Life Jackets, Foam Buoyancy Aids, and Flotation Air Belts: Understanding the Differences

When it comes to water safety, selecting the right personal flotation device (PFD) is essential. There are three main types of PFDs: life jackets, foam buoyancy aids, and flotation air belts. Each type has distinct features, advantages, and disadvantages, making them suitable for different activities and users. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these three types of PFDs to help you make an informed decision for your water-based activities.

Life Jackets

Life jackets are the most traditional and widely recognized type of PFD. They are designed to provide a high level of buoyancy and, most importantly, to keep the wearer’s head above water even when unconscious. Life jackets come in various styles, including inherently buoyant, inflatable, and hybrid designs. Inherently buoyant life jackets use foam or other buoyant materials, while inflatable life jackets use air chambers that inflate either automatically upon immersion or manually.


  • Keeps the wearer’s head above water, even if unconscious
  • Suitable for various water activities, including boating, fishing, and water skiing
  • Some models offer additional features like pockets, reflective tape, and whistle attachment points


  • Can be bulky and restrictive, impacting mobility and comfort
  • May not be the best option for activities requiring freedom of movement, such as kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding

Foam Buoyancy Aids

Foam buoyancy aids, also known as buoyancy vests, are designed to provide supplemental flotation while still allowing freedom of movement. They are commonly used for activities like kayaking, canoeing, and sailing. Foam buoyancy aids are made of lightweight foam and offer less buoyancy than life jackets, which means they may not be suitable for weak or non-swimmers.


  • Greater freedom of movement compared to life jackets
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Suitable for a range of water sports


  • Not designed to keep an unconscious wearer’s head above water
  • Less buoyancy than life jackets, making them unsuitable for weak or non-swimmers

Flotation Air Belts

Flotation air belts, or inflatable buoyancy belts, are waist-worn PFDs that provide a less bulky alternative to life jackets and foam buoyancy aids. They are popular among stand-up paddleboarders and other water sports enthusiasts who prefer minimal equipment. Flotation air belts typically use a gas canister to inflate an air bladder upon pulling a cord, providing instant buoyancy when needed.


  • Minimal bulk and maximum freedom of movement
  • Easy to use and comfortable to wear
  • Ideal for activities like stand-up paddleboarding and snorkeling


  • Not suitable for non-swimmers or weak swimmers, as they require manual inflation
  • May not keep an unconscious wearer’s head above water

Understanding the differences between life jackets, foam buoyancy aids, and flotation air belts is crucial for choosing the right PFD for your water-based activities. Consider your swimming ability, the type of activity, and your need for freedom of movement when selecting the appropriate PFD. Remember, safety should always be the top priority when engaging in water sports and activities.

Does Paddle Boarding Burn Calories?

Paddle boarding is an awesome way to stay active and burn calories. If you’re looking for a fun, effective way to help you burn calories and lose weight, then paddleboarding is the perfect choice!

Paddle Boarding Burns 400-700 Calories Per Hour!

From the intensity of your workouts to the amount of calories burned per hour, there are plenty of ways to maximise your calorie burn! I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be out on the water working our than in some sweaty, stuffy gym 🙂

Table of Contents:

Calories Burned Paddleboarding Every Hour

Paddle boarding can be a calorie-burning powerhouse, with up to 700 calories burned in an hour for those who really push themselves. That’s more than running or cycling at a moderate pace. Check out this Calories Burned Calculator for other activities.

The amount of calories burned while paddleboarding can vary based on body weight, intensity level and duration of activity. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds and paddleboard for 1 hour at a moderate intensity level, then you will likely burn around 500 calories during that time frame. If you weigh 200 pounds and push yourself harder with vigorous paddling, then the calorie count could be closer to 700 calories per hour.

Key To Burning
More Calories

1. Increase Intensity
2. Use Your Core Muscles
3. Use Interval Training
4. Add Resistance Training

The great thing about paddleboarding is that it engages both your upper body muscles as well as your core muscles which helps maximize calorie burning potential. Plus, there are numerous other advantages like enhanced equilibrium, dexterity, suppleness and strength – all of which help us stay fit as we age.

