If you’ve not come across Stand-Up Paddleboarding before then listen up, especially if you love being by or on the water. Rapidly growing in popularity, this water sport offers the chance to explore your surrounding while getting an all-over body workout. Most importantly, it’s probably as close as you’re going to get to playing out your childhood fantasies of Swallows and Amazons (oh yes, this is me loving it on the Thames).
Still not convinced? Here are 5 great reasons to try SUP this summer.
1. Improves your fitness and strength
It takes strength, balance and endurance to stay upright on a paddleboard. Seriously, squatting and holding your core in tightly while trying to push yourself through the water is no easy feat but it’s worth it. You’re using your stomach muscles to keep you centred, your legs to hold firm on the board, a twisting action to push you along and muscles around the shoulders to gently direct the paddle through the water. Put it all together and you’re pretty much working out from head to toe not to mention correcting a poor posture. And once you’ve mastered the strokes and are feeling confident, you can create quite a sweat on the water.
2. You don’t have to be a pro
You can go hell for leather on the board and not let anything get in your way or cruise calmly down the river, taking in the sights and sounds of the surroundings, there are no rules about SUP. The initial fear of falling in may take a little while to get over but you’ll soon have it sorted. When you do (and your legs stop shaking), you can concentrate on learning to use the paddle correctly. The more adept you are at paddling, the more you work your core muscles and are able to really take control of the board.
3. Explore your surroundings
The River Thames may not be as blue as the Indian Ocean or as exotic as Aruba but it’s still buzzing with water life. And you can experience all the wonders of the surroundings with a day trip from Putney to Richmond. In fact, Active 360, have joined forces with sports kit company Crewroom to launch SUP London so that folks can experience the health and fitness benefits of SUP while tapping into the much under-used resource of the River Thames. Based at Crewroom HQ on The Putney Embankment, they offer everything from two-hour trips to 45-minute taster sessions. You may have already cycled or run along this area of the River Thames but paddleboarding offers you a brand new perspective of this wonderful part of London.
Don’t worry if you’re not based in London, there is sure to be a SUP class near you. For more info, check out yumping.co.uk/paddle-boarding
4. Relax and de-stress
Yes, you have to feel comfortable on the board but when you do, you’ll be surprised at how relaxing it can be to simply float along the river. You can mentally recharge your batteries and find peace by focusing on paddling. Various studies have shown the benefits of being close to nature and disconnecting from the hubbub of daily craziness. You may not be able to head to the country every weekend but the simple action of paddleboarding can offer the same experience and a little retreat from city life.
5. No class is ever the same
Nature has a habit of being unpredictable. One day it could be blazing hot sunshine while the next a bit of drizzle. This makes paddleboarding all the more fun as you may be challenged by the elements. The wind will force you to take control of your paddle and work against or with the current. It can make the sport more challenging but you’ll come out feeling stronger.
Honestly, it really is that easy…look even I can do it.
To find out more about Active360, go to www.active360.co.uk/calendar-SAAS.htm