Let’s face it, activities such as swimming or scuba diving can be intimidating or downright scary for many people. For those who can’t handle being in the water, there’s plenty of fun and thrill to be experienced on the water. In recent years, paddlesports have been gaining in popularity worldwide in light of their accessibility compared to traditional water disciplines, such as surfing, snorkeling, or free diving. There’s something for everyone. Whether it’s canoeing on a lake, rafting on a river stream, or stand up paddleboarding on a dazzling ocean shore, we’ve compiled 4 ways for you to find out if paddlesports are right for you, and which one will procure you the most fun!
The surest way to discover if you’ll enjoy a paddlesport is to do the research. Thankfully, the internet abounds with specialized guides and tutorials that will introduce you to all the paddlesports, their characteristics, in which kind of environments they’re practiced, the equipment needed, and much more. For instance, if you’re a couple preparing to go on a romantic vacation at sea, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) will be the ideal activity to relax and soak in beautiful sceneries. If you’re going on a camping trip down at the river with a group of friends, some high-paced rafting will provide a good dose of adrenaline and excitement. Ultimately, it all comes down to your physical condition, practice spot, and athletic interests.
2. Visit Retail Shops
Scouring the web to check out the gear and equipment required for a certain paddlesport can also put you in the right mindset to take the plunge. In fact, the specialists over at Fantastickayaks go to great lengths on their website to explain that throughout your search, you’re bound to come across reliable guides with tons of great tips on how to choose a kayak, a paddleboard, an inflatable raft, and more. Alternatively, visiting sports equipment shops in person will enable you to gather a better sense of everything surrounding that discipline, from the types of boats and paddles to the price tags. So, be sure to compare different retailers to gain optimal knowledge.
3. Watch Videos and Attend Competitions
Adding to all that, you’ll easily have access to plenty of video content online that will demonstrate exactly how the activity is practiced, along with useful tips on how to get started as a novice. That is important seeing as each paddlesport involves specific techniques and skills. For instance, while paddleboarding requires great balance and steadiness, rafting will call for plenty of arm and shoulder strength, along with endurance and good coordination abilities. It’s up to you to decide which sport you believe is within reach, physically and mentally. Better yet, if you have the opportunity to attend local events or competitions, this will be the ideal chance to witness it for yourself.
4. Sign Up for a Class
Invariably, the best way to find the type of paddlesport that corresponds to you the most is by signing up for a class or private lessons. This will be a controlled and supervised environment in which you’ll become familiar with all aspects of the discipline, from safety basics to efficient paddling techniques. After all, what better way to find out for yourself than by practicing firsthand? With some bit of research, you’ll find out the best paddlesports spots (sea, river, lakes, streams) in your area for guaranteed fun and adventure. Don’t hesitate to bring a relative or a friend to share your newest hobby!
Bonus - Seek Help from Experts
Last but not least, if someone in your immediate circle has experience practicing any form of paddlesport, they’ll be a valuable resource for you to gather knowledge and make your final choice. They’ll give you advice on which activity is more accessible, and which one requires more dedication and perseverance. Whether it’s a family friend, the owner of the sports gear store, or an online acquaintance met on a specialized forum, it’s essential that you surround yourself with people who have the expertise and know-how. This will help steer you in the right direction for an activity to choose from.
At the end of the day, paddlesports ought to be tried at least once in your lifetime. Whether you want to surprise your spouse with a holiday on the coast or take your family or close friends on a coastal escape, they’re unique, engaging activities that are bound to provide hours of fun and a good workout! Research and experimentation will be your best ally to select the discipline you think will appeal to you the most, whether it’s kayaking, canoeing, rafting, or SUP. Have fun!