Paddle boarding is the fastest growing board sport, gaining popularity as fast as pickleball. It is low impact and fun, but there can be a lot more to it than just sitting in the swimming area and making use of the cup holder. You can have as many adventures as you imagination allows. Once you get past step one- you can choose your own level of stoke from the following top ten New Years resolutions with your new Sea Gods SUP board!
New Year's 2024 Resolutions:
1) Buy a paddle board
There are a lot of boards on the market and it can be very confusing. This is where a lot of folks get stuck, with decision paralysis. Unless you are doing SUP racing and love the sound of vibrating straps during transport, iSUP or inflatable stand up paddleboards are the best choice. After that you have to choose between a budget board or a good quality board- don’t be confused- there is a huge difference in the materials and construction between the two and you can feel it in the ride and longevity of the board. You will also see a huge difference in the accessories from the aluminum or Carbon fiber paddle, a proper 9” flex fin and a single chamber vs double chamber pump. If your budget can SUPport it, get a Premium Board with the best performance and accessories. A bad start might turn you off of the sport, but a premium board will guarantee you to have a great introduction and keep working down the list! And when you are hooked, have the peace of mind with the Lifetime warranty that this board will stay with you for many years of adventure.
2) Learn to paddle board
There is a lot more to SUP than getting up off your knees to standing. While the Kayak seat and kayak paddle blade are hugely popular for folks who just want to sit back and relax, it’s an awesome view when you get to your feet. My first Paddleboard instructor, David Dreves, had a saying “you don’t know what you don’t know”, the stage of “unconsciously incompetent”. He moved us quickly through “consciously incompetent” and then it took a lot of strokes and falls to get to “unconsciously competent”. Taking a lesson to get you introduced to the basics will go a long way to getting you up onto you feet and hooked to learn more. From how to move your feet on your board and prevent cramping, paddle straight, turn and brace to prevent a fall the basic moves will build you confidence to enjoy more adventures.
3) Learn to SUP Surf
Some days are just not flat water days. Instead of sitting on shore staring forlornly out at the waves and feeling trapped on the sand, learn to ride them! Bigger waves require a composite board to get past the bigger break, but your iSUP, especially the Elemental Wave, is a great way to work on your footing, paddle strokes and timing to catch some nice easy rides back to shore. Once you are ready to take on the bigger waves you can learn a bit about how Surf Culture is different than SUP culture and respect the line up, or head out to San Onofre where you have your own section to Paddle SUP without any conflict. Paddle Surfing is a heck of a lot more fun than riding a traditional longboard in my opinion, because you catch way more waves, take less white wash to the face and a lot less washing machine tumbles. Head on out to an amazing place like Tofino is the perfect place to start!
4) Take a course on Touring
Once you get going, its hard to stop. Wondering what is around that next bend? Island hopping, exploring the coast line or doing a short crossing to that distant shore. However, there is a lot of knowledge that can make your trip safer, easier and more enjoyable because you will have the confidence to stay on course and know how to handle possible situations. If you plan to go the distance, take a touring course. When you take a touring course with a Paddle Canada Trained instructor you will learn about navigation, wind, currents, eddies, how to prepare and load your inflatable touring SUP and more. Crossing that straight to go island hopping just became possible!
5) Go out for a Moonlight Paddle
Going out for a moonlight paddle is pure magic. When the water is clear and the moon is full you can see down to the bottom like it is daylight- the air is cool and the water feels so warm. Having a marine light on your board is the only extra safety precaution you need, although it is extra special to take a seat, put your toes in the water and have somebody read aloud an intention or blessing or thought.so join your group and enjoy the magic.
6) Try SUP Yoga
If you love Yoga, or even if you just are mildly interested in the IDEA of Yoga, This is something you need to try. Flow has a whole new meaning when the water is flowing beneath your board and all around you. You Paddle out to a beautiful spot, drop anchor, tie off your paddle or wrap the handle in your bungees and take off your leash. Now you are free to move in all kinds of interesting ways and I will tell you, watching the sun set upside down between your legs in down dog is going to be a new experience that definitely sparks joy. Look for your local SUP Yoga group like SUP Vancouver and get on the waitlist, these classes are super popular and fill up fast!
7) Hike with your paddle board
With the newest technology in materials and construction, the new generation of iSUPS open all kinds of opportunities that you don’t need to be a muscle dummy or a hard core hiker to enjoy paddling across Alpine lakes for a whole new view- With the ergonomic (comfortable) wheelie hiking SUP backpack even a moderately active Paddle Boarder can meander up and take in some of the best views from the middle of an Alpine Lake.
8) Do an overnight paddle trip
So you want to go a little further and spend more time at that distant shore, but there are only so many hours in a day. So take two! (or three, or four…) With all the extra storage room for gear under the tie down bungees and the efficient shape of the Carta Marina, this is also not a major undertaking. Just grab some dry bags, pack for the night, and head out like any other camping trip- with a buddy. There are even some distant shores with cabins or glamping spots if you aren’t the tenting type.
9) Take a SUP vacation
You need a vacation. You Love to SUP. Combine the two! You can easily just check your iSUP on the airplane and paddle out at your destination to enjoy. Alternatively there are awesome folks taking you to the best spots so you can relax and skip the planning. Like Paddle A Board Vacations or SUPnorth Paddle Board Adventures! They take you to the most iconic lakes and hidden gems throughout the Canadian Rockies and even Mexico! The best part is that you will meet new SUP friends to have more epic adventures in the future.
10) Do a SUP Vacation with Norm Hann
The Ultimate Goal: Go on a true soul searching expedition to find your sanctuary with expert SUP expedition guide Norm Hann. If you have ever seen a Mustang Survival ad featuring a Paddle board, the rider is most likely this famous man. He is not only knowledgeable, professional and experienced, he is also really friendly and easy to talk to! All the things you want in a guide when you are in the deepest neck of the woods up in Haida Gua or in the exotic coral islands of Belize normhann.com, or more! You will definitely want to have your West Coast Special SUP for this one!
Wherever you are at in your SUP journey, Sea Gods can meet you there and SUPport you with the gear you need! Reach out for any advice, any time.