Paddleboarding picks up popularity

  • Thursday, August 14, 2014

Erica Plowden/For South Strand News Jonathan and Amy Dubois of New Hampshire enjoy paddleboarding on their Garden City vacation.

From the islands of Hawaii to the local inlet and ocean, there is a new water sport gaining popularity.

Hawaii natives first used paddleboarding as a way to see the surf for the day.

Kneeling paddleboarding is performed by kneeling on the board while using a paddle to propel through the water. Stand up paddleboarding is done the same way while standing.

Charleston tourists and locals have favored stand up and kneeling paddleboarding for quite some time.

An interest in paddling has brought the surface water sport up the coast and to the area.

It has gained attention here in Georgetown and Horry Counties in the past two years.

The water sport can be done on the inlet, ocean, rivers, and lakes, making it perfect for the two counties.

Paddling blends surfing and kayaking into one, but there is no need for waves, like surfing.

The World Paddle Association (WPA), offers information on paddling competitions, lessons, and events.

However, there is still debate as to whether paddling is a sport, or just an activity.

“Both. It’s a sport and an activity,” said Captain Shawn Clark, paddling instructor for H2O Adventure Tours.

Paddlers race and have competitions for sport. Stand up paddling and kneeling paddleboarding can be an activity to enjoy with others, or for a workout.

This sporting activity can also be used as a good workout. Clark suggests just a mile of this “head to toe” work out is equivalent to approximately 30 to 40 minutes at the gym. This full-body workout combines cardio and core strength, while maintaining flexibility and balance.

A short paddling session may be more than worth it, given no one falls off their board... .

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