LEARNING TO PADDLE BOARD
With Paddle boarding being the fastest growing water sport, more and more people are learning to paddle board. The attraction often stems from people seeing the tranquil social media posts, depicting warm tropical waters, blue sky and white sand. The reality in this country is often a little different, but what we don’t have in terms of tropical climates and clear blue seas, we more than make up for with our lush green countryside full of hundreds of beautiful lakes, rivers, canals and rugged coastlines.
Many people decide to teach themselves to learn to paddle board. Often people have seen others paddling and think it looks pretty easy, so just buy a board and try to teach themselves. However, bad habits are difficult to unlearn and it is true to say that with a little tuition, you can learn to paddle board quickly, with a development of skills including being able to paddle in a straight line and how to turn effectively, that will stand you in much better stead than blindly working it out for yourself.
At TJBoardhire we recommend having a first session at our venue on the Chichester canal. The calm, sheltered conditions, provide an ideal learning environment to learn and develop skills and allow quick progression for most people. Many people try to learn to paddle board on the sea, in unsuitable conditions and often end up feeling disappointed, frustrated and that paddle boarding is not a sport for them. We know that with the right conditions and equipment as well as good tuition from qualified, patient instructors that anybody can learn to paddle board.
How to find a good instructor
When looking for an instructor, firstly make sure that they are qualified. It is also helpful to look at what experience the instructor has, to consider if they are right for you. A quick google search will bring up an array of instructors in any given area and it can be a minefield to work out where is the best place to visit. If you are on Facebook check out visitor recommendations, or visit Tripadvisor to see what others have said about the company that you are considering. Any reputable operator will encourage customers to leave feedback and this can be a good way to gage the experiences of others.
Most paddle board instructors, learn similar structured lesson plans for teaching novices. This should include basic safety information, including risks of the venue and the fundamental aspects of paddle boarding, including an introduction to the board and paddle, stroke techniques, falling safely and some guidance on self rescue and how to turn your board effectively. A good instructor will allow plenty of time before getting on the water to ensure that customers feel equipped to take their land-based learning onto the water. Likewise, do not be afraid to tell your instructor what it is that you want from the session. If you are a complete novice, tell the instructor, or if you are very nervous, or have any specific health need or disability tell them prior to the session, so that they can make any necessary adaptations to your session. Likewise, if you have paddle boarded before and would prefer a session that focusses on development and technique then do let your instructor know. A good instructor will be able to provide guidance for whatever your level of ability. At TJBoardhire, when learning to paddle board, we cater for many different groups, individuals, families and for people of all ages and abilities and can adapt your lesson to your specific needs.
Make sure they are insured. Any water sport activity poses a risk to the user and third parties and accidents can and do happen. Do not be afraid to ask for details of the type of insurance that the instructor holds, if they have no insurance than they should not be taking out paying customers.