What do paddleboarding and life advice have in common? Our fellow paddlers have some great ideas! In setting out to share a variety of tips and helpful guides to learning to paddleboard, participating in various paddleboarding activities, what conditions to SUP paddleboard under, and how to find the right paddleboard size and type for you (whether your SUP board should be inflatable or non-inflatable) or extra gear such as a leash, we came to a great realization that sounds way ludicrous at first. There is a lot you can learn about life from your simple experiences paddling on a paddleboard. Here are a few tips we’ve come up with for not only paddleboarding right, but also living a successful, fun life. Feel free to check out our SUP news, tips, and insights!

Discovering a Greater Purpose in Paddleboarding

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We have a vision in mind beyond simply providing great paddleboarding, surfing, and water sports equipment and informational guides. We want to work together with people who love paddling and paddleboarding, love to get outdoors, and love to find creative, fun ways to stay active with a spirit of adventure and a life vest when they fall. We want to make a way to build a sense of community where people who find joy in a sport like SUP and being in nature can step back into every aspect of life with a feeling of confidence, purpose, and hopefulness.

Life Lessons from Paddleboarders

As we dove into ideas like the profound lessons learned from being outside and gaining tips and experiences from SUP on the water, we learned that the best type of magic can take place in the form of collaboration, with arms and doors open and inviting, cultures and people coming together to create, and ultimately a shared experience that becomes even more significant, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or more experienced paddlers. That’s why we want to share a few of these special moments and tips with you from the SUP boards of fellow paddlers.

Along the way, it struck us that the metaphors utilized in paddling and SUP aren’t all that obscure when looking at the lives people lead, such as those who would spend a lot of time on the water with activities like stand-up paddleboarding, or even people involved in sports or the outdoors in general. This is great news!

Sometimes You Need an Escape to Flourish

As far as tips go, this one seems as if it would be counterintuitive to use. People naturally possess love and respect for the water and the outdoors, whether they are beginner-level or expert-level paddlers (or they love to surf). For many, a method of ‘escape’ brings an opportunity for changing gears and gaining a brand-new perspective. Being outside at the beach or a lake, pushing forward through the water and wind and waves with your paddle to see the kind of places that would fill you with awe and wonder at the beauty of creation does a lot of good for your mental health. Some benefit spiritually from admiring the greatness of God through his works in nature, and retreating into this on a SUP board, away from the different types of ways we often feel burdened by normal life, can revive us and give us the second wind we need.

Learning Takes Time

If you are a beginner in paddleboarding, you may be nervous about the learning process and how long it will take you to get confident and know how to use your paddleboard. We want to encourage you by saying that it is okay to take all the time you need to learn, practice, and grow in your SUP skill level. Keep a leash on your board so it doesn’t get away from you. You may stay on calm, flat water always, or you may decide someday you want to get out and stroke the waves to try some SUP surfing. Either way, you don’t need to try to compare your paddleboard or surf progress to anyone else’s. Know that mastering your paddleboard right will take much more than one session at the beach or lakeside.

Learning something new in life is best done at your own pace, especially if you are learning something you love. Some of the best tips we can offer are to give yourself the time you need, take it one step at a time, be patient with yourself, and make sure to have fun with it! If you need help, that is okay! It’s always a great idea to get guidance and tips from others when learning something new.

kid and dog on a paddleboard

Adaptation Makes us Strong

The basis of stand-up paddleboarding is keeping your balance on a stand-up paddleboard over water while you keep paddling yourself forward with as much strength and agility as possible. An essential component of keeping your balance on paddleboards is being able to adapt to the type of changes in position your board takes as the water moves beneath it. When you begin adding other factors into the paddleboarding equation, such as wind or waves, putting your kids or dog on the SUP board with you, or adding fishing or camping equipment to use, additional adaptation is required as you make sure to compensate for this change in the positioning of your board all over again. From the moment you start to stroke the water as a SUP beginner to when you become an expert at paddling near the beach after, you constantly make sure you’re adapting and learning to better gain your balance on the board through all phases of paddleboarding.

On just about any other side of life, this idea of having the ability to constantly adapt can be a key to success as well. There’s a universal understanding that adaptation is essential to success, but it’s similarly always changing. In order to adapt in technical areas of life, we continually discover, talk about, analyze trends and innovations, and ultimately find the balance. Adapting to changes in your season of life, such as growing up into adulthood, living alone or with others, or even adjusting to having a family of your own all require a lot of adaptation and responsiveness to change.

Community is Advantageous

Some of the greatest places to stand up paddleboards are places where a lot of other people are already going to check out. One of the beautiful things about stand-up paddleboarding is how extensive a community is involved in SUP, and linking up with others to explore new spots together, find out about great places to go that others have been to, and get to share in the joy of paddleboarding together are a few of the best ways this is expressed.

It’s our belief that the knowledge of the community, frequently cycling generations, along with the need to work together and be inclusive, is inherent to human life. People are hardwired to be good collaborators, and luckily these qualities fit well with bold initiatives. Through shared experiences in life, each one of us benefits and sees greater things accomplished than through separate people individually.