This is the bit that blows me away…when you compare the number of calories burned through different activities such as walking or jogging, paddle boarding has a massive advantage. At comparable speeds and intensity levels for similar lengths of time:

Walking – 100 to 200 calories per hour,
Jogging – up to 500 calories per hour,
Paddleboarding – a massive 400-700 calories per hour!

A great way to work out calories burned paddleboarding is by checking your heart rate and using this Heart Rate Based Calorie Burn Calculator, this’ll give you a more accurate number.

Calories Burned Paddleboarding
Heart Rate Based Calorie Burn Calculator

Looking at the figures it’s easy to see why Paddle boarding is a great way to burn calories and improve your overall fitness.

Maximise Your Calorie Burn

To maximise your SUP calorie burn, it’s important to understand fundamentals of paddle boarding and apply effective strategies during your workout:

1. Increase Intensity

Paddling at a faster pace or using more powerful strokes will help you burn more calories per hour than if you were paddling at a leisurely pace. Try varying your speed throughout your session and mixing up stroke types for maximum calorie burning potential.

2. Use Your Core Muscles

Using proper form when paddling can also increase calorie burn by engaging core muscles like abs, back, and shoulders as well as leg muscles like quads and glutes for added stability during turns and manoeuvres.

3. Utilise Interval Training

Doing short bursts of high-intensity intervals followed by brief rest periods can be very effective in boosting overall caloric expenditure from paddle boarding sessions – especially if you’re trying to lose weight and increase your cardio fitness quickly.

4. Incorporate Resistance Training

Adding resistance bands or weighted vests into your routine can help build strength while increasing heart rate for additional calorie burning benefits – just make sure not to overdo it.

Prior to hitting the water, make sure you’re adequately hydrated and fueled up; a snack with carbohydrates and protein will give you the energy boost needed for extended or intense sessions.

Paddle Boarding Workouts

Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced paddler, there are plenty of workouts that can help you maximise your calorie burn while having fun on the water.

One of the most popular paddle board workouts is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with periods of rest in between. For example:

Sprint for 30 seconds
Rest for 1 minute
Repeating the cycle 10 times.

Interval training helps increase your aerobic capacity as well as burning more calories than steady-state exercise like paddling at a moderate pace for an extended period of time.

My favourite workout combines strength and cardio exercises into one session. Try doing push-ups, sit-ups and squats on your paddleboard followed by a few minutes of paddling to give yourself a full body workout while enjoying some fresh air and sunshine!

If you want something less intense but still beneficial, yoga is another great option for paddle boarders looking to improve their balance and flexibility while getting some light exercise in too. Check out this blog post about SUP Yoga.

If all else fails there is always good old fashioned “paddling around”. Simply grab your board and go explore. Paddling around lakes or rivers gives you the opportunity to take in beautiful scenery while giving yourself some light physical activity at the same time – perfect if you want something low impact yet still rewarding after each session.

I found this research about the impact of Paddleboarding on Core Strength and Calories Burned Paddleboarding an eye opening read! It’s certainly motivated me to get out on my morning paddle!

Benefits of Paddle Boarding

Not only does it provide an excellent full-body workout, but it can also help you burn calories and enjoy the outdoors. Paddle boarding offers numerous advantages, such as an effective full-body workout, calorie burning potential, and the opportunity to enjoy nature.

1. Full-Body Workout

2. Low Impact Exercise

3. Calories Burned Per Hour

4. Stress Relief & Mental Health Benefits

Overall, paddle boarding provides an incredible full-body workout with minimal impact while still giving us time away from technology, work and stressful environments – all things necessary for maintaining physical and mental health in today’s world. So grab your board the next time you’re headed out onto open waters; who knows what kind of adventure awaits?

FAQs in Relation to Calories Burned Paddleboarding

Is paddleboarding a good way to Lose Weight?

Paddleboarding is an excellent way to lose weight. It provides a full body workout, as you use your arms and legs to paddle while engaging the core muscles for balance. Paddleboarding also increases heart rate, which helps burn calories more quickly. Additionally, it’s low impact on joints compared to other activities like running or biking makes it easier on the body and reduces fatigue levels during exercise. With regular practice of this sport, one can expect significant results in terms of weight loss over time.

Does paddle boarding burn more calories than kayaking?

