.

wineglass bay

There are a lot of other beaches in Australia that you can visit as well. These three here serve as proof that Australia is more than the famous coastal city and that there is also beauty outside the Gold Coast.

Mykonos: The Greek Island for Couples

mykonos

Are you in need of a romantic getaway? Are you looking to make your honeymoon unforgettable? Perhaps you’re in search for the perfect place to rekindle the flames? Well there probably is no place more romantic than Greece.

A country with history that dates thousands of years back offers the idyllic setting for couples. Greece is home to the famous mythologies wherein love is a central theme. Love was a significant part of Greek mythology, they knew that they must pay tribute to it but to place it on a pedestal was not a necessity. The Greeks did not find it necessary to romanticize the idea of love; this is why some accounts in the myths were tragic. This notion may send off the vibe that Greece is not a place for lovebirds but despite its historical portrayal of love, this country is no doubt the perfect backdrop for your romantic escapades.

Greece is home to a number of beautiful beaches for you to choose from. For the couples in love out there, the island of Mykonos might be your best bet. Golden sand and crystal clear waters make up the beaches on this island. If you are adventurous and a little daring you might want to visit the Paradise Beach which is known for being nudist friendly. This area is brimming with energy and nightlife perfect for young couples. For those of you looking for a more relaxed alternative, Lia Beach provides the perfect escape. Here there are no stores and no crowds, leaving you to the comfort and company of each other.

mykonos

The towns in Mykonos are filled with quaint cafes and locally owned boutiques that add to the appeal. The bustle of commercial life due to these establishments in no way compromises the beauty of the Cycladic architecture found in Greece. Its as if every corner of the island whispers romance to its visitors. Take a romantic walk around the city, get lost in all the beautiful sights it offers. If you find yourselves here, it is a must that you visit Little Venice. Enjoy the scenic view on balconies perched over the sea. Enjoy a glass of wine or some champagne with your special someone in one of the lovely bars found here.

Greece serves as an avenue for couples to strengthen the passion and romance in their relationship. It is a great place to have shared experiences and memories that you will definitely treasure.

Swimming Fitness Tips

guy swimming

Swimming is a great exercise to help a person get into shape. Swimming uses many different muscles groups in the body. A person can swim outside in nice weather and there are indoors pools for a person to swim when the weather is not so great. These are some swimming fitness tips to help make sure a person gets the most out of their swimming workout.

Find a Comfort Zone

When a person is swimming for fitness a person needs to feel comfortable. They need to find a speed as well as an intensity level that will work for them. If a person puts in too much effort they will get tired quickly. A person needs to find a level where they can become comfortable and build up their endurance.

Keep Things Simple

Swimming does not have to be a complicated process. The only gear that a person needs when they are swimming besides a body of water is a swimsuit. There are many supplies and equipment that can be used in the pool but for the most part they are not need. There is no need to use extra things in the pool. Swimming laps is enough to give the body a full workout.

Practice the Technique

One of the most important things for a swimming is to work on their technique. If a person does not have a good technique they will tire out easily and will not be able to get the most out of their workout. A standard free stroke will be fine for most exercise swimmers. As they get used to this form of workout they will be able to pick up their speed and get the most out of their workout. This will also improve the health of their heart .

Reducing Injury

Swimming is a great workout for people that are at a higher risk for injury or are recovering from a sports related injury. Injuries that happen during swimming are often preventable. When a person develop their technique this will also drastically reduce the risk they have of becoming injured. A person may need help with their technique and may want to work with a coach. A person should also do some stretches to warm the body up before swimming to further reduce the chance of injury.

Get in the Habit

A person should get their body use to swimming for at least 30 minutes a day four times a week. This will help get the heart rate going and allow the body to get into fat burning mode. Swimming is low impact so that a person will not feel like they are overextending the body.

These are some of the tips that a person can follow when they are looking to swim for fitness. Swimming is a fun form of exercise that a person can do. Swimming is low impact and is great for people of any age or any skill level. Swimming can be a fun way to help a person get into shape and even lose weight.

Best Australian Beaches for Surfers

surfing

Surf’s Up, Mate!

Australia has long been known to have the best surf beaches in the world; mostly owing it to the fact that open ocean waters, such as the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the Southern Ocean, are surrounding it. Besides the picturesque view from different sides of the land area itself, professional surfers do think highly of the waves’ quality these coastlines offer. The country’s water area has been said to give off the biggest swells, making it a destination for most surfing contests. But more than just a water sport, surfing in Australia is almost a way of life because of how people appreciate what their country has to offer; professional or not, surfing can easily be a good way to experience Australia. Thus, if you want to experience it the right way, then you are at the right place.

