Paddle boarding has become increasingly more popular in the last few years and is giving rise to an even more exciting activity – paddle surfing aka Wave SUP. Skip the conventional surfboard, grab a paddle board, and hit the waves. Paddle surfing is quickly taking the world by storm and is the best low-impact, full-body, water-based activity that you could do.
But why is paddle surfing the best sport you can enjoy on the water? Here we will look at the benefits of paddle surfing so you can decide if it is something you would like to do.
Paddle Surfing is the Best Type of Surfing
That seems like a rather bold statement to make, right? But when you look into it, you will see just how much information there is on paddle surfing and how it really is one of the most popular water sports. From novices to pros, paddle surfing has people young and old hooked and requires little to no experience. And what we can definitely say: If you haven’t tried paddle surfing, you are missing out on a ton of fun.
But what is Paddle Surfing actually?
Like regular surfing, paddle surfing has surfers using a paddle board to catch the waves. But how exactly does paddle surfing work? And what kind of paddle board is best for this twist on traditional surfing?
Let’s explore the art of paddle surfing, looking at the benefits, choosing a great paddle surfing spot, international surfing sites, the gear you need, and the differences between traditional surfing and paddle surfing.
The Many Benefits of Paddle Surfing
Apart from the most obvious benefit of the outdoors and being on the water, paddle surfing has many health and fitness benefits. Let’s look at how paddle surfing can significantly affect your health and well-being.
Benefit #1: Health
One of the most important nutrients that the body produces is Vitamin D. When your skin is exposed to the sun while paddle surfing, your body produces its Vitamin D from the cholesterol in your skin cells.
In case you need reminding, Vitamin D is essential for bone strength and peak mental function and also contributes to calcium production in the body. Paddle surfing will get you off the couch and into the outdoors for hours of fun that will improve your health and also your mental state.
Just make sure that you protect yourself against sunburn. Besides sunscreen, you should therefore always wear a Rashguard shirt while you’re on the water.
Could there be a better reason to give paddle surfing a try? We can’t think of one. But we are going to look at a few more benefits anyway!
Benefit #2: Fitness
Paddle surfing is considered one of the best low-impact full-body workouts that also doubles up as a form of cardio exercise. Balancing on a paddle board works those core muscles and can help tone your stomach while strengthening your arms, legs, and back at the same time. Why spend hours in the gym when you can do a fun workout in the glorious sunshine?
The act of balancing also mimics the exercises that one would do while undergoing physical therapy for an injury and can help strengthen joints without placing more strain on any injuries you may already have.
Benefit #3: Weight Loss
Let’s face it – we all wish we could lose a couple of pounds. If you have a few extra inches around your stomach from holiday indulgence, paddle surfing can help you melt away that extra weight in no time. Burn fat, tone muscles quickly and easily while paddle surfing, and get the body you have always dreamed of while having fun.
If you want to know in detail how many calories are burned during Paddleboarding, check out this article!
Benefit #4: Mental health
Who can be sad while spending time in the water on a cloudless day? Regular exposure to sunlight helps the brain release serotonin, which is, in essence, the body’s own “happy drug.”
Studies show that even short periods in the sun can significantly increase your mood and mental well-being, highlighting the importance of getting outdoors as often as possible and helping your brain release those all-important chemicals that can help reduce stress levels and anxiety in life’s many stressors.
And hey: riding a wave successfully is just one of the greatest feelings you can have!
Best Paddle Surfing Spots: International Edition
If you have some extra cash in the bank and are willing to travel to find the absolute best paddle surfing spots globally, read on.
Paddle surfing is popular all around the world, and as a result, there are a few places that are known hot spots for paddle surfers who want to catch the best waves.
Here are five of the most popular and highly-recommended places that you should visit for a truly unique paddle surfing experience.
The birthplace of surfing, Hawaii is also the birthplace of paddle surfing, and what better way to pay tribute to this popular sport than by going back to its roots? Whether you prefer shallow waves or want to try your hand (or legs) at one of the infamous surfing spots like Jaws or Pipeline, Hawaii has a wide range of surf spots that cater to novice and professional paddle surfers alike.
Have you ever dreamed of paddle surfing at one of the many beaches in the Algarve’s? Portugal is an absolute hive of surfing spots and has plenty of beaches around the coast. Choose from one of the many bays, coves, or peaks for excellent breaks and swells that guarantee an amazing paddle surfing experience for the whole family.
With the Pacific coast on one side and the Caribbean on the other, choosing a paddle surfing spot in Costa Rica shouldn’t be too hard. This beautiful country and its beaches provide great swell all year round and include a wide variety of coves, bays, and reefs. Close to becoming the first country in the world with a zero-carbon footprint, it makes for a great eco-friendly holiday spot.