Yes, paddle boarding burns more calories than kayaking. Research indicates that the average individual may expend up to 600 calories in an hour of paddle boarding, compared with a mere 300-400 for kayaking. This is due to the fact that when paddle boarding you are using your entire body and engaging in a full-body workout which requires significantly more energy expenditure than simply paddling with arms as you do when kayaking.

Does paddle boarding burn belly fat?

Paddle boarding is an excellent form of low-impact exercise that can help burn calories and fat, including belly fat. When paddle boarding regularly at a moderate to vigorous intensity level, it can contribute to weight loss and improved body composition. Yet, for the most successful reduction of abdominal fat, a combination of healthy dietary choices and consistent physical activity is essential.

Is SUP a full body workout?

Yes, SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) is a full body workout. It engages the core muscles to maintain balance and stability on the board while paddling with arms and legs in an alternating pattern. The cardiovascular benefits of SUP are also significant as it requires sustained effort over long distances or intervals. As well, there are added resistance training elements when navigating through choppy water or taking part in technical manoeuvres such as turns and pivots. With proper technique, SUP can be a great way to stay fit both mentally and physically.

The Best Paddle Boarding Shoes and Boots of 2023

I’ve found that choosing the best paddle boarding shoes is crucial for safety, comfort, and can enhance your performance.

The ideal shoes should feature slip-resistant soles, effective drainage, and a strong grip to safeguard from potential injuries and enhance performance.

While I prefer to paddle barefoot when I can, I’ll make sure that I wear shoes if the water is cold or if I know that I’ll be walking across rocks or stones. It’s easy to take shoes off if you change your mind when you’re paddling.

Round-up of the Best SUP Footwear

Top 6 Best Paddle Boarding Shoes and Boots

Let’s dive into the top 6 SUP shoes and boots for all preferences and needs.


Best All Round SUP Shoe

Best SUP Shoes - Red Paddle Co

– Extremely comfortable, like wearing trainers.
– Versatile, comfortable on any terrain, in the gym and other water sports.
– Good fit, quick drying and lightweight.

– Quite pricy, but I think they are worth the money!

Men’s Price
Women’s Price
The Red Paddle Co’s New Clarkes Water Shoes for paddle boarding bring great traction with its Mimic Grip technology and ROCK rubber pods, designed to grip both your board deck and challenging coastal terrains.
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These shoes feature a hydrodynamic sole, inspired by sharkskin, ensuring efficient water flow through and past the treads.

The Red Paddle Co. is embracing sustainable practices by incorporating Bio EVA, recycled rubber, and recycled polyester in the shoes.

The shoe has a supportive inner sock which is designed for barefoot wearing and keeps the shoe secure, even when wet.

With quick-drying, self-draining open mesh and a perforated footbed, these shoes ensure breathability and comfort.

They have a lightweight, flexible construction with minimal seams and a TPU welded skeleton.

These hybrid active outdoor shoes deliver superior comfort and lightweight breathability, also serving as a versatile summer cross-over trainer.

2. C-Skins Legend 5mm Zipped Round Toe Wetsuit Boots

Best For Cold Weather


– Thickness of the boots provides excellent warmth.
– Zippered design simplifies the process of putting on and taking off the boots.
– Flexible design and great sole grip.
– Good value for money.

– I couldn’t find any problems with this boot!

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The C-Skins Legend 5mm Zipped Round Toe Wetsuit Boots are designed to keep your feet cozy during your paddleboarding sessions.
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These boots are made from 5mm thick neoprene, with a multi-layer rubber reinforcement sole for excellent durability.

They feature a unique flex system in the arch and toe areas, improving comfort.

These boots are constructed from Free Flex neoprene material, with glued and blind stitched seams, ensuring a comfortable fit and longevity.

The zippered design makes them easy to put on and take off. These are the ideal boots for paddle boarders looking for warmth, comfort, and a tailored fit.

3. Astral Hiyak Water Shoe

Best For Grip

Best SUP Shoes - Astral Hiyak

– Excellent traction on slippery surfaces.
– Lightweight and dries well.
– Good fit with ankle protection.

– Higher price range.
– Velcro adjuster could be longer.

