What to wear on your feet when paddleboarding?

Knowing what to wear on your feet when flat water paddleboarding is not easy, especially during the chillier months. Unlike in the surf where you expect to get wet, and therefore bare feet or neoprene boots are the only real options, when flat paddling there are loads more choices… but how practical are they really?!! During the warmer summer months keeping your feet warm is not such a problem, and most people find bare feet the best option as it allows you to use your toes to balance, helping to keep you upright. In the chillier winter months however bare feet is just not an option, unless you want frost bite or be unable to feel your feet for the next week!! To keep your feet as warm as possible ideally you need to keep them dry. But that’s not as easy as it sounds when you’ve somehow got to get from dry land onto your board! Easier if you’re launching off a pontoon, but for many paddlers launching involves wading out from the beach, and getting your feet wet is just inevitable! So what are the footwear options when flat water paddling and what are the pros and cons of each?… Bare Feet Pros Helps with balance on the board (when it’s warm and you can feel your toes!) / Free! / Ideal option for warmer weather paddling. Cons – Feet will get wet and quickly become cold and numb on a chilly day which doesn’t make for the easiest or most enjoyable paddling / No protection when launching. Neoprene Boots Pros – Offers some warmth and feet protection / Still allows use of toes to aid balance / Ideal for shorter length trips. Cons – Feet will get cold if wet on longer paddles / They can get a bit stinky!! Trainers Pros – Provides good protection when launching / Offers some warmth if they remain dry. Cons – Not waterproof and therefore feet will become cold if wet / If not specialist water shoes with drainage holes they’ll become waterlogged / Thick soles can make it harder to balance. Waterproof socks Pros – Keep your feet dry and therefore warm (as long as no holes!) / Can either be worn on their own or inside trainers / If a good tight fit will allow you to wade in above sock height and still keep your feet dry. Cons – Not the cheapest socks on the market!! / Not very hardwearing and therefore can be easily damaged when warn on their own. Flip Flops Pros – Ideal to protect your feet when launching / Small and easy to store on your board / Can by warn when paddling or removed / Ideal during summer. Cons – Offers no warmth. Plastic bags! Pros – Cheap! / Works well either on their own or inside shoes / A good quick fix if you forget your normal footwear! Cons – Not the most fashionable! / Can get a bit sweaty! / No good when you get over bag height! Wellies Pros – Keeps your feet dry and protected when launching up to wellie height. Cons – Unsafe to wear when paddling (boots will fill with water and become heavy if you fall in) WEARING WELLIES WHEN AFLOAT NOT TO BE RECOMMENDED – take off and store on board once afloat. Specialist rubber boots (which you can seal onto a dry suit etc..) Pros – Specially designed for extreme weather keeping your feet very dry, warm and protected. Cons – Expensive. What else to consider? There really is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing what to wear on your feet when flat water paddling. It all comes down to personal preference and obviously how long you’re planning to paddle for and in what conditions. But remember that the footwear you choose may have an impact on your paddle height. So consider this and adjust your paddle accordingly before you get afloat. Also consider your safety at all times, considering what the implications will be if you do fall in. It’s all very well saying you won’t but whatever your ability you never know! So although wellies might look like a good winter paddling option, we really don’t recommend you wear them (unless you want to sink!). During the chilly winter months when neoprene boots just aren’t sufficient for longer paddle trips, the SUPboarder team personally prefer to wear waterproof socks and trainers. But they always keep afew emergency plastic bags and dry socks in their van and dry bag just in case! Top tips for helping to keep your feet warm: Take an iSUP – iSUPs are generally thicker than hard SUPs and therefore likely to keep your feet drier as your feet will be further from the water Practice launching fin first – this allows you to launch in shalloweand then turning around on your board, so you can launch without getting your feet wet Keep moving your feet and wiggling your toes throughout your session to keep blood circulating and your feet warmer Try your hardest to keep your feet dry for as long as possible (ideally the whole session!) Start your session with warm dry feet if possible If you’ve got any other footwear suggestions or top tips for keeping your feet warm during winter we’d love to hear them.

