Paddleboarding started as a new exercise in Hawaii in the 1940s when a surfer grew tired of all the sitting and standing involved with regular surfing. Nowadays, many people perform this activity every day on lakes, pools, deep rivers, even out in the ocean beyond the breaking waves. It is a great way to spend time outside, work the upper and lower body muscles, and the muscles involved with overall body balance. If you are interested in this sport, talk with Dr. Oskardmay about some essential considerations.
Have Dr. Oskardmay do a spinal evaluation before you go out for your first time to correct any misalignments that could affect balance, strength, and back pain. She may provide some exercises to strengthen weak body areas in preparation, besides, to make your experience safer and more enjoyable. Vertebrae in the neck surround nerves going to the shoulders, arms, and hands; spinal subluxation in the cervical spine can affect upper body strength and also the ability to balance and turn the neck comfortably. Spinal nerves from the lower back lumbar spine travel to the hips, legs, and feet, all crucial areas for paddleboarding and balance. Performed with a flat, buoyant paddle boat made of resin, paddleboarders balance atop the paddle boat and move through the water using one free-standing long-handed oar. The activity requires good balance- even getting onto the paddleboard can be a challenge! Paddleboarders stand in one spot with legs slightly bent for the duration of the event (unless they jump in the water or sit down); this requires adequate leg strength and stamina. Also, the arms get quite a workout from rowing, and boarders need to be able to row using both arms to maneuver the paddle boat. After a fall or jump in the water, getting back on the board requires some strength and flexibility.
Be sure to wear a lifejacket and water shoes or the like while paddleboarding. For your first visit, consider going through a company such as Express Watersports in Murrells Inlet, SC, that provides paddleboard experiences for first-time boarders on the inlet. They supply all necessary gear and the board and give a short, but adequate lesson in how to paddleboard. They even take a photo of you at the beginning that you can get at the end. The author and her husband used this company’s services on their last visit to the Myrtle Beach area and enjoyed the staff’s experience and helpfulness in all areas. The experience can be as short as two hours, which is about right for most beginning paddleboarders.
There are options for more experienced paddleboarders who need to rent equipment, as well. Uwharrie Hoof and Paddle near Uwharrie National Forest in Troy, NC is a family-owned facility that rents paddleboards and life-preservers for full-day (9 am-4 pm) self-guided tours of Badin Lake in the National Forest. There is ample opportunity to get off the board and swim to cool off and relax on the shore. The company also delivers and picks-up the equipment, very helpful because a paddleboard is quite substantial.
Paddleboarding provides a superb opportunity to spend time in nature while exercising safely and with social-distancing. Of particular interest to the author is that opportunity to gently and quietly approach parts of life usually only seen in a book or through binoculars. The biggest challenge is learning how to deal with `wakes` created by the wind or other boaters; with a little experience, however, paddleboarding can be a high summer activity. Ask Dr. Oskardmay about how you can add the water activity to your summertime plans.