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How to paddle on the ocean

Stand up paddleboarding, or SUP, is a water activity that involves moving upright on a board using a paddle. Paddle boarding can be practiced on different bodies of water, but the ocean offers a unique and enriching experience. Whether it’s to enjoy the landscape, the marine fauna, the waves or the wind, paddle boarding on the ocean is a complete activity that solicits the body and mind. But how do you paddle on the ocean safely and with fun? Here are some tips, techniques and recommendations to help you get started on this journey.

Advantages and benefits of paddle boarding

Paddle boarding is a sport accessible to everyone, regardless of level or age. It has many advantages and benefits, both physically and mentally:

  • It strengthens the muscles of the back, arms, shoulders, abdominals and legs, working the entire muscle chain.
  • It improves balance, coordination and proprioception, by engaging the stabilizing muscles and the vestibular system.
  • It promotes blood circulation, lymphatic drainage and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, increasing heart and respiratory rate.
  • It reduces stress and anxiety, releasing endorphins and providing a feeling of well-being.
  • It stimulates focus, creativity and self-confidence, challenging coping and problem-solving skills.
  • It allows you to reconnect with nature, yourself and others, offering a moment of escape and sharing.

Preparation and equipment needed for a paddle session on the ocean

Before going paddle boarding on the ocean, you need to prepare yourself properly and equip yourself with the right equipment. Here are the essential things to check before you get in the water:

1. The weather for stand-up paddleboarding on the ocean

Check the weather forecast for wind, waves, tides, air and water temperature. Choose conditions that suit your level and goal. Avoid stormy, foggy or heavy swell days. To start, we advise you to choose a day when the wind is very light and there are no waves. This way, it will be easier for you to find your feet and have fun. 

2. Regulations for paddle boarding in the ocean

Find out about the navigation and safety rules in force at the spot you have chosen. Respect the permitted areas, priorities, distances and instructions of local authorities. Do not sail beyond 300 meters from the shore if your board is less than 3.50 meters in length.

3. The paddle board for navigating the ocean

Choose a board adapted to your size, your level and the type of practice you want to do. There are rigid or inflatable boards, more or less wide, long or thick. In general, the wider, longer and thicker the board, the more stable and easier it is to handle. The narrower, shorter and thinner it is, the faster and more responsive it is. If you want a paddle board that is easy to transport to the sea, we recommend an inflatable stand-up paddle board. Lightweight and space-saving, inflatable boards offer excellent glide, as long as they are of high quality.

4. Paddle and leash

Choose a paddle that suits your size, board, and paddling style. There are fixed or adjustable paddles, made of aluminum, fiberglass or carbon. In general, the lighter, stiffer and more ergonomic the paddle, the better and more comfortable it is. The ideal length of a paddle is about 15 to 20 centimeters above your head.

The leash , on the other hand, is a cord that connects your ankle to your board. It is mandatory to paddle on the ocean. It ensures that you don’t lose your board in the event of a fall or strong wind. Choose a solid leash that is adapted to the sailing conditions.

5. The vest and wetsuit for stand-up paddleboarding

The vest is a piece of safety equipment that helps you float in case of immersion. It is recommended for paddleboarding on the ocean, especially if you are not comfortable in the water or if you are sailing far from the shore. There are life jackets or buoyancy aid vests, more or less thick and bulky depending on the level of buoyancy. Choose a comfortable, approved vest.

You can also wear a jumpsuit. It is a garment that protects you from the cold, the sun and friction. It is advisable to wear a wetsuit when paddleboarding on the ocean, especially if the water is cold or if you plan to stay on the water for a long time. There are full-body suits or shorties, more or less thick and flexible depending on the temperature of the water.

6. Accessories for paddle boarding in the ocean

There are other accessories that can be useful for paddleboarding on the ocean, such as a waterproof bag or bottle, a GPS watch, an on-board camera, a windbreaker, a cap, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. Choose the accessories according to your needs and desires.

Basic Techniques for Paddling and Moving Efficiently

To paddle on the ocean, you need to master the basic techniques to paddle and move efficiently. Here are the main points to know:

Conseils pour choisir sa pagaie de paddle
  • Position: To paddle properly, you need to adopt a stable and dynamic position on the board. Place your feet parallel to the width of the board, about shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight. Look ahead, not your feet.
  • Grip: to hold the paddle correctly, you need to follow a few simple rules. Place one hand on the handle and the other on the handle. The blade should be facing forward, i.e. towards the nose of the board. Change hands every time you change the side of the train.
  • The paddle stroke: To give an effective paddle stroke, you have to follow three phases: sinking, pulling and returning. Push the blade into the water in front of you, as far as possible without losing your balance. Pull the blade towards you, keeping your arm straight and using the strength of your trunk. Take the blade out of the water at foot level and bring it back in front of you by passing it over the water.
  • Changing direction: To change direction with your board, there are several possible techniques. The easiest way is to increase the paddle frequency on one side to turn the board on the opposite side. For example, to turn right, row to the left more often. You can also use your paddle as a rudder by placing it perpendicular to the back of the board on the side you want to turn.

