Paddle Boarding 101

We are excited to be launching paddle boarding tours here in Charleston. There is nothing like taking in the sites of our beautiful coast from a paddle board, but how much do you actually know about paddle boarding? Here is a brief paddle boarding overview for all you paddle boarding newbies out there.


Paddle Boarding Equipment

The good news is paddle boarding requires only a few pieces of equipment, all of which we will have at your disposal. The basic pieces of paddle boarding equipment include a paddle board (obviously!), paddle (again, slightly obvious), a leash and a lifejacket.

Paddle boards differ from surf boards in that paddle boards have more volume. With paddle boards you need a sturdier base than with a surfboard, which translates to a thicker, longer and wider board. This all makes for a more stable board compared to a traditional surf board.

A good paddle can make or break your paddle boarding experience. While we will supply the paddles for all tours, if you are wanting to invest in your own board and paddle qualities to look for include: materials, length, and blade type. Paddle board paddles are typically made from either fiberglass, wood, carbon fiber aluminum or plastic. You can buy either adjustable paddles or fixed length paddles. Paddles should measure about eight to ten inches taller than your height. Lastly, it’s important to pick the appropriate blade type for your paddle. Blades can either be tear drop shaped (meaning they are rounder at the bottom) or rectangular shaped.

A leash is attached to the board to keep your board from floating away if you were to fall, and the life jacket is there to keep you afloat in deeper waters.

How to Paddle Board

While we will go in great depth and provide full instruction on how to paddle board prior to your tour, here is just a basic guide to get you started. You should start with the board in flat, calm water. The fin should not be touching the bottom. You can slowly start on your knees while paddling on each side of the board. You can then progress by standing up one foot at a time, in the middle of your board. When you reach the standing position, you will want to make sure your knees are slightly bent.

When paddling you will want to make sure you are holding the paddle with one hand on the top of the handle and one hand on the shaft. You will want to make sure you are using your back to do the work, and not your arms.

Benefits of Paddle Boarding

Aside from being just a fun activity to do solo or with family and friends, paddle boarding has many health and wellness benefits.

Some of the benefits of paddle boarding include:

  • Improving your balance: Paddle Boarding takes a lot of core stability and leg strength, which can help with overall balance issues.

  • Full body workout: Paddle Boarding is a full body workout requiring the use of leg muscles, arm and shoulder muscles, back muscles, and core and abdominal muscles.

  • Low impact activity: Paddle boarding is considered a low impact activity. Low impact activities are a great way to rehab injuries.

  • Stress reducer: Paddle Boarding is a great way to disconnect from the digital world and enjoy a relaxing time on the water.

  • Helping with cardiovascular and endurance related issues: Paddle boarding is a great heart healthy activity. It is a great way to slowly build up cardiovascular health and endurance.

We hope this was a helpful primer to paddle boarding and look forward to instructing you on a tour of the beautiful Folly River and marshlands soon. Check out all of our paddle boarding tours to see the variety of offerings to experience.