As much as surfing is a good way to enjoy nature, fresh air and release stress, it has many health benefits too. Working out does not have to be necessarily about going to the gym, you can still participate in your favorite hobby to work out and burn calories. Surfing will help you to stay in shape while having fun at the same time. Some of the health benefits of surfing include:
Cardiovascular and heart fitness: In surfing you have to do paddling which helps to exercise muscles of the upper body and the leg muscles. This will thus help to keep the cardiovascular and heart to stay in shape as it ensures an intense upper body and core workout. Paddling especially if it’s against the direction of the waves is intense and involves a lot of effort.
Strength building on the shoulder and back: While paddling not only the upper part and the core will be affected but the back and shoulder muscles will be affected and will be strengthened. This is due to the fact that the upper part and the core are cojoined with the shoulder and back.
Leg and core strength: While you are surfing you will have to stand on the board at some point and this will force your legs and core to be strong so as to stand the currents. It will therefore help in way to strengthen the leg and core muscles. It also helps in toning the legs due to the changing intensity of waves while surfing.
Mental health: Physical exercise in most cases especially something that you love doing helps in the release of oxytocin which is a feel good hormone and will help to keep stress and negative energy at bay. This will help in ensuring proper mental health and positive attitude.
Vitamin D: The body requires the sun to synthesize vitamin D. Surfing will most of the time expose you to the sun which will help in synthesis of vitamin D for strong bones in the body. Vitamin D also helps in regulation of calcium and phosphorus in the body and regulation of the growth of skin cells.
Improve sleep: Surfing can help in improving the sleep patterns for those who suffer from insomnia. Studies have shown that regular exercise helps in muscle repair and good state of the body as well as fast metabolism which helps in promoting sleep. This will lead to refreshed mornings which lead to more productivity.
Burning calories: Surfing is a fun way of burning calories. Due to the diets we have accumulation of calories is almost inevitable and thus we all need a way of working out to be able to burn the calories. Surfing is one of the great ways of burning calories. With the constant changing waves a large part of the body works out and this burns calories. According to studies, one hour of surfing can burn up to 260 calories.
Improved balance: Surfing requires you to balance on the paddling board and even if you are not so good in balancing with time you will. Thus it is one of the exercises that help you to improve and maintain your balance. This is important in many aspects in life.
High flexibility: Frequent surfing helps in increasing your flexibility since your muscles will be more toned and less tight. This will help you in avoiding injuries while doing many other activities where flexibility is required.
Sense of achievement: Surfing takes time and commitment to learn it and it comes with its set of challenges as well. Once the challenges are overcome, it will give you a feel good feeling since you will have achieved a milestone. You will not only enjoy the health benefits that come with it but it will be a self-prove that you can achieve anything you want to achieve.
Stress relief: Just like many other sports, surfing is one of the channels for stress relief. Surfing helps the body to release oxytocin which helps in elimination of stress.
Choosing an inflatable Stand up paddle board
There are many kinds of paddle boards in the market and the kind of board that you use has a big influence on how the board will turn out. It is very important that you use the right bard so that you have maximum enjoyment from the sport. Most inflatable paddle boards are very light and different users will have different preferences. It is important to know what you want and what kinds of activities you want to do on the board. It is therefore important to know the kind of factors to consider in choosing a paddle board so that you end up with the best. Some of the factors to consider include:
Material used on the board: This is very important as it will determine the durability of the board. A good paddle board should be made out of military PVC material and if possible be multi layered. This is a very high quality and durable material, same as the one used in zodiac boats. You should also ensure that the board you are looking to buy is reinforced using industrial drop stitch construction instead of glue. The material used has a great effect on the paddle board and its durability. For example if glue is what has been used in putting up the board together there are chances that it will not last very long.
Quality: This is the most important factor to consider in choosing a paddle board as we all want something that will give us value for money. There are some brands that are well associated with high quality and thus they are worth looking into. Not only does the material use the main determinant for quality but also the workmanship used in making the board. Different companies may use the same material in making the boards but they may use different workmanship in making the board and that’s what makes the difference.
Hull type: The body of the board has an effect on how the paddle board behaves in water. There are mainly two types of Hull, the planning hull and the displacement hull. The planning hull is made in such a way that it is flat and wide and is mainly designed to ride on top of water. It is the recommended hull for beginners since they are more stable and versatile. Displacement hull on the other hand is the best for long distance and racing. Its structure is similar to that of a canoe with a pointed nose. As the name suggests, it displaces water by slicing through water to push away water to the sides. The narrow front makes them move fast.
Size: The size of the board is very important and not all the paddle boards are made in one size. There are those that are bigger than others. Normally the size chose depends on the user of the paddle board. The length is important in choosing a paddleboard. Most paddle boards have an average length of ten inches. Teenage and younger people would use shorter paddle boards than adults. It depends on the height of the user. The width has a big effect on the paddle board. Most paddle boards have been made in an average width of 30 inches which is more like the standard size. You have however get boards with a bigger width. A big width helps to promote the stability of the board and provides more comfort in using it. The thickness of the board is also very important. It helps water not to get on the board and the board to stay above water levels at all times. Most paddle boards are made with an average width of 5 inches. Normally if the board is too thin there are chances that it can bend on the center.
