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Experience | Paddleboarding

The traditional form of paddle boarding involves kneeling on a board and propelling youself through the water with your hands. it has been popular for some time and in Devon, Woolacombe, Saunton and Croyde on the North coast provide good beaches and on the South, try Teignmouth.

Whilst it’s been in existence in Polynesian surfing circles for centuries, it’s only recently that the variation of stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has really grown in popularity in the UK. This involves standing on a board and using one paddle to propel yourself though the water - ideal locations are sea or estuary. As it can be enjoyed on calmer water it is generally easier to learn that surfing and if you’re new to the sport and have no experience of surfing, a non-tidal watercourse on a calm day provides perfect conditions to learn before trying the sport in the sea.

It’s an excellent form of exercise, perfect for building core-strength and building strong arm and leg muscles, through the combination of balance and paddling.

The paddle boards are similar in appearance to a normal surfboard, although far longer at nearly 11ft and wider, with a rubberised grip to stand on. The lightweight paddle is usually 7ft long, with a T-bar grip at the top and it’s used on both sides of the board. Whilst aluminium shafted paddles with a plastic blade are cheaper, these are prone to flexing and therefore a carbon paddle is recommended, being both lighter and stiffer.

Wetsuits are often worn although on calmer waters, as the majority of time is spent standing upright on the board, some opt for board shorts and a shirt, although this will depend on air and water temperature.

Modern paddle boards allow you to catch waves much easier than even a longboarder and using the elevated position of standing on the board, it’s easier to sight sets and far easier to gain access to different parts of the break, using the paddle to then assist you as you catch a wave.

It’s a fast-growing form of water-sport, easy to learn and is gathering quite a celebrity following across the world.

Visit Devon and enjoy the fantastic coastline, paddle into wide sandy beaches or experience and learn the sport for the first time with a qualified instructor.

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