What’s SUP?! The benefits of paddleboarding and where to do it in Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
Stand-up paddleboarding is possibly the fastest growing watersport in the UK and with a centre recently opening in Felixstowe, Emily Cotton finds out just how beneficial the activity can be and where you can try the sport out in the county.
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun and relaxing activity that mostly anyone can do. With wide, floating boards, the sport is ideal for those new to watersports – especially when practiced on calm waters – but can also provide the perfect alternative method of riding waves anywhere from one to 10 foot tall for more experienced riders (and surfers).
Four health and fitness benefits of SUP
1. It’s a full body workout
When paddleboarding, almost every muscle in your body is used. Your core, back and leg muscles are constantly maintaining balance, while your arms, back and shoulders are engaged as you pull your paddle through the water over and over again. The sport can also burn more calories in an hour than most others as it incorporates all the key elements of a full-body workout - strength, balance, core and endurance. Therefore, whether you are SUP surfing, racing or simple taking a relaxing paddle, it’s guaranteed to be a solid workout.
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2. It can relieve stress
Being out on the water can help clear the mind by releasing feel good endorphins, and guess what – exercise can do the same. Add in the tranquil sounds of your board gliding across the water, the rhythm of your stroke and your breath, and your day-to-day stresses will slowly melt away.
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3. It can boost your endurance
Endurance and stamina are not only built through cardio exercise, but are also built through strength work too. SUP is not only a cardio workout, but it also builds strength in your upper body, core and legs. Over time, as you notice your balance improving and your muscles not tiring as easily, you’ll know your endurance is increasing too.
4. It improves balance
There’s no doubt that paddleboarding requires balance, and quite a lot of it to be able to stand up successfully while floating on moving water. In turn, the act of balancing on a paddle board will also increase your core and leg strength.
Where can I paddleboard in Suffolk?
Next to Mannings Amusements on Felixstowe sea front, Quiver Paddleboard Centre opened in July this year. Owned by local watersports expert Darren Herbert, the new centre will provide locals and visitors to the town with paddleboarding tuition and hire during the spring, summer and early autumn seasons.
For those who would prefer a taster session with an instructor first, two hour paddleboarding lessons can be arranged and cost £40 per person. However, if you’re already familiar with the sport and comfortable with a board, you can hire a board, paddle, wetsuit and buoyancy aid all for a small hourly rate (£13 an hour for the board and paddle and £2 each for a wetsuit and bouyancy aid). The sport is very weather dependent though – be sure to let Quiver know you’re coming in advance if possible, in case paddling isn’t advised that day.
As well as one to one or small group tuition, there’s also the options of large groups and party bookings for activities such as hen and stag parties, birthdays and corporate team building events, as well as coastal tours, kids sessions and even paddleboard yoga! Whatever your age or ability, stand-up paddleboarding will allow you to experience and learn something new while keeping you active and improving your balance and fitness.
For more information or to contact Quiver Paddleboard Centre, visit its Facebook page.