There’s a ton of information on the ol’ interwebs that’s geared to the competitive paddlers out there, but we know not everyone is in it to win it. And that’s awesome. Stand-up paddling is one of the most versatile recreational activities around, with a laundry list of benefits for even the most casual participant. Here’s why paddling has something for everyone:
• Anyone can do it.
It may look challenging and it can definitely get tricky at times – newbies, watch out for Tahoe’s infamous afternoon chop! – but paddling up at Tahoe or on any of our northern Nevada lakes is something almost anybody can do. And when you’re on a board specifically designed for flat water, all the better.
First-time paddlers get their feet wet pretty quickly – rent a board for an hour, figure out which way is up on the paddle, keep your arms straight, your knees soft, find your balance and go. By the time you call it a day, you’re well on your way to being an intermediate paddler (and probably totally hooked). Young or old, big or small, this is an activity for everyone.
• It’s a great workout.
Stand-up paddling is a killer workout, but it’s so much fun, you don’t even really notice. Even if you’re just messing around offshore, you’re getting a full-body workout with serious emphasis on the upper back and core. And if your goal is an actual workout, you’re in luck – pick a target and paddle as hard as you can. You’ll be dealing with currents, boat wakes, wind, any number of natural elements, all adding up to a resistance and cardio workout that you won’t find in any gym (with the added benefits of fresh air, sunshine and unbeatable views).
• A basic board will work for the whole family.
If you’re heading to the lake with the whole fam or a group of friends, everyone can take turns on the same board – all you’ll need is an adjustable paddle to accommodate the shorter members of the family. Yeah, it’s more fun when everyone has their own board and you can paddle together, but playing around in the shallows so everyone can have a go is always a good time too. Something like the Heavenly, – an all-around recreation board that’s fun for all ages and abilities – is really all you need.
With friends or alone, round-trip or one-way, stand-up paddling is always an experience. Walking on water gives you an entirely different perspective, and you have to do it to understand it. It’s fun to improve your technique, master pivot turns, race a friend to the nearest buoy or just admire the scenery. There isn’t just one reason that stand-up paddling has exploded along the coast and trickled inland – there are dozens.