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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