Heed the Coast Guard

Rules that apply to paddleboarders (and anyone else who happens to be out on the water, that includes you Jesus) are for your own safety, including remembering to wear a personal flotation device that is the right size and fit (think about the option to wear a wetsuit if you are going out in cold conditions). It’s important to make sure you understand the purpose behind them and heed them properly as you best make your way around the coast in order to avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation or accident, or becoming a threat to someone else. Whether you are a beginner or an expert SUP paddleboarder, safety should be a priority, and obeying the coast guard and laws associated with paddling and water sports is always essential (such as bringing a type of personal flotation device to wear).

Friendship is a Joy…

One of the things people love so much about stand-up paddleboarding is that it gives you an opportunity to use to spend quality time with a friend or family member. Friendship is a precious aspect of life, and taking the time to pour into your friendships as well as receive all the ways our friends bless us with their nearness is something that takes alarmingly low priority in our lives if we aren’t careful!

Investing in your friendships is wise no matter who you are or what you do. Make space in your life to check in! Whether you’re paddleboarding together, doing some other lakeside activity, or just wanting to get some time to rest in each other’s presence, the time you choose to spend with a good friend is time well spent, and with consistency, it will help you to thrive.

And Solitude is Restoring

As important as it is to make sure you spend quality time with others, spending restful time alone can also be fairly vital. Though it would seem counterintuitive because stand-up paddleboarding is a fairly intense form of exercise, keeping your body and muscles engaged and your mind active through a sport like SUP while you get to explore outside and take in the world around you is a wonderful way to refresh your mind, your body, and your attitude, and keep you fit on your board. So head back out there!

Jesus Christ spent a lot of time alone in the wilderness, praying to the Father and being at rest in the middle of the many ways he served the communities he touched. In fact, he was on such a high after his moment in solitude that he raced his buddies who were in a boat across the waves of the Sea of Galilee on foot, trying to beat them to the other side (and he gave them a head start!) in some crazy weather conditions.

The Thrill of Adventure Motivates Us…

Whether we are beginners in stand-up paddleboarding, or we get to a more intermediate or expert level, we love the thought of adventure, choosing to face a challenge, and making our best achievement. This kind of incentive draws us into activities like stand-up paddleboarding and surfing (keeping safety in mind, don’t forget to wear a life vest as you find those waves to stroke!). We love the challenge and the thrill these and other sports first give us, and making progress to grow fit and improve in skill on our board over time is exciting to see.

All of us admire the risk-takers and change-makers in life, as well as the family, good friends, and neighbors that support them in what they do. We love to take on big things and see those around us take on big things. We love watching those around us face and overcome challenges, and we love cheering each other on. Face the waves of life, and keep a leash on your board!

But Discipline Keeps Us Going

Anyone who has gone stand-up paddleboarding for any length of time knows that it’s not ever all smooth sailing, especially on the beach. There are times the flow of the water or the wind getting caught on your body will beat you back when you try to move your body forward, and your exhausted muscles that you have to keep engaged throughout the entire time you are balancing on the water can start to feel like they are going to just fall off with the next stroke after paddling long and hard enough. This is where perseverance comes in. Get back up!

As important as the first motivation to want to take on big adventures and challenges is, equally important is being able to use the discipline and devotion to keep persisting when we become worn out and weary. Those who choose to be devoted like this, to their purposes and to one another, are the people who show up and always have your back. May we all choose to discover our balance between excitement, safety, and discipline with each new adventure, and learn to help one another.

Keep Calm and Paddle On

Complications arise while you’re out on the water, especially if you’re taking long trips, you’re paddleboarding at night or in an unfamiliar area, or you are learning something new like racing or stand-up paddleboarding with your dog. The best way to overcome these challenges and learn from them is to first make sure you keep your head cool. Freaking out while paddling increases your likelihood of a fall on your SUP board or back into the water (which may not affect your safety but may or may not be highly inconvenient).

Similarly, in real life, it’s important to keep calm and use an approach to challenges and tough conditions where you keep your head clear in order to not fall. From handling conflicts to pursuing big opportunities to performing under pressure, remaining calm and confident will go a long way towards obtaining success and keeping you at ease. It is a delicate balance, having an acceptance of responsibility that doesn’t allow the weight of that responsibility to become a burden and create an unnecessary sense of urgency.

Ready to Start to Stand Up Paddleboarding?

If you are looking for new stand-up paddleboards to find a SUP board of your own to get started paddling around the waters of life, we are here to help (both metaphorically and literally!). Paddle Sesh offers some of the best paddleboard and surfboard brands and gear (both inflatable and non-inflatable) such as a leash for your board, and we have compiled a host of resources to help you get started stand-up paddleboarding right or even master stand-up paddleboarding. We can help you find the perfect SUP board and gear at the right size and explore your options for all sorts of activities on the water you are sure to love.

We are also here to encourage you as you build your confidence and strength on the water. We know that confidence and well-being in general life can start with the conditions of the right type of habits for staying active and challenging yourself with a fun, adventurous sport that improves your coordination and strength under a variety of great, exhilarating conditions such as this.

Paddleboard Life Advice Video

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