It seems that “island” destinations are the place to be for great swell and a good paddle surfing experience. The Maldives offers crystal clear warm waters and is the perfect paddle surfing spot for any skill level. From novices to pros, paddle surfers flock to the Maldives for the deep water waves and out-of-this-world paddle surfing experience that will leave you wanting more.
The very first thing that most people think of when they hear about French Polynesia is Teahupo’o or the monster wave. While we wouldn’t suggest that a novice paddle surfer give this wave a try, French Polynesia is the ultimate paddle surfing destination for adrenaline junkies. It is also a great tourist hotspot and has a relaxed vibe that will draw you in.
Click on this link to learn about more incredible paddle surf spots around the world that you should visit at least once in your life.
These are only a handful of popular paddle surfing spots that you can visit worldwide. If you live near the coast, you might not even need to travel and can find great waves right on your doorstep. If funds are tight, turn your vacation into a staycation and look for popular paddle surfing spots near you by joining local surfing forums or searching online.
How To Choose the Best Paddle Surfing Spot
There is no need to travel abroad for a great paddle surfing experience if you know how to choose the best spots in your hometown. While it might require you to do some homework and research, knowing what to look for when choosing a paddle surfing spot is important and can turn a bad surf day into a great one.
Here are a few helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind to follow when it comes to choosing a paddle surfing spot:
- Learn to read the local surf report.
Get to know what the different swells are and when the best time of day would be to paddle surf in a specific area. If you are still unsure about the when and where you can chat with the staff at your local surf or paddle board supply store or join a surfing forum on social media. These groups often have great tips on which areas have good waves and should be avoided.
- Visit the spot before you surf it.
Take note of the swells, the current, and the waves. If you’re a beginner, choose smaller waves to start with and ensure they are not higher than chest height. Once you are more comfortable and have “found your groove,” you can move on to larger waves and swells.
- Try not to paddle surf in highly-populated areas.
Choose an area that has a few surfers in the water but not so many that you find yourself competing for waves or waiting a while for your turn to ride a wave on your paddle board. If you are surfing in a new spot, remember to approach the locals calmly, greeting them cheerfully. Many surfers do not take kindly to “newbies” stealing their waves, but they can be won over with a little bit of charm and a friendly smile.
Paddle Surfing: Getting Started
If we have piqued your interest and you want to try paddle surfing, there are a few things you will need and things you need to know.
Let’s dive right in and have a look at the equipment you need for paddle surfing.
What You will need to Paddle Surf
#1: A SUP or Stand Up Paddle Board
This might seem like an obvious one, but you will need a good-quality paddle board designed for surfing or activities requiring standing. Your board should be both easy to maneuver and able to hand your weight while floating. For more on choosing the right SUP for your body type and skill level, you can click here for all the information you’ll need to know.
For more information about the most important features of Wave SUP Boards, read on with our Wave SUP article.
#2: Shorts and a rash vest or wetsuit
A wetsuit is ideal for keeping warm in the cold water and can help you be more streamlined in the water. Choose a wetsuit that fits you snuggly and is made using good quality materials.
More useful information about the right SUP Clothing can be found here.
The Art of Paddle Surfing
Paddle surfing follows the basic concepts of traditional surfing but on a different board. Some prefer paddle surfing, as you are already standing and can catch a wave easier without wasting time “popping up” or standing up on your surfboard.
There are a few differences, though, and the most obvious one is how you paddle while surfing on a paddle board. It might be easier to paddle lying down when paddling out towards the waves. This makes guiding your paddle board over the waves and ahead of the breakpoints easier once you have found the perfect spot to catch those waves, stand up and wait.
Once you have chosen the ideal wave, start paddling towards the shore, using your paddle to guide your board along the water and letting the wave gently lift your board from behind. You can use your paddle to help balance and steady you and create some resistance in the water as the wave carries you.
Sounds easy, right?
While it might take you more than a few tries, once you have learned how to paddle properly and paddle faster, paddle surfing gets easier and easier, and you could be a pro in no time. You can watch instructional videos online that explain more about how to surf on a paddle board or click hight SUP Clothing can be found here.ere to find a full tutorial about the correct stand-up paddle board technique.
Paddle surfing is just one of the many exciting activities you can try with a paddle board, but it is fast becoming one of the most popular options loved by young and old. This article covered everything from choosing the best paddle surfing spots to the gear you will need to get started.
With great health and weight loss benefits, it is good for the mind and the body too, and it is a fun way to keep fit. Get out of the house, into nature, and catch some waves on your paddle board to keep fit and, most importantly, have fun.