Check Price
Astral Hiyak Water Shoe, known for its quick-drying materials and thick rubber soles that provide excellent traction on slippery surfaces.
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Experience comfort, protection, and insulation in every paddle boarding adventure with the Astral Hiyak shoe, a top-tier choice for river enthusiasts.

Rather than using neoprene, Astral Hiyak incorporates an alternative material that not only keeps your feet warm but also offers a significantly lighter boot with superior durability. Facing the challenge of traversing slippery, uneven riverbanks? This shoe assures excellent grip and foot sole protection, keeping you confident and safe while navigating your route.

The Astral Hiyak prioritizes user-friendly design with an effortless lace fastening system. To enhance safety, the design includes a clever velcro strap that conceals the laces, lowering the risk of foot entrapment during your river and kayaking journeys.

This shoe has tons of Features:

  • Material: Constructed from 1000D Cordura® Nylon with added 1060D ballistic nylon reinforcement rand for increased durability.
  • Ankle Support: Offers high-top padded ankle protection with a semi-rigid heel cup.
  • Lining: Features 3mm quilted spacer mesh lining for comfort.
  • Fastening: Concealed laces with a protective Velcro Over-Flap.
  • Logos: Reflective detailing at the heel and tongue for added visibility.
  • Logos: Reflective detailing at the heel and tongue for added visibility.
  • Laces: Water-resistant laces for long-lasting durability.
  • Midsole: Comprises a removable, 7mm thick 45C closed cell EVA foam.
  • Outsole: Furnished with highest friction rubber including siping and drainage holes at the toe and heel. It’s non-marking and 3.5mm thick.
  • Foot to Ground Distance: 12 mm at the heel, 11 mm at the ball for an almost barefoot feeling.
  • Flexibility: Maximises foot flexibility for comfort and agility.
  • Weight per shoe: Light as a feather at 250g (8.82 oz.).


Best For Valve


– Great price for reasonable quality.
– Very grippy sole.
– Will keep your feet warm in summer months.
– Easy to get on and off.

– Basic, no frills…but that can also be a Pro!

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There’s not a lot to say about the ITIWIT SUP 1.5mm Neoprene shoes, they do exactly what they say on the tin!
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They have a simple design, of good quality for the price. The neoprene will provide a bit of warmth in summer months, but they aren’t suitable for winter.

The soles have a good soft rubber grip and the uppers are protected by extra rubber padding.

I would recommend a pair of these for every member of the family as they are a great deal and will help you to get started for a lower price.

5. SUOKENI Quick Drying Water Shoe

– Airy and comfortable.
– Good range of colours and nice looking shoe.
– Good fit with comfortable foam sole.

– Sand and Small Rocks Infiltration.
– Not Suitable for Long Walks due to holes in soles.

Men’s Price
Women’s Price
Experience optimum comfort with these quick-drying water shoes. Their open mesh upper and holed sole offer an all-around drainage system, promptly removing water and sweat, ensuring your feet remain dry and comfy
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These shoes boast a super lightweight, soft, and elastic sole that not only protects your feet but also boosts stability and comfort. They’re the ideal footwear for beach activities and water sports.

Key Features:

  • Outer Material: A blend of fabric and synthetic materials for durability and comfort.
  • Sole: Made of rubber, promising lasting use.
  • Closure: Features a lace-up design for a snug fit.
  • Heel Type: Crafted without a heel for a natural feel.
  • Shoe Width: Designed with a medium width to suit an array of women’s foot sizes.

The professional-grade anti-slip outsole provides superior traction, offering reliable grip even in aquatic environments. You can also trust these shoes for your daily walks, owing to their versatile design.

With excellent toe protection, these shoes can easily handle various conditions. Their full covering design evenly wraps your feet, providing a fit and protection superior to most other water shoes.

Best Budget-Friendly SUP Shoes

Paddleboarding can be an expensive hobby, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank when it comes to footwear.

To be honest, if you’re just looking for a light watersports shoe, then you can’t go far wrong by just searching Amazon. Here’s a link to the search results I found for SUP shoes:

Amazon – Water Shoes Barefoot

Here’s an example of a great looking watersports shoe, ideal for SUP!

When I checked Amazon it was selling at less than £20.

It’s got nearly 5000 ratings, with an average of 4.5 stars.

