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Stand-Up Paddling: Fun, sport or adventure?

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If you follow us, you must be into paddling in some way. What was at one moment a spin-off out of classical wave-surfing, became one of the fastest growing surf activities of the late decade. But, stand up paddling goes back into history – way back. Its history can be traced to a thousand years B.C., although it was never as popular as it is at the moment. From catching swells, to exploring, fishing or doing yoga, SUP isn’t just a sport, adventure or fun – it is all of them and more. Much like its brothers and sisters – wind, wave, kite, wake surfing – stand up paddling is a lifestyle that offers an excitement of its own.

A unique view

Ever stood on a board and paddling slowly over crystal clear water? For those of you who have tried it, you know it is a unique experience – a sensation similar to walking on water. All of you who haven’t tried it yet – grab a board and go for it. It is much more fun than you can imagine. SUP will give you a unique view and offer different types of joy, regarding to what you seek.

Go slow and unwind

It is a known (we won’t say scientific) fact that even watching larger bodies of water relaxes the mind and lowers stress levels. Now to add on top of that – a stable board, a paddle and freedom to move thorough the tranquility of a wave less bay, for us, this is a meditative experience unlike any other. With a good board, you will be able to stop, sit down and enjoy the moment.

Paddle in company

One great thing about stand-up paddling is that boards come in all shapes and sizes. Some more agile, narrow and meant to go faster, others wider and longer meant for more comfort, carry-on accessories, or even passengers. One fun way to SUP is in the company of your partner, child or pet. You can use the board as a kayak or a canoe and paddle in pairs, or just take turns and enjoy the ride. Canines love it, so don’t be surprised if you see someone “paddling their dog” the other way on your morning paddle routine.

Explore

A SUP is just one more way to become the marine explorer. And if you ever looked onto the horizon, observing where the beach on the other side of the bay ends, go on water and check it out. Sea, lake or river – it doesn’t matter, SUP exploration is fun. A word of warning is in place here – you should always make a realistic assessment of your physical capabilities and make sure you can get there and back again safely. Currents and tides can make your tour more difficult as you may think, this is why our backup always comes in the form of the electric jet propulsion integrated in our Drive System boards.

Stay in shape

Out of all ways you can paddle on a board, one thing is in common – stand up paddling is a great form of exercise. It works larger muscle groups, puts your stabilizing muscles to work and shapes the entire body. It doesn’t matter whether it is a quick morning paddle while on vacation or setting your personal best to the cape and back, a healthy work out is a fixed guarantee. So for all SUP enthusiasts and experts – hope we got your juices flowing to go out again. And for those who are not sure whether it is something for you or not… Try. Rent a board or get your own – there are many to choose from and each one will last you a long long time! Keep on paddling!


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Training with SUP

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No matter what your thoughts on CrossFit are, we can all agree that cross training is one of the most important parts of comprehensive fitness. Swimmers go for a run, bodybuilders climb or go rowing, and, perhaps most famously, football players even take ballet classes. Increasingly, though, even professional athletes are turning to paddleboarding to give them the supplementary exercise they need. Says New Orleans Saints’ quarterback, Drew Bees, “It will make the most athletic people feel pretty stupid! Anytime you are having to just balance on the water, it’s a different animal.”

Stabilizers

Balancing on the water requires millions of microscopic flexes from your leg and foot muscles. Think about how popular balance balls or planks have become at the gym and then just think how the same motion on a paddleboard is exaggerated by the movement of the water’s surface. Your calves and thighs will be toned up in no time at all.

Back and shoulders

Proper paddling technique has your back and shoulders working constantly. Every stroke works your lats as you pull your body forward to where you paddle catches the water. Meanwhile your shoulders are hard at work keeping your paddle firmly planted at the spot of your lunge. Regularly switching lead hands means your whole upper body will get a great workout in every session.

Core muscles

Aside from yoga or pilates, which of course you can do on paddleboard, even on SipaBoards’ dedicated Balance Board, SUP might be the world’s very best core workout. Not only are core muscles involved in the same stabilizing as described above, they also provide the torque necessary to turn properly into your paddle strokes. Spend a couple hours on a paddleboard every week and your abs will toned perfectly in no time.

Cardio and calories

The whole-body aspect of paddleboarding makes it a fantastic calorie burner. In fact even a leisurely paddling session will burn somewhere around 400 calories per hour, which is twice what you’d burn going for a walk for the same time. Intense paddling, meanwhile, can see you shed calories at the same rate as runners. We don’t know about you, but if given the choice between burning calories on the pavement with shoes or on the water barefoot, that’s one of those decisions that makes itself 😉

No matter what your primary fitness goals are, paddleboarding can help you reach them. You can build muscle with a board, shred fat and calories, and tone all your major muscle groups. SUP is a workout from head to toe, getting your whole body involved as you go from stroke to stroke. The best part is that you get all these benefits for your body even when you are just paddling recreationally. So forget the gym, get yourself a SipaBoard and a good friend, and go get the ultimate workout on the water. Oh, and, as an added bonus, if you still don’t think SUP is a good enough workout, you can always put the SipaDrive in backwards and try your hand at paddling AGAINST the propeller. Oh, and send us a video of that, too 😉


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Older couple recreation

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When you think of “old couple”, doing sports together, or even any recreation at all, is not one of the first things that comes to mind. Most sports are so intense that, sadly, old age makes it pretty hard to participate. Paddleboarding with SipaBoards is the perfect thing.

