The Beginners Guide to Paddleboarding

Picture the scene – 9am, calm and serene open ocean water, the sun already beating down but not too hot, a paddle board underneath you and oar in hand, gliding through the water. Then, give it 5 minutes, and picture me falling off.

Just like my foray into surfing and also into yoga, I am well aware my balance is terrible, but I didn’t realise just how vital this would be to commandeering a paddle board. That may sound stupid, but I suppose in retrospect I went into the whole experience completely unprepared – but regardless, I still had an amazing time.

After searching several beaches on the North of Majorca in the lead-up to the big day, we found Playa de Sant Joan, which was more secluded and picturesque than the neighboring beaches of Alcudia and Es Barcares. I would definitely recommend this seaside spot if you fancy picking up a paddle board yourself, as for 15 euros an hour it’s a pretty good bargain – and trust me, you don’t need more than an hour unless you’re planning on paddling to Ibiza, in which case, fair play to you.

Paddleboarding really is such a great way to have an incredible hour (or few) out on the open water. Personally I found that paddling out at 9am was the perfect time – the sun was still on it’s way up so it wasn’t as hot as the peak of the day, but it was still really warm. It made it more refreshing for jumping – or falling in.

Luckily, the benefits of falling off a paddle board right at the beginning is you lose the fear, and it worked for me – I didn’t fall in again! But I have to say it does take a lot of effort to keep your balance, and your best spot to be on the board is right in the middle. You also need to make sure your paddle is the right height – which in retrospect is something I should’ve done before I’d got up on the board.

Of course your paddle board instructor should give you a run-down before you head out onto the water, but just a few tidbits that we learnt from ours. It was recommended to start off paddling on your knees and to get up to standing once out of shallow water, and to paddle as though you’re ‘scooping’ the water away from you.

I also learnt – the hard way – it’s a lot easier to turn round on your paddle board by braking with your paddle, than to try and paddle around 180 degrees… It makes complete sense and you won’t wear yourself out in the process.

I would wholeheartedly recommend giving paddle boarding a try, as it’s a lot more relaxed and peaceful way to explore the ocean and surrounding coves than kayaking – in my opinion. Even better, if you have a goPro like myself you can purchase body straps or – as I did – attach your flexible stand to the paddle – to grab some great snaps from the water.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you are thinking of giving paddle boarding a go sometime soon I hope this has been of some help. For more travel updates and pictures you can check out my Instagram @GrundyTravels. Thanks for reading!

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