5 Important Things to Know Before Buying a SUP

The Stand-Up Paddle board is one of the most exciting new sports be practiced by young and old. The best way to get the most from this activity is with the best SUP board for you.

The right SUP paddle board will be determined by your lifestyle, how and where you plan on using your board and the budget you have for this investment. If you have been fascinated by the sport but not sure where to begin, this simple article can provide you with the clues you need to make and enlightened decision for you.

Following you will find an overview of the 5 most important considerations when buying your first SUP board.

1. Different Types of Board

The first thing to know is the different types of SUP board. Different shapes and designs perform better in different conditions and for different purposes. Some are good all around. Following is a list of the 4 most important SUP styles you will find on the Market.

-The “All-Around” SUP

This is a great family, kid and even dog-friendly SUP board and performs well on the beach, lake and pool. A great selection for beginners.

– The “Surf’s” SUP

For intermediate to advanced paddler looking for something to challenge their strength, skill and balance, this maneuverable beauty is perfect. It’s just like an extra-long surfboard.

-The Touring SUP

This longer board is designed to go longer distances in smooth flat water. This is a good option for intense workouts and still has good balance for beginners.

-The Race SUP

The design is built for serious competitions in flat water and open ocean. This option could be tough for the rookie, but is perfect for experienced to elite SUP boarders.

2. Paddle Boards Sizes

You will want to consider your body weight and skill level when deciding on the best size SUP board for you. The look at your board in term of volume. The more volume your paddle board has the more stable it will be on the water. Beginners should begin with more volume and stability. As skill levels improve it will be possible to replace volume and stability for better performance and top-speed.

3. Epoxy SUP or Inflatable SUP

When you have the type and size of board figured out, ask yourself if the inflatable of epoxy SUP is the best choice. Your choice here will come down to the budget you have for a SUP and the storage options at your disposal.

-Inflatable SUP

The inflatable SUP is no problem to move about and can fold down to the size of a sleeping bag. This makes it ideal for vacations and camping trips to the lake. Expert paddlers may notice some reduced performance in the inflatable SUP, but for beginners the inflatable is a great option.

-Epoxy SUP

An epoxy SUP can be big. Up to 12 ft. if you get the full-sized touring SUP. This makes them primarily difficult to transport and store. But this inconvenience is counterbalanced by superior performance in the water and improved longevity as well.

4. SUP Board Storage

Either the inflatable and epoxy SUP will need to be stored properly to avoid damage. This will mean protecting them from the elements, meaning you will need to find an indoor location to store your SUP board.

Being much larger, your epoxy SUP board should be stowed in a board bag to keep it safe dings, dents and all damage. Both the epoxy and inflatable SUP should be protected from the sunlight as this will cause premature aging of the materials.

Finally, make sure you use the SUP board so much it spends little time in storage.

5. SUP Board Manufacturers

There are plenty of companies making their version of the SUP board and plenty of price differences. You can’t always assume the costliest is going to be the best quality, so how do you select the best SUP board manufacturer?

Look beyond marketing hype for a clear view of what is really being offered for the price and take some notes on various options. After you have looked at some prices that fit your budget, ask yourself who is offering the best guarantee. The level of customer service is another indicator of the company and their level of excellence.

image: Pexels

Fun Pool Party Games for Adults and Kids

pool party

Having fun in the pool is a great way to enjoy time together with your family and friends. There are many great games that adults and kids can play together, so take the opportunity to get involved with each other to create lasting memories.

1. Tunnel Swimmer

For this game, the adults spread out around the pool and stand with their legs spread apart. The objective is for the kids to swim through each adult’s legs as quickly as possible. An adult tells the first tunnel swimmer when to go, and everyone else counts the time out loud. This continues until everyone has swam through the tunnels.

2. Flag Football

In this game, you will simply need to put a towel or a flag in the top of the child’s pants. You will need some sort of a ball. This is a two-on-two game of football in the water. The offense tries to get to the other end of the pool without having the defense pull the offensive teams flag. You can do this with the adult doing the blocking or with the adult running the ball. Each team gets two downs to get a touchdown, and you can only run or swim with the ball. There is no passing in this game. The first team to score three times is the winner.