Surfing can be done at almost any part of Australia so it will not be hard to look for a place that best suits your preference and most especially, your skill level. So, whether you are ready to take on some of those monster swells or just do a little bit of riding the waves in your stand-up paddleboard, then you can find a beach to meet your surfing skills in Australia. The idea of surfing would not be possible without anyone relating the sport to the famous ‘Bells Beach’ located along the south coast. This particular beach is considered to embody the sport of surfing, attributing to its ‘long, fat and fast’ waves perfect during midyear.

If you happen to be around the east coast, it would be good to visit the ‘Kirra Point’ and ‘Burleigh Heads Beach’. The former is deemed to produce unforgivable swells, perfect for experienced surfers but worrisome for newbies while the latter is regarded provide excellent waves for those who knows more about the sport.

On the other hand, if you are after more extreme waves then you can head to the west coast of the country, specifically towards the direction of Perth. In this area, you can easily find the ‘Scarborough Beach’ that boasts one of the most pleasant coastlines to look at. This allows any surfer not only to enjoy the ride but to also appreciate the beauty of its surrounding.

Other surfing beaches, in no specific order, would include: Jan Juc, Anglesea, Apollo Bay, Mornington Peninsula, Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, Snapper Rocks Superbank, Moreton Islands, Coolum Beach, Jervis Bay, Cottesloe, Fleurieu Peninsula, Yallingup Reef, Strickland Bay, Pennington Bay, D’Estrees Bay, Cape Douglas, and so on.

Remember that Australia has been blessed with a coastline measuring almost up to thirty thousand (30,000) kilometers. This, in itself, is calling for surfers alike to gather your boards and wetsuits to experience the swells provided by the land down under.

Thailand: More than the Temples

railay beach

Thailand is best known for the rich culture it possesses evident in the temples, statues, and landmarks that span throughout the country. As 95% of the population practice Buddhism, hundreds of temples are in the country. Some of the popular ones are Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Benchamabophitr. Wat Pho houses the biggest reclining Buddha statue covered in gold leaf, and is a must see. The landmarks that give a glimpse of the history of Thailand is what lures most tourists into visiting the country but that is not all that it has to offer. It may be new knowledge to some that Thailand is also home to high quality beaches.

There are a multitude of choices for beach goers that you’re sure to find one that fits your preference. Let’s rundown the list to see which one is right for you. If you want to be with the crowd you might want to check out Patong Beach in Phuket. This is the largest beach in Thailand, surrounded by bars and clubs that are perfect for the partyphile. This is such a big area that walking to get form place-to-place might be too tiring; to maximize your stay commuting via the mini buses here or renting your own scooter might be a better choice. Make sure to do some water activities like jet skiing or banana boat rides for groups for that extra adrenaline rush.

For those on the other end of the spectrum, I would recommend Railay Beach in Krabi. This beach is accessible only by boat limiting the amount of people here. It has clear blue waters surrounded by magnificent cliffs that are sure to leave you in awe. This part of Thailand only offers a few activities making it more apt if you’re looking to relax.

If you’re into photography or perhaps enjoy sightseeing then you must go to the hidden beaches in Thailand. Ko Adang, Ko Lipe, and Ko Kood are some of your choices. Although these come at a premium price, they provide the perfect landscapes to capture. Without a doubt, these awesome sights will boost up your portfolio and satisfy your eyes.

Thailand certainly has a beach for anyone and everyone looking to have some fun under the sun. A historical trip paired up with a good visit to the beach, what more can you ask for? Have I mentioned the affordable merchandise available here? You can do all of these and go on a shopping spree; I must say this sounds like the perfect trip!

Best Beaches in Philippines

The Philippines is an archipelago with 1,707 islands located in Southeast Asia. With this much islands comprising the country, one can only imagine how much shoreline and beaches are here. The Philippines does in fact have some of the most beautiful beaches that have consistently attracted tourists. This country is a go to for most beach lovers from different parts of the world year round due to its tropical climate. This allows everyone to enjoy the beach almost any time of the year. Let’s now see some of the best beaches that make this country special.

There is no better way to start this list than with Boracay in Aklan, likely the most famous beach in the country. This is packed with tourists almost year round but if one is looking for a real party then he or she must book a flight during the Labor Day Weekend here. Just make sure to be prepared to run on a few hours of sleep to get the full experience. During this time, Boracay will be hosting a number of parties and events that’s perfect for the young and vibrant. This beach has one of the clearest waters in the country made famous by its pure and white sand.

Next up are the beaches in Bicol that offer a peaceful escape to visitors. Bicol is surrounded by a number of bodies of water that serve as a border from the city. The beaches in the Caramoan Islands located in the remote parts of the Camarines Sur (a region of Bicol) are a raw sight for visitors. Foreigners who have made it a location for reality televison shows like the Survivor US have noticed the simple but exceptional appeal of this place. These islands seem like they are waiting to be explored and to be noticed by new eyes. The Palaui Islands in the Cagayan Valley is also a good choice for those who are into the raw beauty of nature. These islands would require visitors to exert more effort into journeying, efforts that would definitely pay off once they see the beaches located here.

