7 Benefits of Paddle Boarding – Why It’s The Best Way Enjoy Being Outdoors

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Paddle Boarding… It’s just a person that stands on a board and paddles around right?

Well technically you could be right but there is just so much more to paddle boarding than simply standing on a board in the middle of the water. Paddle Boarding is a lifestyle; those who get into it usually get hooked!

My article title is a bold one considering I am posting on an Outdoors site that can include thousands of different activities in different regions across the globe.

However, the goal of this article is not to tell you that paddle boarding is better than your preferred outdoor activity but rather a way for you to try it and allow yourself to get hooked just like I did!

If you have never been paddleboarding, this guide will give you the basics before getting out on the water.

You will need the following to get started:

  1. Paddleboard (SUP) or iSUP
  2. SUP Paddle
  3. SUP Travel Bag
  4. Life Jacket
  5. Board Leash
  6. Sunscreen

1. Paddle Boarding Burns A Lot Calories

Paddle Boarding is one of the better calorie burning exercises that you can do! In fact if you are in the weight range of 165- 200 lbs, an hour of casual paddle boarding can burn up to 430 calories!

One of it’s closest comparable is biking which burns around 480 calories per hour.

As you get more advanced and do different forms of paddle boarding such as Paddle Board Racing or Yoga SUP you can burn calories anywhere in the range of 1,000 to 500 calories pending on what type of paddle boarding you do!

2. Paddle Boarding Is A Full Body Workout

Paddleboard Yoga

While other water sports such as kayaking or canoeing are great, they do not engage your full body like a paddle board does. Some of the muscles that Paddle Boarding work include:

Upper Body

  • Deltoids (Shoulder Muscles)
  • Trapezius Muscles (Traps)
  • Pectoral Muscles(Chest)
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Abdominals (Abs)
  • Obliques

Lower Body

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Hip Abductor
  • Quads
  • Abductor (Inner Thighs)

You are really pushed to find an activity that is as enjoyable as Paddle boarding that works all of the above muscle groups. Sure you can go to the gym and do a full body workout but wouldn’t you rather be in a tranquil state floating on the water?

3. There Are Many Ways To Enjoy Paddle Boarding

Paddle Boards have really taken off in the past 10 years but did you know that they come in many different forms, constructions and sizes?

Chances are one of them will fit what you want to do on the water! First we must talk construction. Paddle Boards can be made out of EPS Epoxy, Fiberglass or even be inflatable in which case it is made of some sort of drop stitch material.

Generally the more expensive the board is the more higher quality materials go into it.

Boards can also be constructed for a variety of different purposes but the most popular ones revolve around Yoga, Touring, Surfing, Racing as well as All Around Paddle Boards.

When starting out it is best to choose and all around paddle board as they are generally more stable and can serve a variety of purposes relatively well.

As you get more experienced you can move up to the other categories mentioned.

4. Paddle Boarding Is Relaxing

Relaxing on a Paddleboard

While this can hold true for many outdoor activities it especially holds true for paddle boarding. There is something about floating in the water with the sun shining on you that gives off the same meditative effects as yoga!

We live in a fast paced society that involves apps, answering emails and quickly moving from point A to B for a predetermined time.

Sometimes you need a break from that, in fact it is healthy for your body to get out of that fast paced environment and paddle calmly and casually down your favorite river or lake.

To even further this you can practice meditation by simply sitting or standing on your board and taking deep breaths.

Within that period you will hear birds chirping, the waves calmly stroking your board and most importantly that issue that you were all stressed out about all but goes away.

5. Paddle Boarding Connects You With Nature

Can you be out in nature biking? Sure! What about Hiking or jogging? Well yeah! But do you connect with it?

Hmmm… Anytime you are floating on the water you feel that extra connection with nature because everything is slowed down.

Paddle Boarding really allows you to take everything in, hear the sounds, see the sights and who knows, maybe you will see something extraordinary!

It has been through paddle boarding that I have been able to see things I normally wouldn’t see, like a rat being followed closely by a mink, a curious Harbour Seal or even looking down at the crystal clear kelp drenched waters of White Rock, British Columbia.

6. Paddle Board Can Enjoyed Almost Anywhere

When many people think of stand up paddle boarding they think of being at a beach in Miami or being in some sort of surfing community. This is simply not so!

You can try paddle boarding almost anywhere in the world as long as the body of water is calm. Many people who are not within living proximity of beach are just as happy paddling in local lakes and rivers.

I am lucky enough to live by a beach and hey, it’s great paddling, but a lot of the times you have to make sure it’s not too wavy out. So, my go to spot is actually a local river that is protected from the elements!

I like going to this river because there is just so much to see! Including paddling by older boats, trying to catch up to the occasional seal (spoiler alert: you will never catch up) .

7. Paddle Boarding Can Be Enjoyed With Friends, Family and Your Dog!

Paddleboarding With Your Dog

Paddle Boarding is a great activity to do with friends and family! Never done it before? Rent some and see how you like it! Rentals typically go for around $20 an hour or so but they are usually lenient on what an hour means.

Paddle Boarding is a great activity to involve other parties in and is usually more fun when you are joined with a few family or friends.

You can laugh as your friends hilariously try to balance on one or have some serious one on one time with a significant other.

Either way Paddle Boarding is a mood enhancer that allows your mind and body to feel refreshed and recharged.

You may have seen the word dog in the last title and that is entirely correct! You can paddle with your furry best friend.

I can count on more than both hands the amount of time I have seen owners with their dogs on a paddle board floating by. If trained properly you can go out on the water with your pooch as well!

Paddle Boarding is a great way to get outside and connect with nature. Just don’t be surprised if you end up getting hooked like I did!

About the author

Derek is an avid Kayaker and Paddle boarder that likes to explore the water ways of Vancouver and British Columbia! When he is not on the water he is contributing to his review and informal website https://floatingauthority.com. Some of his other interests include Business, Ice Hockey and Motorsports.


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Richard Remick

Richard is the founder and the chief editor of Outside Pursuits. Passionate about the great outdoors, Richard spends much of his time in Colorado enjoying skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, and camping. When at home in Florida, he is most often found in the water. He loves water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. He is a certified scuba diver. Because of his wealth of knowledge and experience, Richard has been invited to contribute articles to many outdoor-focused websites, such as Florida Rambler, and has been profiled on travel websites such as JohnnyJet.
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