Check Price

Amazon – Padgene Barefoot Skin Water Shoes

Or, here’s a neat pair of wetsuit shoes.

These are great if you’re just looking for something to give your feet a bit of protection while you’re paddle boarding.

Currently on Amazon for less than £15!

Check Price

SUP Shoes: Features to Consider

Selecting the perfect pair of SUP shoes involves more than just picking a style that suits your taste. It’s essential to consider factors like:

  • Durability
  • Support
  • Traction
  • Insulation

If you’ve stepped in a puddle while out walking you’ll know how uncomfortable it is to have cold water sloshing around your feet, that’s why drainage holes are important in shoes.

Neoprene is a great material for SUP shoes because it will insulate your feet and protect you from the cold.

Wetsuit boots and shoes don’t have drainage holes as they work by trapping water next to your skin so it warms up.

Best Paddle Boarding Shoes

It’s a good idea to think about the type of closure system your Paddle Boarding Shoes have. Laces, Velcro straps, and elastic are all popular options for securing your shoes to your feet, but I think it’s more about personal preference.

If you’re buying wetsuit boots, I would recommend getting some with a zip to avoid struggling getting them on and off!

How to Properly Care for Your SUP Shoes

Here are some tips about SUP shoe care:

  1. After each use, rinse your SUP shoes with fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or debris. Salty shoes (and clothing) will take a lot longer to dry.
  2. Make sure shoes are dried thoroughly, remove laces and insoles and pull out the tongues. It can also help to stuff them with news paper.
  3. If your shoes take a while to dry, they might start to smell. Vinegar and bicarb of soda can help to reduce the odour.

Frequently Asked Questions

What shoes to wear stand up paddle boarding?

For the cold months, a Neoprene shoe or bootie is recommended for stand up paddle boarding. In the summer months, going barefoot may be more suitable; however, if you are launching your board in an area with rocks or sharp debris, shoes are a good idea.

Do you need water shoes to paddleboard?

For added convenience and safety, it is recommended to wear water shoes or sandals while paddleboarding. You can wear them while you launch and then take them off when you’re on the water and tuck them under the board’s bungees.

What materials are recommended for the uppers of SUP shoes?

Mesh, canvas, or neoprene are all recommended materials for the uppers of SUP shoes, providing good breathability, flexibility, and durability.

These materials are ideal for SUP shoes because they are lightweight, comfortable, and provide good grip on the board. They also offer protection from the elements and are easy to clean and maintain.

How important is insulation in cold weather paddle boarding shoes?

Insulation is essential for cold weather paddle boarding, providing warmth and protection for your feet during your sessions. Neoprene boots are your best bet, the water gets trapped between the neoprene and your foot so that it warms up and protects your feet.

Are slip-on SUP shoes suitable for all paddleboarding conditions?

Slip-on SUP shoes provide a comfortable and convenient option, however they may not provide the same level of traction and support as other options, making them less suitable for rougher paddling conditions.

A Beginner’s Easy Guide on How to Paddle Board

A Beginner’s Easy Guide on How to Paddle Board

Learning how to paddle board is easy, fun, and an ideal leisure activity for people of all ages who enjoy being on the water. The good news about a SUP paddle board experience is that anyone can learn how to get up on a standup paddle board after a brief practice session, even beginners or newcomers to water sports.

If you don’t already have a Paddle Board, then check out this article – What Size Paddle Board Do I Need.

Paddle boards are simple to handle, light, buoyant, and easy to steer. As you gain more experience as a Paddle Boarders you will be able to race, surf waves, or run river rapids.

Once up and cruising, it’s possible to immediately start enjoying leisurely long-distance touring, picnicking, fishing, sunset views, voyaging with your kids or favourite pet, and even practising yoga and other strength-building exercises on your SUP.

In this article, we’ll explain in simple terms how to paddle board, starting with six tips for learners, followed by a brief introduction to the parts of a SUP paddle board. And finally, how to stand up, balance and use the paddle correctly. Continue reading to discover how to cruise smoothly along a lovely quiet waterway or across a gorgeous bay like an expert – let’s take the paddle board plunge together!