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What to buy a SUP Paddle Boarder for Christmas

Once again Christmas is nearly upon us, and for many of us it’s when we start to get that Christmas present buying panic on! But fear not, if you have a SUP mad partner or a newbie SUP friend/family member then SUPboarder is here to help! Whatever your budget and whatever their paddling ability these super SUP Christmas present ideas will be sure to bring a smile to any paddleboarders face this Christmas… The Aqua Pack Waterproof Waist Pack £34.99 $46.95 The Aqua Pack waterproof waist pack is the perfect way to carry and keep your small paddling essentials dry. Made from tough, waterproof vinyl the 3L capacity waist pack with easy to seal roll down velcro fastener also includes a Splashproof quick-access pocket, and internal zippered pocket. Compact, comfortable, and easy to access whilst afloat, this practical waist pack is available in a choice of two colours – acid green or cool blue. It’s a quality piece of kit which at £34.99 makes the perfect day time cruiser or adventure paddlers accessory. The SUPboarder team love taking their’s on their mini adventure paddles. Overboard Phone Case £18.99 $29.95 If you’re someone who likes to take your mobile device afloat then the Overboard phone case is a must have for any paddleboarder. This quality case is available in different sizes (phone, multipurpose, iPad, GPS etc…) and compatible for both iPhone and Android. Made from tough environmentally friendly biodegradable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with an easy to use Slide Seal System, and welded seams this 100% waterproof case is guaranteed submersible to 19ft/6m taking the worry out of paddling with a phone.  Touchscreen compatible, and with a transparent front window it allows you to use all the phones features, so you can browse, chat or snap away on the water whilst the phone is safely sealed in a case. The SUPboarder team regularly take their phone afloat to take shots of kit as well as track their paddles, and trust this phone case 100%. Perfect for keeping both sand and water out. Available in blue or black and very well priced at £18.99. Ion Open Palm Mittens £27.99 $44.95 No need to worry about having cold hands whilst paddling this winter! These 2.5mm neoprene, pre-shaped, open palm mittens from Ion are the perfect neo accessory providing wind protection even when your fingers aren’t slid inside the mittens. The cut out palm gives you that bare hand feeling allowing you to easily hold your paddle without getting forearm cramp, as well as allowing you to easily use your fingers without taking the entire glove off. Super flexible and with non irritating flatlock seams these mitts are ideal for all types of paddling, keeping your hands toasty on those chillier paddling days. Available in XZ/S/M/L/XL and at £27.95 these mitts will keep every SUPboarder on the water this winter – me included! Full/half finger and other neoprene gloves also available from Ion. Check out more of Ion’s great products here. SUPboarder Pro Subscription £24.99 $33.25 Get them even more stoked on SUP with a SUPboarder Pro subscription. SUPboarder PRO is the next level of SUPboarder providing exclusive content, extended product reviews, additional how to features, ask the experts, as well as a limited edition SUPboarder PRO t-shirt. They certainly won’t be bored over Christmas! Only £24.99/year or £2.49/month. To guarantee t-shirt delivery before Christmas last orders are the 20th Dec for the UK and the 14th Dec for Europe/World wide orders. Find out more about SUPboarder Pro here. Buy here : https://www.supboardermag.com/product/supboarder-pro-gift-subscription-2017/ The SUP Movie £24.99 $24.95 The SUP movie is an all action 40 minute SUP film with plenty of big drops, bad ass barrels, insane airs and good wipe outs! Featuring many riders including Kai Lenny, Not Gisela, Kody Kerbox, Zane Schweitzer, Connor Baxter, Sean Pointer, Izzi Gomez, Lori Park, and Mo Freitas in top spots around the globe, this 90 % surf movie is a must see for any SUP mad surfer. Watching Kai and mates rip the stuffing out of great waves around the world will be sure to make them a tad jealous and get the travel urge again. At £24.99 (but now majorly reduced in many stores as available to download online for free) it’s the perfect stocking filler for someone who still likes watching movies that come in their own box! GeoSUP – The Stand Up Paddleboarding App £4.99 $4.99 GeoSUP – The Stand Up Paddleboarding App for every paddler across the globe. A newly released SUP mobile app that not only allows paddlers to track their SUP activity but also allows them to share their sessions with others creating a global searchable SUP spot guide. The perfect training tool, paddle diary and much much more. If they haven’t already got it, gift the GeoSUP App via the App Store. Read more about GeoSUP here. Palm Neoflex Womens Bra Top £44.99 $59.95 Neoflex womens bra top – Not everyones underwear choice but this thin and ultra stretchy neoprene sports bra top is a must have for any keen water women. Extremely comfortable and supportive with its soft thermospan liner and supporting chest band you can be sure it will still be in place when you come in off the water! The ideal bikini top to wear either under a wetsuit or on it’s own if you’re lucky enough to head to sunnier climates this winter. Matching neoprene shorts also available.  Available in S, M L and XL  so you can be sure you’ll find a size to fit. £44.99. Check out more of palm’s great products here. GoPro Paddle Mount £13.99 $16.99 For great shots of your friends or selfy shots the GoPro Paddle Mount (also called a bike mount) is our SUPboarder go to mount for filming all SUP action from the water. Very light weight and strong enough to take a beating. This is a must have camera mount, for every paddler wanting to catch the action. Warning – don’t buy a cheap copy – they won’t thank you! ION Neo Cosy Coat £149.95 $225.99 You’ll be wishing you had one too this winter! The Neo Cosy Coat from Ion is the perfect winter wetsuit accessory keeping you warm and toasty on and off the water. Made from 2.5mm neoprene with a cosy fleecy lining, deep pockets, adjustable hood and long cuffs it will keep you warm whether wet or dry. Ideal to wear over your wetsuit on the beach or as an extra layer when paddling in colder conditions. Available in both mens and ladies styles and a range of sizes. They’ll love you forever and wonder how they ever managed without one! A generous gift at £149.95 but a quality piece of clothing and worth every penny. Read the full SUPboarder review here. Palm’s Heavy Duty Cam Straps £19.95 $29.99 We’ve all done it… tied our shiny new board on the roof of the car on Christmas day with rusty and frayed roof rack straps! So why not treat the SUPer in your family to some shiny new ones. Palm’s Heavy Duty Cam Straps are ideal to ensure their new shiny board gets to the beach in one piece. The 7m long pair of cam straps, are made from heavy duty 35mm polypropylene webbing and  non-corroding galvanised cam buckles with neoprene protection.  Worth every penny at £19.95 (and much cheaper than a new board!) Paddleboarders can never have enough roof rack straps! The SUPboarder team included! (why can you never find them when you want them!) SUP Lesson Voucher  Buying a SUP voucher for a lesson at your local SUP school is the perfect present for someone wanting to get into SUP. Learn on the best kit from those in the know. Check out SUPboarders SUP club/school directory map to find the SUP school nearest to them. Hopefully you can now take a sigh of relief and tick something else of your Christmas shopping list!

