In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about standing-up paddle board for seniors. If it’s a good idea, what are the risks, and how to get started?
Standing-up paddle boarding is a water sport that has taken the world in a craze in the past decade or so.
Almost anywhere in the world when you go to a pond or a small lake, you can see people gently gliding over the water on their paddle boards. Standing up with a paddle in their hands.
It definitely looks fun so you might be thinking if it could be something you could try.
And I’ve got great news for you! Paddleboarding can be an excellent form of exercise for seniors.
It’s great for improving your balance skills, core strength, and endurance. Not to mention it’s relaxing and great fun!
But there are some risks that you need to know before trying it. It’s definitely not for everyone. And not for every
What Is Standing Up Paddle Boarding
Standing up, or SUP for short, paddle boarding is a water sport that involves using a paddle board and a paddle to explore lakes and ponds.
What sets sup boarding apart from boating or kayaking is the feeling you get from standing up on water and gliding silently over it.
In a way, sup boarding is very similar to kayaking, but there are other differences than the obvious standing versus sitting.
Sup boards can be inflatable or hardboards. There are different kinds of paddle boards depending on the use. The main categories are Surf, All-rounder, Flatwater, and Racing.
For beginners, it’s not that important to know the differences. As a beginner, you should choose a sup board that is as stable as possible.
If you have limited space for transportation, an inflatable one is a good option. We’ll talk more about choosing a board a bit later on.
The idea with standing-up paddle boarding is of course to use the board standing up. This requires skill and balance but also the right type of environment.
You can’t sup board in the wake or white water. In fact, even a little bit of wind and waves can make it very difficult to stay upright, especially for beginners.
So besides the board and a paddle, you will need access to a still body of water. A pond, a lake, or a calm lagoon are good options.
If you don’t like the idea of standing up that much I recommend kayaking as a option. You can read more about kayaking for seniors in the articles Lightweight Kayaks For Seniors [Best Options Right Now] and Best Kayak for Seniors [Simple Buyers Guide].
Benefits Of Paddle Boarding
Standing up paddle boarding is almost a perfect form of exercise for seniors.
First of all, it’s low-impact exercise, so it’s easy on your joints. You can do it comfortably even for several hours a day without discomfort once you are used to the exercise.
Secondly, sup boarding challenges your balance skills. It requires you to keep your balance so you don’t topple over into the water.
This is a great exercise for your balance organs as well as your whole body as it teaches you how to stay in balance while keeping relaxed.
Any exercise that helps to improve your balance skills is great for fall prevention as I talked about in the article Fall Prevention Exercises For Seniors [3 Exercises].
Paddle boarding is also a good exercise for your core muscles, your upper body, and also your legs. So it’s essentially a total body exercise.
You keep yourself upright, stabilize yourself with the legs and core, and use your core and upper body to paddle.
Paddle boarding is mainly done in nature, so it’s also beneficial psychologically.
There is plenty of evidence of the benefits of being outdoors and in nature. Reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, and improved immunity just to name a few benefits.
Since paddle boarding is a water sport, it’s important to mention safety.
While the goal with paddle boarding is to stay dry, you can and will fall in the water. Especially in the beginning. So the danger of drowning is something that needs to be taken seriously.
That’s why it’s extremely important you are a confident swimmer and take all the necessary safety precautions when paddle boarding.
If you are not a confident swimmer, paddle boarding might not be the best form of exercise. I encourage you to learn to swim first. You can learn more about swimming in the articles Is Swimming Good For Seniors and Swimming Exercises For Seniors.
The most important safety equipment is of course a correct-size life vest that can support your body weight.
Never go alone and always stay close to the shore. It’s also a good idea to keep a smartphone in a waterproof bag on you at all times.
Also, avoid going into too cold water to avoid the risk of hypothermia. If you fall down and are unable to get out of the water into safety fast, it’s are a real risk. With cold water the risk of hypothermia is only a few minutes away, so please take this seriously.
It’s also important to avoid rocky shores, especially when learning sup boarding. The risk of falling is very real and while falling into a few feet of water is usually safe, you want to make sure there are no rocks right beneath the water.
Also, beware of the sun. Use protective clothing, a hat, and sun lotion to avoid getting burned and to reduce sun damage on your skin.
While all that might sound scary, with the proper safety precautions and some common sense, standing-up paddle boarding is a very safe form of exercise.
Paddle Boarding For Seniors: How to get started
If paddle boarding sound like a good match for you, I recommend you start by trying it out before buying your own equipment.
You can rent paddle boards in most recreational water resorts and you can usually find them for rent at any still body of water.
That said, the initial learning curve can be quite steep because you have to learn new balance skills. This can be especially hard for some seniors.
That’s why I recommend you find a company or an organization near you that organizes beginner courses. This way you will get professional training and also learn about the proper safety precautions.
The last option is to find a friend who has experience with standing-up paddle boarding and ask if they could show you how to get started.
Of course, there is the option to buy your own board and just start learning on your own. But even then it’s important you have someone with you at all times. Because you will fall into the water in the beginning.
I think this is only an option if you live in a secluded location and have access to a body of water near you. But it’s important to realize It’s definitely riskier than getting started with a course. So use caution, never practice alone and be safe.
Best Standing-Up Paddle Board For Seniors
If you want to get started with a board of your own I would recommend trying out an affordable inflatable board set that has everything you need to get started. They are good enough for learning the basics and for most recreational use. Most people will find they don’t need an upgrade.
This Advenor set or any similar ones on Amazon are great options for trying out. That’s an affiliate link, I will earn a small commission if you buy through it, which helps to keep the site running.
Inflatable boards are much better for beginners because you don’t need to worry about transportation and storage.
The empty board will fit into the trunk and won’t take up too much storage space. A hardboard is hard to transport securely and takes up a lot of space if you can’t store it outside.
Inflatable boards are lightweight and they shouldn’t be too heavy to carry for anyone who is in good enough physical shape to try sup boarding.
I hope you found this post about standing-up paddle boarding for seniors useful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
As a recap, standing-up paddle boarding is a great form of exercise for seniors. It’s low impact, it improves your balance, is good for your cardiovascular health, and improves core strength.
Sup boarding is also very safe if you take the necessary safety precautions. It’s important to realize that there is a real risk of drowning if you don’t know what you are doing, so pay attention and be safe.
You will also get wet and fall a lot, especially in the beginning. So always wear appropriate clothing and leave anything that’s not water proof to the shore.
I hope you get to try paddle boarding soon, it’s great fun in the outdoors!
Thanks for reading and see you next time!