It’s difficult to resist the appeal of paddleboarding and easy to understand why it has quickly become one of Australia’s most well-celebrated watersports. In addition to the accessibility of the activity, which can be enjoyed on lakes, rivers, and oceans alike, it also has a great deal of diversity. No longer is SUP a singular activity but now there is SUP yoga, fishing, and even surfing, all of which have contributed to the growth in SUP popularity.
If you’re thinking about picking up the watersport and taking to your local beach or lake for a paddling adventure, you’ll soon realize just how much of the landscape SUP can open up, giving you access to previously inaccessible beaches and islands for relaxing breaks. However, before you begin, there is a slight learning curve and it’s important to check you have the equipment you need.
The Right Board
There are many types of paddleboard and choosing the right board is the first and most important step. Boards come in a variety of forms, with each style bringing different benefits to the water. Shorter and rounder boards are far better for beginners and those looking for greater stability on the water. They will, however, struggle if you are hoping to reach higher speeds or for greater maneuverability. If this is what you’re after, then you’ll want a longer, thinner board.
There is also the choice between solid and inflatable boards, which is something that many beginners can spend a great deal of time thinking about. In reality, inflatable boards offer much of the same experience as solid boards, despite falling short at professional and competitive levels. However, for those looking to transport and store their equipment more easily, as well as enjoy paddleboarding outside of competitions, inflatable boards are likely to be the best choice.
Where To Paddle
Not all water is the same and those who head straight to the seafront to paddle might find themselves with a greater learning curve than those who take to drop in on lakes. This is because of tides and waves, which are likely to make the sea much more unstable, with even small waves tending to give beginners a difficult time finding their feet. Additionally, other traffic, such as surfers, swimmers, and boats, can create disturbances and distractions.
As such, it is best to choose a quiet area for your first few outings, one with calm waters. This will help you find your feet on the board before having to overcome obstacles. If you’re stuck on where to go, try asking a local SUP club or taking a class in your local area.
There are a number of items that you’ll eventually want to pick up as you develop your SUP enthusiasm. However, when you start out, there is very little you’ll need. A leash is essential and will keep you connected with your board should you fall into the water, and good swimming gear is also recommended, with many choosing a wetsuit since it allows for adventures to be enjoyed in a greater variety of climates. Once you have these basics, it’s time to begin!