3. The Diving Duo

This is like synchronized swimming except that the teammates have to do the same jump into the pool at the same time. This works best if you have a deck to jump off of, but it can be done with only a ladder. The teammates plan out the dive they are going to do, and the rest of the people are the judges. They get up to three points per dive. They should be judged on uniqueness, how in-sync they are, and the splash. Each time does three dives and the amounts are then added together for a final score. The team with the most points wins the contest.

4. Ping Pong Prowess

This game requires as many ping pong balls as you can get, and a bucket for each player. Each person grabs onto the edge of the pool, and someone dumps all the ping pong balls into the middle. On “Go”, each player rushes to the middle of the pool to get a ping pong ball and return it to his or her bucket. This is similar to the board game “Hungry, Hungry Hippos.” The person with the most at the end of the game is the winner. For an additional twist, you can color half of the balls and then make a rule that each person must alternate between a colored and a white ball.

5. Noodle Rider

This game requires at least one noodle. This is just like a bucking bronco event. The player gets onto the middle of the noodle in the middle of the pool. There is also a player holding onto each end of the noodle, so there are three people total. Once the player is on the noodle, he or she has to try and stay above water on the noodle for eight seconds. The two players holding the noodle have to move it around any way they can to get the rider off before the eight seconds.

6. Whack-A-Swimmer

This game even gets the non-swimmers involved. Two people are on the outside of the pool and have water balls. The rest of the players pick a spot in the pool. The players in the pool have to go in and out of the water like the moles in “Whack-A-Mole” go in holes. The players on the outside have to try and knock them out by hitting them with the balls. This is a fun game for everyone.

Use these games to liven up a party and get everyone loving life by the pool.

Top 5 Winter Surfing Tips

winter surfing

Surfs up even in the winter time, you just need to know where to go and a few safety tips to help the adventure go smoothly. Some of you that don’t surf on a regular basis are probably thinking that it’s a crazy idea. But in fact, it is quite fun. All you need is to be safe and wear a good suit to keep you warm and protected from the cold waters. So, be safe and take a look below for some great tips.

#1 The Right Gear

To enjoy the exhilarating waves, you will need a good solid suit that doesn’t let the cold water touch your skin. Yes, I am referring to a rubber substance called Neoprene. It will protect you in the freezing water temperatures. Another feature you should consider is having liquid-sealed seams with no zippers if possible. It wouldn’t hurt to have a good warm lining that quickly dries. When choosing a Neoprene suit, you should make sure it fits properly. Because if it is too tight, it may restrict your blood flow and cause you to feel colder.

#2 The Right Surfboard

There is a saying the colder the water is, the higher the waves go. Lighter surfboards are okay for the summer time, but for the winter you need the extra weight. You also should take in account that your flexibility may not be as good as it is in the summer time, due to the extra weight of the wet body suit. In other words, the best way to ride the waves in the winter time is with a heavier style surfboard.

#3 Get prepared before going into the water

When winter surfing, the cold waves can put up your body defenses, which can cause your blood flow to slow down. That is why it’s always important to do a few stretches along with a short warm-up to get your blood flowing through your veins. This concept will warm up your blood flow throughout your body. With your extremities warm and having adequate blood flow it will take longer for you to become cold in the freezing water temperatures.

#4 Take care of your body

If you plan to go surfing in the winter, be sure that you provide your body with an adequate amount of protein. Make sure you’re well hydrated and had plenty of rest the night before, approximately eight hours of sleep. Also, you should make sure your body’s endurance can withstand the sudden temperature change and the strength of the waves.

#5 What to do after you hit those exciting waves

It is important to have a warm vehicle as well as warm clothing to wear after winter surfing. Be sure to have layers of clothing to change into for added warmth. Place your clothes in a pile for easy accessibility. If you have your layered clothes ready, it will speed things up a bit. Also, it will protect you from getting cold while changing. Staying warm as possible will keep you from getting Hyperthermia, the Flu, or any other sickness from your wetsuit.

Will CrossFit Help You Become A Better Swimmer?

woman crossfit

CrossFit is a relatively new sport or exercising regiment compared to more traditional methods. Unlike training specifically for cardiovascular or weightlifting CrossFit actually takes care of both at the same time! This helps athletes in a variety of ways in the water especially since since every sport is more mental than physical.

