Up a Creek Without A Boat
June 25th, 2018 by Curtis Condon

Paddleboarding is boating for the minimalist. The basic equipment includes what amounts to an oversized surfboard and a single-blade paddle. Even so, a good, basic board and paddle combo can cost several hundred dollars.
© iStock/kzenon

Back in the day, they didn’t have a name for paddling a log or slab of wood down the creek. Kids just did it. Today, they call it paddleboarding.

Standup paddleboarding is the fastest-growing outdoor activity in the U.S., according to The Outdoor Foundation. Its annual surveys show the participation rate has increased by an average of more than 20 percent in each of the past three years.

Two benefits of paddleboarding are balance and core-strength development. It’s also an ideal hot-weather activity, especially for beginners who may spend as much time in the water as on the board.

Here are four things to consider if you think paddleboarding could be in your future:

  • Learn from experience. First-timers should consider taking lessons or accompanying an experienced paddleboarder.
  • Rent or borrow first. There’s not much equipment involved, but it can be expensive. Give the sport a try before spending several hundred dollars on a board and paddle.
  • Seek calm water. Learning to paddleboard in calm conditions is hard enough, so avoid breezy days and choppy water caused by wind and boat traffic.
  • Expect to fall. Few people can hop on a board and paddle away the first time. Like any other activity that requires balance, coordination and core strength, it takes time to learn. That means taking some falls in the process. Set your expectations accordingly.


App of the Month
Paddle Logger is perfect for paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking. The app features a GPS tracking and plotting feature, overhead trip view and trip summary. Summary details include date, time, distance, duration, pace, and average and maximum speeds. You also can take photos along the way and “pin” them to trip waypoints in the digital logbook. Paddle Logger is available for Apple devices only for $3.99


Two Tips to Keep Your Cool

  • Ice cubes are the best all-around choice for use in the cooler. Cubes last longer than crushed ice and provide more contact with contents than block ice.
  • Cooler management is key to keeping things cool: Keep it full, keep it closed and keep it in the shade.


Mosquitoes Hate a Breeze
It is difficult for mosquitoes to fly in almost any kind of wind. Most species are weak fliers. Even a modest breeze—1 to 2 mph—is enough to ground many of these pests. Lesson learned: The wind is your friend for summer outdoor activities.


What’s Special About July?

  • National Picnic Month
  • Capture the Sunset Week (July 15-21)
  • July 16, World Snake Day
  • July 22, Hammock Day

Got a Tip or a Whopper?
Send us your favorite outdoor tip, photo or story. If selected for publication, we will send you $25 for one-time use. Tell us the story behind the picture, and remember to identify people and pets. Email your submission to moc.stnerrucadirolfnull@ofni.

Many of Curtis Condon’s fondest memories involve outdoor adventures with friends and family, whether fishing with old school buddies, backpacking in the mountains of the Northwest with his sons, or bird-watching along the Gulf Coast with his wife. He feels fortunate having the opportunity to write about the outdoors and other subjects for more than 30 years.