Gripping Pad: A good paddle board should have a good gripping pad. A gripping pad helps in providing grip and comfort while surfing. It should have a gripping pad in the critical areas of the paddle board. In most paddle boards the gripping pad is located in the rear areas of the board. There are however some paddle boards with the gripping area covering the platform area it depends on what you want to use the board for. For example if you intend to do some yoga on the board it will be advisable to choose a paddle board that has a gripping pad in the platform area.
Navigation type: Different boards have different navigation systems that help in keeping the board steady and giving it direction. There are some boards that have a single fin and there are boards which have three fins that are used for navigation. Normally the triple fin is an improvement from the single fin though their effectiveness and performance are relatively the same. Single fin navigation has one big central fin that is used for navigation while the triple fin has one central fin and two fins on the side for the board to be steadier.
Cargo net: Most paddle boards have a cargo net for transporting or transferring things within the board but with utmost convenience. A cargo net consists of D rings that are connected via a bungee cord. Normally different cargo nets have different set of D rings, there are those that have more D rings and there are those that have few D rings. Therefore this is also an important factor to consider in choosing a paddle board as any surfer would love the convenience of transferring anything on the board in a hands free way.
Package offered: This is a very important factor to consider in choosing a paddle board. There are some paddle boards that have more package than others. In most standard paddleboards the package will contain: a carry back pack for storage and transportation, a repair and maintenance kit, an extra fin and a high pressure hand pump. There is however some paddle boards that may even contain more.
Price: Cheap does not have to be necessarily low quality and expensive does not have to be necessarily high quality. It is therefore important to have a checklist of what you want in a board and this will help you in choosing a board in the market that best gives you value for money.
Just like many other sectors or other sports, surfing has rules or etiquette that has to be observed. The rules are more like common sense but they have to be observed to avoid getting into trouble. They include:
Don’t paddle around someone or close to someone who is riding a wave
The right of way belongs to someone who is closest to the breaking wave.
It is important to respect the right of way of others and not force yourself to have right of way.
It is illegal ride in between flags of a patrolled beach
It is okay to share the surf but not others waves
Respect other people’s belongings.
Apologize if you are found on the wrong side
Observe the weather and learn to read the ocean
Safety precautions while surfing in the ocean
Accidents can happen anywhere including the ocean. Beginners should consult experts on the furthest they can go to avoid injuries. Just like any other places, the ocean also has safe and dangerous spots and it is important to know them before surfing to make sure that you are safe. As much as surfing has many health benefits, it can also be a health hazard. Strong currents can cause injuries unless one is an expert. There are however tips that you can use to identify a strong current or a rip. They include:
Dark colors indicate deep. Normally areas that have darker colors indicate the waters are deeper and it might not be a good idea to go there if you are a beginner.
If you see sand being swirled in the water to produce murky brownish water, it is a sign of a strong current coming.
If you see debris and dirt floating out to sea means there was a strong current or there is one coming.
A rip can be identified if you see a smoother surface on water with mini waves, with white water
If you see a rip with waves hitting both sides of the rip while breaking out to sea is a clear sign of a strong current coming.
Safety tips to avoiding injury
This is especially important for a beginner. Do not be only excited about hitting the waves but take precautions to make sure that it does not become a health hazard. Remember not taking precautions may force a lifesaver to come into the deep sea to fish you out and it might even cause death in extreme cases. Some of the precautions you can take to avoid injury include:
Don’t go to a beach alone, especially if you are going surfing and you need to leave your belongings. Take a friend with you; he will be there for the accountability part and to look after your belongings. Most beaches are also not very safe to go alone unless it is a private beach.
Check out if there are any rules on the beach that need to be observed.
Beginners should not go so deep unless they have been given permission by their instructor. Stick to the shallow parts with beach breaks and a sandy beach.
Before getting started, check your paddling board to make sure that it is in good shape. No one wants the scenario where their bard falls apart in the middle of the sport. Ensure the grip is in good shape and the top of your board has been waxed if it does not have a grip. You should also ensure that the leg rope is in good shape
A beginner should always wear a leg rope for safety purposes.
Since surfing is mainly an outdoor activity, don’t forget to wear sunscreen even if the weather looks cloudy.
Put on comfortable clothing. It should have the right fit and give the right warmth. It should also be breathable. Normally the clothing will be mainly determined by the weather, if you have low tolerance for cold make sure you have something warm on.
Observe the area to make sure that it is safe for surfing. It is advisable to always go where other surfers are and you can get tips from them too
Make sure you do some warm up exercises before getting into the water
Improving your health does not have to be boring, with the right equipment and observance of the rules you are good for takeoff in surfing. From the tips, you will be able to easily know what you want and choose the best inflatable paddle board. With the right board and skills, surfing will be fun for sure. Why not get the gear and have some fun!