Stand up paddle boarding is an increasingly popular watersport in the UK, and around the world. Go back ten years and hardly anyone had heard of it, but now you can barely go to any stretch of water without seeing someone paddling serenely past.
If you’re looking for a new challenge this summer, you should definitely consider getting out on a board. It’s one of many outdoor activities to try in Cheshire, with Astbury Water Sports Centre just one of the places offering this fun and accessible sport.
Stand up paddle boarding – or SUP – is a lot of fun and not as hard as you might imagine. For a start, the boards are large – typically between 10 and 12 feet long – which makes them more stable than you might think on the water.
Although the ultimate aim is to paddle standing up, there’s nothing wrong with starting on your knees, and even staying there, if you really don’t feel comfortable on your feet.
If you get your paddle technique correct, SUP is a great full-body workout, targeting everything from your shoulders and back to your core and legs.
It’s also a very versatile sport. Although you can easily spend your time on leisurely paddles, there’s the option of getting involved in SUP racing, SUP surfing or going on longer SUP tours if you want to.
Another reason to get out on the water is because of the mental, as well as physical, health benefits activities like SUP can bring. Earlier this year, Shape highlighted the benefits of spending time by ‘blue space’, including the fact that being by water can lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol and can help your mind switch off from everyday life.