Physical Improvements

Swimming burns a lot of calories as each stroke is pushing against the resistance of the water. This comes in handy as one of the most focused upon aspects of CrossFit is the physicality involved. With repetitive and progressive exercises in every routine CrossFit can improve any athlete’s physique in a short period of time. Muscle is built while doing CrossFit and every swimmer knows then importance of muscle usage while in the water. Endurance is also improved while training for CrossFit. This is because the muscles are constantly being used at different intervals of resistance. As with any training, you will want to be sure to have all the proper equipment and gear before you start training, such as the best CrossFit shoes for women and a good spotter when you do your weight lifting.

Diet

The multiple challenges of CrossFit targets multiple parts of the body. This requires a diet to continue advance in levels of intensity. Swimming also requires the same type of eating habits to remain strong enough yet light enough to speed through the water. The type of exercises are ideal for swimming as cramping is the most feared delay for any swimmers success. Before beginning CrossFit every participant must get used to eating correctly before workouts as well as after. Eating a healthy way is ideal for optimal results in success for both CrossFit athletes and swimmers alike.

Fear Nothing but Fear Itself

It may seem like the benefits of CrossFit are endless but still many athletes and coaches aren’t all for the CrossFit wave. These person’s number one answer to the question of rather to partake in CrossFit is short simple. The injuries produced from the sport is why they believe CrossFit shouldn’t be practiced. The athletes improving from CrossFit believe this is fear however. They bring up the sheer fact that injuries occur across the board for just about every sport. Football causes concussions, basketball sprains and tears and baseball rotated cuffs. No sport is safe for athletes and that has been proven way before CrossFit was born. For a swimmer to miss the benefits of swimming faster through CrossFit because of fear of injury is the difference between the best and the rest.

Mental Improvements

Mental stability and endurance are key for every sport but CrossFit could arguably be more important than most. This is because during CrossFit there is hardly downtime to gather yourself and observe a situation. Having a strong mind is needed to be a better swimmer.
Breathing

One of the most important aspects of swimming is the breathing involved. The intake of oxygen is the difference between being number one and possibly drowning in the pool. With. this much responsibility on the lungs to produce at optimal performance crossfire is the perfect exercise to keep them in tip top shape. Athletes across the board such as Michael Phelps has stated that breathing correctly while competing definitely is valuable to success.

Some Critical Tips for Saltwater Fishing

saltwater fishing
For some, saltwater fishing is about survival. For most, however, saltwater fishing is a good hobby and sport. Not all saltwater fish hang by the coast or on the surface so if you’re hoping to catch a good netload during your day on the water, you will first need a boat with a good trolling motor battery. In order to prevent your boat’s weight from becoming too heavy and risk sinking, it is best to take only the material that you will be needing for the day.

Other Materials that You Will Probably be Needing Out There

-a Bimini twist (or the 23-times knot) for your pole. This is the only one that is currently known to withstand all conditions.

-Fresh lures. This is especially important if you want to attract a lot of fish. It is recommended that you buy only enough to last a few trips. However, watching your material load on the boat itself is what’s the most important. You can also reuse lures; just be sure that you rinse and dry them before returning them to your fishing tool box.

-Cut back your monofilament often. Because as soon as it looks worn or starts to become rough, that means that its strength is decreasing. As a result, it is important that you cut it back and re-tie it very often. That being said, gel braid lines might be better as they’re smaller in diameter, very quick to sink and have a depth capability of approximately 300 feet. Never use a wire leader if you have either of the above as an alternative as wire breaks easily. However, if you don’t, just be sure that you make a loop in it and tie it with an Albright knot.

-If you don’t see any fish initially, wait another second or two before pulling the lure up. Or you can simply wait until you feel a fish biting, see the head of a fish or you can see that the lure is disappearing into the fish’s mouth.

-Being familiar with tidal currents is especially important if you are hoping to attract a lot of fish. With channel entrances and inlets, the fish actually tend to follow the speed of the tides. However, in open waters, the fish do tend to follow the height of the tides. Also tidal currents in the former area tend to be about an hour’s time behind the actual tide. Other places were the most fish tend to be found are at the mouth of creeks and where the mouth of a large river tends to meet the creek.

-If you are fishing in murky waters, try using a large and noisy lure in order to make it easier for the fish to locate. Smaller ones are usually better on calm days.

-Always lubricate your new reels. This is to ensure that they haven’t sustained any “spots” from the manufacturer. If you fish for sport, be sure to lube it again at the end of the season, or every six months if you fish throughout the year-or to survive.

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.

This is a guest post by Andy of Active Zoned, blog where he shares his love of getting fit and active sports.

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.

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