New Exercise Toy: Stand Up Paddle Board

The film clip above is from 1939 and considered one of the first footage of a stand up paddle board.

Here on Cape Cod for the week healing an ankle sprain I thought it would be wise to rent a stand up paddle board. Wow, what a blast!

Having never surfed and not really being much of a water person, I had no idea what to expect when I began. The first thing that surprised me was how easy it was to balance on the paddle board. It is large and fairly buoyant.

The work is all in the upper body and hips but it if you have done enough plank and chaturanga the effort will be manageable.

stand up paddle board
Picture of John “Pops” AhChoy, one of the originators of the standup paddle board.

The difficulty so far is wind. Turning against the wind is a great deal of work and the wind and current moves you along way faster than you might realize. The first ride I took I pointed the board straight out and the next thing I knew I turned around and was what felt like a half mile away from the beach.

Needless to say I panicked and sat down on the board to paddle back in. Paddling while sitting is much easier than standing, and thereafter I made a point of moving side to side as much as possible.

As the day progressed and I got more comfortable going out a little further (which in truth is not necessarily deeper) seemed reasonable. But once you get out a bit and turn around to head back into the wind you can paddle for minutes while essentially staying still. That is a trip physically and emotionally.

We are on the bay side of the Atlantic here on Cape Cod which means we don’t get much by way of waves, but even the little bit that we get, and the wakes created by passing boats, can be pretty alarming.

That said it is all yoga. Balanced stance with equal weight distribution– tadasana with slightly bent knees. The movement comes from the hips and the gaze follows the horizon. I picked up these tips from a couple of stand up paddle board videos that I watched and found putting these ideas into action seemed easy enough.