They say you should do one thing every day that scares you. On this day for me it was stand up paddle boarding in the Pacific Ocean during my trip to Santa Barbara. The last time I did stand up paddle boarding was on Lake Tahoe, but for some reason the thought of doing it near actual ocean waves was terrifying. It turned out to be not as bad as I thought, and was a great experience. My best beginner tips for stand up paddle boarding are:
1. Be ready to fall, it might happen to you. Wear appropriate safety gear even if you know how to swim. We had to wear fanny pack life vests for the ocean.
2. Use proper equipment. Our rental company made sure that our boards and paddles were the proper size.
3. Respect your board. Do not set the board down on the fin(s) and stand or sit on it. This could damage the board. Wait until you are at least knee deep to hop on your stomach and paddle out.
4. Gain some forward momentum with paddling before you move to your knees to stand. It will make it easier to stand and maintain your balance.
5. Once you are up, use your knees and leg muscles to balance, along with keeping the forward momentum going. Beware of currents and where you are drifting.
That’s it! It’s a simple activity that is easy to do if you set your mind to it. If you are not comfortable on your feet you can also rest on your knees or sit on the board, but I find it is not as easy to move around in those positions.
Have you ever gone paddle boarding? Did you enjoy it? Do you have any tips to add?
This trip was sponsored by Visit Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Fitness Tours. To learn more about Santa Barbara and their cultural offerings (beyond the beach), please visit their website. All opinions, text, and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make life here at Team Wiking a little sweeter.