what is paddle boarding

What is Paddle Boarding?

Have you ever asked yourself what is paddle boarding? If you like doing any sort of water sports activity like surfing and kayaking, then you’ll definitely fall in love with this activity! It’s a mainstream outdoor water sport that combines the best of both worlds and offers a thrilling experience for everyone of all ages. Paddle boarding involves kneeling or laying face down on a flat board that’s specifically designed to float on open water. You use your hands to paddle the board hence the name of the sport.

Since the early 2000’s, a derivative of paddle boarding became mainstream and it’s called Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). This involves standing on a paddle board and using a paddle to propel the board forward or turn it in different directions. Either way, paddle boarding is an enjoyable sport to try and you’ll definitely reap its benefits since it’s a good full-body workout as well!

What is Paddle Boarding? A History of the Sport

Paddle Boarding all started when Thomas Edward Blake, an American athlete and one of the most influential surfers in history, started repairing antique Hawaiian paddle boards back in the 1930’s. He was credited with many inventions and innovations that forever shaped the culture of surfing in general. Blake started to experiment with the historic Hawaiian boards and he managed to create a hollow board that would float in water. From there he called it the paddle board and since then, the board has seen plenty of changes that would shape it to what it has become today.

paddle boarding

Over the last decade, the sport of paddle boarding has generated a lot of attention and it was during the late 2000’s that it completely took off and acquired a vanguard of hardcore paddle boarding enthusiasts. The biggest appeal when it comes to paddle boarding is that you get to enjoy the relaxing views of nature while you’re out on water, not to mention that you can get a satisfying workout that’ll help maintain your fitness in many ways you’ll enjoy.

What are the different kinds of paddle boarding?

Ever since paddle boarding took off, people have been doing all kinds of different activities out on their paddle boards and this is what makes the sport exciting and fun. You can do a lot of things with a paddle board and here we’ll discuss each discipline of paddle boarding to help you decide what type of paddle boarding you should try.

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is currently the most popular derivative of paddle boarding. This aspect of the sport helped make paddle boarding earn more recognition which in turn led it to become one of the fastest growing outdoor water activity out there. You stand on your paddle board and use a paddle to control and maneuver your way across the open-water. The great thing about SUP is that it’s very easy to learn and people of varying ages and skill levels will have no trouble learning the basics fairly quickly.

People are getting into SUP for either for recreational intentions or races and competitions. Whether you’re looking to relax and cruise on calm, flat water lakes or shred the ocean and ride with the waves, SUP offers a unique experience for everyone to enjoy.

Yoga and Pilates

Since paddle boarding involves using multiple muscle groups, it’s an effective way to maintain your fitness levels. The skyrocketing popularity of the sport helped pave the way for yoga and pilates to be introduced to paddle boarding. Doing any fitness activity on the paddle board like yoga and pilates will help you shape your core and heighten your overall sense of focus and balance. An added benefit of doing these while paddle boarding is that you can get to relax and enjoy the beautiful horizon out on the water which makes it great for reducing stress levels while being fit at the same time.


If you love catching fish, then you’ll definitely enjoy fishing while you’re out on a paddle board. Most paddle boards offer a wide surface area that makes it very easy to keep stable and recreational paddle-boarders have adopted the sport and combined it with one of their favorite hobbies. If you want to turn your fishing experience to another level, you should try it while you’re out on a paddle board. It really makes it that much more fun and interesting.

fishing paddleboarding


For those of you who like to challenge the waves, surfing on a paddle board takes the excitement and thrill up a notch. You’ll feel the added challenge of keeping your board stable while using a paddle to cruise through the surf zone. You’ll also get an intense workout since you’ll be tasked to balance your paddle board more compared to just doing SUP out on calm waters.

Racing and competitions

When you’ve finally mastered your paddle boarding skills and you’re ready to take it to the next level, paddle boarding competitions and races are openly held every year in various locations across the globe. You’ll be facing hardcore paddle boarding enthusiasts who love going head-to-head with their peers. If you’re looking for the ultimate thrill when doing paddle boarding, join competitions and see how well you stack up against your fellow paddle boarders.

Conclusion: So, what is paddle boarding?

Paddle boarding is a very enjoyable outdoor water activity that caters to everyone looking to get into the sport. The relatively low learning curve along with the added health benefits helped it acquire a legion of enthusiasts that are continually growing day by day. What makes it quite interesting is that you can try out various activities like fishing, surfing, yoga, and pilates, and even participate in races and competitions to test out your skill levels. Overall paddle boarding provides a thrilling experience that is backed by the relaxing, calming effect of nature while keeping you fit and healthy.

About the Author Thomas

I suppose you could say I came to surfing later than most. I didn't grow up by the water, but after years working the 9-5 grind I felt its draw and decided it was time to lead a slower life. These days I try and spend time in the water every day and consider the ocean as my living room: a place to relax, have fun, and just enjoy life.

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