Having tried a variety of water sports in my childhood I took to paddle boarding like a duck to water. I would say it’s my favourite so far and likely the most challenging; it’s just you, a paddle, and the board out on the water. There are three ways I’ve found so far that make it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Firstly, the challenge of learning how to do it, from kneeling down low to being able to stand up. This is no easy feat; finding your balance as you stand is probably the most difficult part and I owe years of yoga a tip of my hat for my ability to do this. As I’ve developed a better sense of the board through practice, I feel more comfortable moving around, sitting, or lying down and dipping my feet in the water to cool off.
Secondly, the serenity and peacefulness of being out on the water. Whether I’m on calm marina waters or out to sea, the water brings a certain quality and charm.
This comes into its own when, after a solid burst of paddling to the ideal spot, I can lay down and feel the ebb and flow of the water beneath me – relaxation at its best!
Thirdly, the impact that paddle boarding has on my mental health. This benefit is two-fold, both connecting with the rest of the group I’m out paddling with, and with the water in a ‘being out in nature’ sense.
There is something about the vastness of the sea that is great for gathering perspective or letting go of whatever is on my mind.
Being with others provides comradery, allows for the fun of water games as well as a humanness which is demonstrated by helpful tips, cheerleading one another and the expression of pride individually and as a group. The experience overall is incredibly positive, I leave the sessions feeling great even when I know that I’ve had to grit my way through a tough one.
Having not fallen in the water I can’t speak to the difficulties with getting back on the board – at least not yet! I’m certain the day will come as I continue with my paddle boarding journey.