First of all, let me tell you, my hips hurt. Right where my lower obliques tie into the iliac crest. Yep. And I owe it all to stand up paddle board training. I had a chance to try the Stand Up Paddle Board at Keystone Lake near Mountain House Base Area. I used to canoe a lot when I was in my 20’s. I canoed several hundred miles on rivers and lakes in Wisconsin, Utah, Montana, and Nevada. In the past few years I’ve had the chance to also canoe and kayak on Keystone Lake and when they got a stable of stand up paddle boards I became curious.
I have a friend who volunteers in my BSA group who is a river guide, and he said that he uses a stand up paddle board while teaching beginner kayak skills. At a recent BSA week long camp out, we had a lake day, and the life guards were all on stand up paddle boards. So I was really curious now. So I arranged to go try it.
Stand Up Paddle Board as Training
I didn’t know there were different stand up paddle boards for different skill levels, but I had to start on a beginner board. It was weird to say the least, but by keeping my knees low and using my hips to drive the paddle with stable shoulders, I was going about 2 + MPH and getting in a good workout. I then switched to an intermediate stand up paddle board. I actually liked it a lot more.
That first day I did a little over .8 miles with an average speed around 1.7 MPH. Not too shabby and it felt great on my shoulders, lats, and core. Here’s my Stand Up Paddle Board session from Movescount (Suunto Ambit2 S GPS Heart Rate Monitor – CLICK HERE).
I went back the next day for another session, I had so much fun. I went back to the intermediate Stand Up Paddle Board and booked it around the lake. I worked on improving my technique and speed and did several laps around the fountains and buoys and got in 1.2 miles.
That’s the view of that workout on Strava, synced from my Suunto. I averaged 2.3 MPH over that 1.2 miles. Much faster than the previous workout.
Then this morning I had some business meetings to attend and my side hurt quite a bit so I did some mountain bike riding as my cross training instead. The fact that I was hurting proves that I have some weakness there to address. I have to admit though that I’m hooked and will most likely do quite a bit of stand up paddle board training for as long as the lake is open.
Though I am by no means an expert on this topic, I recommend a low balanced stance keeping light on the balls of your feet. Set the paddle into the water in as straight a line as possible to keep from having to switch from side to side with it so often to stay in a straight line while paddling. Try it, it will make sense in motion.
For cross training, these are the muscles that come into play while ice climbing. The lats and core get quite the endurance training session out of this. If someone does know more about cross training with the stand up paddle board and would like to share, please, message me below.