Are you a kayaking enthusiast, intrigued by the many stand-up paddleboarders you have recently been seeing around the beach?
Well, you are not alone.
Drawn in by their curiosity, more and more kayakers are choosing to give stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) a try.
And why shouldn’t they? With both of them being paddle-sports, kayaking and SUP have a lot in common. So, it makes sense for those who love kayaking to want to navigate the waves on a paddleboard. The experience can be both comfortingly familiar, yet different enough to be novel and exciting.
Hence, SUP might be just the thing for you, if you want to find a new way to have fun on the water.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to choose between kayaking and paddleboarding. We are firm believers in the wisdom of having your cake and eating it too.
Or – as the case may be – in the value of riding the waves while sitting in your kayak, standing on your paddleboard, and everything in-between.
So why not join the ever-growing cadre of kayakers who have added some variety to their outdoor life with stand-up paddleboarding? You’ll learn some new skills, while having a lot of fun at the same time. What’s not to like about that?
Without further ado, therefore, let’s jump straight into the many benefits that SUP can offer experienced kayakers!
Predicting the Flow of the Water
When sitting in your kayak, you can get a breathtaking, panoramic view of the surrounding waters. However, it can be hard to see the depths of the water from a sitting position.
This is where stand-up paddleboarding can be of much use. Since you will be standing on your paddleboard, you will get the opportunity to read the flow of the water from above.
You will have a clearer view of the water flowing beneath your feet, and be able to see the marine wildlife swimming in its depths. You will also be able to clearly see the waves as they come in, using this knowledge to better navigate the swells and currents.
SUP will provide you with the perfect vantage point to study the flow and movement of the water. As a result, you will gain a thorough understanding of how each wave feels (and how your vessel reacts to it).
This is very important knowledge that you can carry over to your kayaking sessions, in order to improve your balance, trim, and edge control.
Utilizing a Skillset You Already Possess
Controlling the SUP board with a paddle can be a difficult skill to learn. Similarly, staying upright on an unstable, floating object (like a paddleboard) is no easy task.
Thankfully, as an experienced kayaker, you already have an instinctive understanding of how to use a paddle to control and maneuver a vessel on the water.
This knowledge can prove invaluable when you’re trying to learn stand-up paddleboarding, another paddle-sport that requires many of the same skills as kayaking. With a few minor tweaks to your paddling form and technique, you will become an expert stand-up paddleboarder in no time.
Once you have perfect control of the paddleboard, you will have all the time in the world to master your balance, while exploring the waters of your local beach or lake.
More Paddling with Greater Portability
Kayaks are heavy and difficult to carry around. The weight of the average kayak is perhaps one of the biggest barriers to a day of paddling (and frolicking) at the beach. Even the most diehard kayaker would have to think twice before hauling a massive, 25kg (or 55lbs) boat to the other side of town.
Inflatable paddleboards are designed to be lightweight and portable. They can be easily deflated and stuffed into a backpack, to be carried along unobtrusively on a bus, airplane, or in the trunk of your car.
Never again will you have to forego a day of watersports at the beach, because you’re feeling too lazy to haul your kayak all the way to the edge of the water.
Apart from portability, inflatable stand-up paddleboards also offer great stability and excellent performance. So you don’t need to worry about sacrificing quality at the altar of convenience.
Experiencing the Water in a New Way
A bit of variety is essential, when it comes to water sports and outdoor activities of all kinds. After all, no matter how much you love an activity, repeating it ceaselessly, time and time again, can lead to monotony and a loss of motivation.
So why not switch it up a bit? Add some excitement to your time on the water, by challenging yourself to try a new type of paddling every other day. If you’re sitting in your kayak today, you should be navigating the waves while standing upright on your paddleboard tomorrow.
Not only will it keep things fresh and thrilling on the water, occasional paddleboarding will also help you get in shape faster. SUP engages a set of muscles that is not typically put to use, when you are sitting in a kayak.
Hence, cross-training with a paddleboard is a great way for kayakers to get a new perspective and improve their fitness levels, all at the same time.
How to Begin?
Once you have a reliable paddleboard and a high-quality SUP kit, starting out will be quite easy, since you already have some experience with a kayak. A fun and unique experience, SUP brings joy to most people who try it. So you really have nothing to lose by giving it a go.
If you want to test it out before making a commitment, just rent an inflatable paddleboard for your first few SUP sessions. Once you are more comfortable with the sport, you can buy your own board, paddles, and gear.