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High performance paddling with Phil McCoy

High performance paddling takes determination and a lot of time training on and off the water. But whatever paddling ability you are improving your strength and fitness will not only aid your paddling performance but also help protect yourself from injury. Passionate SUPer and performance coach Phil McCoy has developed a simple program that will help you target those key areas essential for every paddler wanting to improve their performance… About me: My name is Phil McCoy, I am a water sports athlete and very enthusiastic about performance and the physiology behind it. Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is one of the fastest developing sports in the UK and Europe. It’s a great full body workout, targeting the core, strength and aerobic capacity. There are always things to learn, which makes it exciting (like paddling out in this swell on my inflatable surf sup!) This curiosity of performance in various sports focused me to study Sports Science at University and a Masters in Sport and Exercise Physiology. Alongside sailing, when it was 25+ knots my watersports choice is windsurfing. What I was missing was a sport to cover the other end of the wind range. This is where SUP was the perfect option. SUP brings an active outdoor lifestyle, and gives an effective workout and a challenging exercise option to anyone. It’s also great for low impact rehabilitation, if you suffer with bad knees or hips and is open to all ages and abilities. Through my progression in the sport and also while helping others I have developed a simple program that will help you develop your strength and fitness while also protecting yourself from injury. In this series, I will cover: • CORE fitness for SUP • STRENGTH fitness for SUP • CARDIO fitness for SUP Article 1) CORE fitness for SUP The SUP movement is a very complex pattern and is unique to each paddler’s physical qualities. It is very interesting to compare different techniques with top athletes and competitors, but what is most important is that you are training specific muscles the right way to help improve your own paddling. Stand up paddling is a low impact exercise using a unique combination of balance, strength, power and muscular endurance. The main muscle groups that are being activated during a paddle stroke are your mid back muscles (Latissimus Dorsi), shoulders (Deltoids), glutes (Gluteus Maximus) arms (Triceps & Biceps) and core muscles (Trunk) as demonstrated in sequence above. CORE Endurance Due to SUP exercise being performed whilst standing, the trunk muscles are required to contract to provide a stable base for the paddling motion to occur. The fact that these key trunk muscles are required to be active could provide adequate strengthening for the core muscles. In a similar manner to the potential fitness benefits brought about by SUP training, it can also develop core muscular endurance, something which is often in lacking from people who suffer from back pain. This is where focusing on your day-to-day posture, functional strength, mobility and trunk endurance comes into play for long distance paddling. Below are some simple exercises that you could incorporate into a core strength and endurance programme: Exercises Core (45s on, 15s rest) – 60 seconds rest between sets (4) Warm Up for SUP  The warm up for going paddling is very important as explained above. Your body is potentially cold (If you live in the UK!) and going straight into paddling could expose you to an injury – which no one wants! Incase you missed it previously on SUPboarder here’s my SUP warm up video that includes lower, upper body and core exercises. You should aim to repeat this 3 times, working on mobility and the control of movements. No excuses all you need is your paddle and a bit of space! Keep an eye out on SUPboarder for Phil’s next article which will focus on ‘Strength Fitness for SUP’. But until then, get working on that core and keep warm! Visit Phil’s website here : www.philmccoyfitness.com

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