Resistance

One of the biggest health problems associated with old age is osteoporosis. The best exercise doctors know of to counteract the effects of osteoporosis are resistance exercises. This is traditionally done by attaching elastic bands to one of the limbs and to a fixed spot and gently doing abduction and adduction motions. Paddling is the ultimate resistance workout, both when going forward and when breaking. It’s a bit prettier setting than the doctor’s office, too 😉

Low impact

It might be obvious, but SUP is a low impact sport, and we definitely mean that in two ways. First off we mean the traditional definition of low-impact sport, in that it is not difficult on the joints and provides little shock to the skeletal system, which we already said gets a little more fragile the older we get. We also have falling in mind; as far as recreation for the elderly goes, there is nothing better to fall on than water.

Prep

One of the best features about SipaBoards for elderly paddlers is the self-inflation. We’re sure that if you ever saw your grandfather trying to pump up an inflatable paddleboard, you’d definitely take over for him. With SipaBoards, though, even grandma can pump up her board. After all, all she needs to do is press a button 😉

Safety

Just as we’re sure you’d prefer to see your grandparents go on a trip with an e-bike in case they need a little bit of help, we’d rather see our grandparents on a SUP with paddle assist. Sometimes conditions change rapidly and situations that healthy adults can handle with ease can become overwhelming for an older couple. With the SipaBoard’s dependable motor under their feet they can be assured that the shoreline is closer than ever before.

Fun

They say laughter is the true fountain of youth, and that those who are young at heart are young indeed. Well there are few things more fun and enjoyable than paddleboarding with someone who is close to you. The years will roll back for any couple who – hand in hand – paddles off to see what adventures still wait them. As Tennyson said, even old people have “one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”


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SipaBoards Team trips

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Over the years the SipaBoards team has travelled all over the world for a bunch of different reasons. We’ve had meetings about construction abroad, tested our boards at dedicated facilities, scoured the land for great rivers and lakes to SUP on, and, of course, showed off the smartest and hottest SUP on the water to curious paddlers everywhere we went. This is somehow fitting, given the fact that we’re constantly promoting SipaBoards with the tagline “Taking you further”, as well as the fact that the idea for SipaBoards came not at home, but while travelling in neighboring Croatia.

Let’s take a look at some of the amazing waters that SipaBoards have taken us to. SipaBoards launched in after a KickStarter campaign in 2014. Team members were on the ground in the USA to gather support and spread the word. Waters were paddled in Florida’s Miami, the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and the Potomac River right in the heart of the nation’s capital DC. Inside our home country, Slovenia, there probably isn’t a lake or stream we haven’t tried to paddle on. Nonetheless, we have some favorite spots. As far as scenery goes it’s hard to beat Lakes Bled and Bohinj, and when we want some white water thrills we sometimes even try traversing the river that nearly connects the two lakes. Weekend-long meetings and conferences are another great opportunity for the SipaBoards team to check out some awesome SUP spots in other countries. One of our first partners lived on Lake Ägeri in Switzerland and some of our first trips to contact potential retailers and SUP clubs were made with him. Conferences and trade fairs like Paddle Expo or Outdoor Retailer have seen us paddle Silbersee in Nuremberg or Lake Tahoe in Utah, while ISPO in Munich even had SipaBoards showing off in a slightly different water: an indoor pool! The Sipa team has certainly enjoyed, if you’ll pardon the pun, going with the flow. That’s only logical, of course, as self-inflating boards certainly make it a breeze to just pull over and hit the water whenever we drive past a lake or river. But SipaBoards themselves have an even bigger reach than the team itself, with customers sending us in awesome pics from their sessions on a regular basis.


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Paddleboarding In Italy: There’s Just No Better Way To Grab Your Coffee

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The coast of Slovenia is small and beautiful, so it’s the explorer in me that wants to travel beyond its borders. But as soon as you cross them, parking becomes a problem. If I could give you one advice for the future, never park downtown in Italy would be it. It can get crowded. It will get crowded.

Grado is one of those picturesque towns in Northern Italy you want to visit just for a caffe. However, getting there is tricky unless you’re creative. Perhaps there’s room for a bicycle in your car. Or you thought this one through really well, so you’re travelling with a paddleboard in a trunk. If so, you’d be travelling with style, just like me. Last time I visited Grado I did so with a paddleboard. I parked outside of town and avoided costs & crowds by taking somewhat unconventional route even for a coastal town. Unconventional was also the self-inflating paddleboard. While the sup was inflating I was able to put on sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat. There. I was ready to paddle. Arriving downtown on water is an adventure. There’s no better way to shoot a selfie, no better way to enjoy paddling and no better way to grab your coffee. Next time I’ll order caffe to go and paddle further. It’s so exciting.


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