The beaches in the Bantayan Islands in Cebu also offer a remote refuge for visitors. This is great for a laidback experience as there is an absence of commercial life in the area. Since there are no malls and luxury hotels located in this area tourists are able to pay full attention to nature.

El Nido in Palawan gives all of these beaches a run for their money. With crystal clear waters and pristine beaches, El Nido has earned a rightful place on this list. A trip to El Nido is one of the most serene and relaxing experiences someone will have. This is the place to spend some time alone to reflect and celebrate the simple pleasures that can be found in nature.

It would take quite a number of pages to rundown all the beautiful beaches in the Philippines. There are the beaches in Davao, Surigao, Ilocos Norte, and Batangas that surely belong to the must see list of anyone visiting the country. It would take a number of trips for someone to get to all these beaches but each one assures a unique and memorable experience to visitors.

Luxurious Beach Resorts in New Zealand

Vacations are meant to treat yourself for all the hard work you put into work or school. It’s a time for you to spend time with your family and friends away from stress and worry. It’s a short getaway in order for you to step back, recharge, and get back in the game. If this is your way of rewarding yourself then I think you deserve a great vacation. This might be a good time to splurge and enjoy some luxurious pampering. You might want to check out some of the fancy beach resorts in New Zealand.

First on our list is the St. Clair Esplanade  in Dunedin. If you’re really set on splurging then you better go and book a room in the Hotel St. Claire with the Oceanside view. Just imagine waking up to the sight of the Pacific just outside your window, what a way to start your luxurious vacation. You can then enjoy a feast at the award winning Pier 24 Restaurant and bar, get a taste of authentic New Zealand cuisine that’s sure to satisfy your cravings. For a one of a kind swimming experience it’s a must that you dip into the hot salt-water pool in St. Clair. This unique pool is located at the oceanfront so you get to enjoy the view while lounging comfortably in this 28 degree Celsius pool.

You should also consider the Paihia Beach Resort and Spa , a Nominee to the 2015 World Luxury Hotel Awards. Just the idea of being nominated for that category says something of the grandeur that you will find in this area. Take your time here to spoil yourself a little and have some well deserved alone time. You can start it off with a good sweat at the Sauna room then get a massage, a manicure, a pedicure, and maybe a foot spa to get you stress free. You can enjoy a variety of treatments for your hair and body to leave you feeling and looking good. Of course the beach here is of high quality and will complete your whole experience here. This place is just so serene and peaceful you feel like you’re in a different world.

These two are some of the most luxurious beach resorts in New Zealand that’s perfect for that one of a kind holiday trip for you. Of course New Zealand has countless of other resorts away from the beach like the Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort in Rotorua and the Lodge at Kauri cliffs. These two are also renowned spots for vacations as well. Check out these luxury spots and see which one fits your preferences.

El Nido: My Top Vacation Spot

el nido

El Nido is a Municipality of Palawan located on the western side of the Philippines. The name El Nido, which is Spanish for “The Nest”, perfectly captures what this place is. Palawan consists of an outstanding 1,780 islands boasting a large number of different flora and fauna. Due to its high biodiversity it is considered “The Last Ecological Frontier” of the country.

Anyone who has been to the Philippines knows that this country hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Most may be more familiar with Boracay, the go to place for tourists. This is jam packed with beach lovers almost year round. Boracay is one of the reasons the Philippines is the tourist destination of choice for many. It is important to be aware that many alternatives are present in the country, El Nido being one of them.

I have been to numerous beaches here and El Nido remains to be on the top of my list. I understand the appeal of Boracay as parties and events have been a common thing here. The place gives off an energetic vibe that gets you pumped and excited. On the other hand, El Nido is the place for the more relaxed types of people. It’s the place for those looking to unwind and take a breather.

Just imagine lounging around the white sand beaches surrounded by crystal clear water, it’s just a pristine environment that no photograph can give justice to. The islands of El Nido encapsulate the whole Italian idea of “dolce far niente” or the sweetness of doing nothing. To be able to guiltlessly spend the whole day under the sun thinking about nothing but the beauty that surrounds you is one of the best things El Nido has to offer. Once you have been to El Nido it would be clear how the rawness and simplicity of the place could draw so much attention.

Of course the different islands of El Nido have a lot of activities as well; rappelling, snorkeling, and island hopping are some examples. These would give you the chance to have close encounters with different marine life unique to the islands. After a long day of fun activities you can enjoy a great massage by the beach while sipping on fresh cocktails, what can be better than that right?

If you’re planning your next vacation, I highly suggest you book a flight to El Nido right now! Don’t just take my word for it, go and experience the subdued elegance of El Nido for yourself.

Page 1 of 2