Paddle board safety: essential rules and precautions to take

Comment faire du paddle dans l'océan

Paddleboarding on the ocean is not without risk. Therefore, there are a few essential rules to follow and take certain precautions to avoid accidents and incidents. Here are the main tips to follow:

  • Never go alone: paddle with at least one other rider or let someone know about your outing, route and expected return time.
  • Always wear a leash: Attach your ankle to your board with a leash so you don’t lose it in case of a fall or strong wind. The leash can be a lifesaver if you’re far from shore or tired.
  • Put on a vest: To help you stay on the surface in case of immersion, it is advisable to wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid vest. The vest can protect you from drowning if you lose consciousness or suffer from cramps.
  • Follow the navigation rules: it is essential to respect the navigation and safety rules in force on the spot you have chosen. Respect the authorized zones, the priorities, the distances and the instructions of the local authorities to navigate with peace of mind. Also, don’t stray more than 300 meters from the shore

Experimenting with the waves while paddleboarding on the ocean: surfing techniques

If you’re in the mood for thrills and pure gliding, you can try paddle surfing on the ocean. This discipline consists of surfing standing on a wave with the help of a paddle. Unlike traditional surfing, paddle surfing is more affordable for beginners, as there is no need to get up on the board. All you have to do is anticipate the breaking of the wave and accompany its movement with the paddle.

Faire du SUP foil dans les vagues

The SUP foil: a sensational variant

If you want even more thrills, you can try sup foil, a variant of paddle surfing that uses a board equipped with an underwater wing-shaped fin. The sup foil allows you to fly above the water and surf smaller or softer waves. However, it requires more technique and balance than classic paddle surfing. It’s all about surfing the waves on a paddle but with a foil under the board that allows you to fly above the water. 

Tips for choosing the right spot and the best conditions for paddleboarding on the ocean

To paddle on the ocean, you need to choose a spot adapted to your level and your goal. There are paddle spots for all tastes, whether it’s for a leisurely walk, a sporty hike or surfing.

Here are some tips for choosing the right spot and the best conditions for paddle boarding on the ocean:

  1. Check the weather forecast: check the wind, waves, tides, air and water temperatures. Choose conditions that suit your level and goal. Avoid stormy, foggy or heavy swell days.
  2. Find out about the regulations: find out about the navigation and safety rules in force on the spot you have chosen. Respect the permitted areas, priorities, distances and instructions of local authorities. Do not sail more than 300 meters from the shore (if your board is less than 3.50 meters in length).
  3. Choose a spot adapted to your practice: depending on whether you want to do paddle walking, paddle hiking or paddle surfing, you will not choose the same type of spot. For paddle boarding, choose calm and sheltered bodies of water, such as bays, lagoons or estuaries. For paddle touring, opt for more open and varied bodies of water, such as rocky coasts, islands or capes. To paddle surf, look for wave spots adapted to your level, neither too big nor too small.
  4. Respect the environment: be careful not to disturb the marine fauna and flora during your paddle outing. Avoid protected areas, such as nature reserves or marine areas. Don’t leave trash behind and don’t pick up shells or corals.

Training and exercises to improve your practice

Paddle boarding on the ocean is a complete activity that engages the body and mind. To progress and take full advantage of this experience, it is important to train regularly and do specific exercises.

Faire des exercices sur un stand up paddle
  • Warm-up: Before you get in the water, it’s essential to warm up your muscles and joints. Get a few minutes of cardio to get your heart rate and breathing up. Then, do dynamic stretches (rotations of the arms, shoulders, hips) to soften your muscles and prevent injury.
 
  • Muscle strengthening: To improve your strength and endurance, you can do muscle-strengthening exercises on the board or on the floor. For example, you can do push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, or burpees. This will allow you to use the muscles of the back, arms, shoulders, abdominals and legs, which are essential for paddle boarding.
  • Balance work: To improve your balance and stability, you can do exercises that will throw you off balance and force you to use your stabilizing muscles. For example, you can paddle on one leg, change positions on the board, make sharp turns, or switch from sitting to standing.
  • Technique work: to improve your paddling and surfing technique, you can do exercises that will help you optimize your gestures and efficiency. For example, you can work on the cadence and power of your paddle strokes, the trajectory and orientation of your board, timing and placement on the wave, or speed and direction control. These exercises will allow you to gain fluidity and precision.

Paddle boarding on the ocean is a water activity that offers many advantages and benefits. Whether it’s to enjoy the landscape, the marine fauna, the waves or the wind, paddle boarding on the ocean is a complete activity that solicits the body and mind. But how do you paddle on the ocean safely and with fun? You need to prepare properly and equip yourself with the right equipment. You also need to master the basic techniques to paddle and move efficiently. Finally, it is necessary to respect the essential rules and take certain precautions to avoid accidents and incidents. If you follow these tips, techniques and recommendations, you will be able to embark on this adventure with confidence and serenity.

If you still have questions about this, or for any other request, please do not hesitate to contact us !

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