Paddling while standing up is a fun way to get a view of both the water’s depth and the far distance. You have a full vantage point of what lies in the deep and shallow blue waters at Key West, giving you an advantage in fishing. Stand up paddle boarding in Key West also has health benefits for those seeking a more active vacationing experience.
- You will be relieving stress with energetic water strokes.
- A whole body workout that utilizes muscles with low impact energy suctions.
- It strengthens the heart and gives you a healthy heart rate by working out the cardiovascular muscles.
Getting onto a paddle is, however not as simple as taking the first baby step. You will gain an automatic and intuitive response from using the board on a regular, after learning the basics of boarding, paddling, and unmounting.
How to start off with stand up paddle boarding in Key West
- In case you do not have your own, Back Country Key West charters will give you the primary gears such as the board and a life jacket.
- When you get to the paddle locations, walk into knee-deep waters and set the board on the water gently to avoid offsetting the water’s balance with extreme force.
- Hold the edges of the board with your hands and board the center of the board, starting with one knee.
- If you feel off balance while trying to get on with the knee, trying lying down in the prone position, as a surfer would, then slowly lift yourself off the board from a kneeling position to a stand.
- Lay the paddle blades out to face the water to keep balance.
Mounting the paddle is the stiffest part of the entire routine. The next stage will exercise only a small portion of your coordination skills to keep the board afloat.
How to paddle while standing
Paddling is best using the strength of your core muscles. The arms will move the paddle back and forth, but not have any power impact on the motion. A beginner paddler will have a strong urge to look down into the water and hope that they maintain their stance. The expert advice is to stare into the horizon with a straight back so that the body’s weight continues to have an even distribution.
Paddling has a likening to driving because you still have to watch the direction in front of you. Staring into the horizon gives you an advantage of anticipating the next moves ahead. Back Country Key charters have mangrove filled private beaches and waters. This setup will require you to stay vibrant and intuitively connected to the environment and navigational skills.
Watch your fall
Expert paddlers and surfers also fall off their boards. The important thing is how you fall off the board. You will want to control the fall by moving your body away from the board. This caution will protect you from injuries by the board’s hardness and hard edges. It is better to fall into the water with the proper floating gear than bumping your head and twisting your ankle around the closeness of the board's edge and hard surface.