6 Tips for SUP Paddle Board Beginners:

1. Head for Tranquil Waters

The best bet for SUP paddle board newbies is to start on calm water, for example, a quiet lake, restful farm dam, meandering river, or maybe even a sparkling turquoise lagoon in a tropical holiday setting. Avoid beaches with surf, waves, or currents. Restful water is essential for a beginner learning to get their balance.

2. Select a Quiet Area

Choose a protected environment to start learning, preferably a quiet and remote place with no wind. It’s best to have plenty of space to practise, especially on the first attempt, so be sure there’s a large area on the water where it’s possible to manoeuvre and turn wide circles, making the accidental mistake. Learning how to stand up on a paddle board on a busy lake or off beaches packed with tourists, surfers, kiteboarders, and swimmers may prove hazardous. And it’s easier to relax and concentrate when no one is watching.

3. Find a Suitable Starting Depth

The next step is to find a good entry point where the water is at least 20 – 30 inches deep and suitable for floating on a paddle board before attempting to kneel and then standing up on it. Choose a spot where it’s easy to launch a SUP, bearing in mind that they are bulky, although very lightweight. Ensure the water has easy access with low banks or a beach, so there’s no trouble getting in or out.

4. Check for Obstacles in the Water

Scan the area for obstructions, like boats, floating pontoons, rocks, sandbanks, logs, piers, fishing nets, or other water revellers – before entering with the paddleboard. Make a note of areas to avoid and decide where you will travel once upon the board – planning keeps you safe.

5. Pack a Mobile Phone and Sun Protection

It’s a good idea to take a mobile phone in case you get stuck on a far bank or the other side of a sweeping bay and need to call for a ride back to base. Just pop it in a waterproof case and have it on a lanyard around your neck or in your dry bag that you can attach securely to the SUP paddle board.

Let a friend know where you are and what you’re planning – so if anything happens, like getting stuck miles down a river, they know where to find you. Ensure you have adequate sunblock, a hat, a T-shirt, a towel, and maybe even a dry carry bag with water and snacks. There’s plenty of space on SUPs, enough for a couple, a picnic basket, a small backpack – and even the family dog. Check out this article on how to Avoid Sunburn While Paddle Boarding.

Getting to Know Your SUP

Paddle boards are usually between 10 to 12 feet long (3-3.5 meters) and weigh 15 to 30 pounds (7-14kgs). Check out our guide to getting the right paddle board for your needs. Inflatable or epoxy fibreglass models are medium-weight, commonly found, and moderately priced, both excellent choices for beginners learning how to stand up, paddle, and balance for the first time. Carbon boards are the lightest but more costly and thus recommended for more advanced boarders.

How to Paddle Board

SUP Deck and Handle Well

The surface of a SUP paddle board is called the deck and should have a non-slip material covering the rear seating, kneeling, or standing area. Choose a light-coloured matting if possible because it will reflect the sun’s heat better – and feel cooler to the touch. The front part of the deck is the nose, and the back end is called the tail. Right in the middle of the deck is the handle well (or carry handle), used to attach a carry strap for transport.

SUP Rails, D-Rings, and Leash

The sides of the board are the rails – they are slightly raised and curved for a better grip. SUPs have D-rings attached to the inside of the rails to connect portable seats – and one at the tail for the leash. The leash attaches via velcro straps to your ankle and should stay attached to avoid the board drifting away and getting lost – in the unlikely case of capsizing. The straps of a portable seat attach just behind the carry handle for a solo and in front of it for a passenger, pet or camera, scuba diving, or fishing equipment.

SUP Fins

Fins are blade-like plastic objects which clip onto the base of the paddleboard and protrude into the water. There may be one, or two fins beneath the board, lending it stability in the water and aiding your balance. Remember to clip them on before you set out.

How to hold a SUP Paddle

Check out our quick YouTube guide on how to hold your paddle boarding paddle…

Have a look at our YouTube Channel for more How To Videos!

Hold the paddle in one hand upright with the end planted on the ground – and the blade pointed straight in the air. Reach up with the other hand and adjust the paddle blade so that the tip fits into your cupped fingers – this is the optimal length for your body height.

How to Get Up on a Stand Up Paddle Board

Now that you’re familiar with SUPs, it’s time to get out on the water. Here’s how to do it.

Step One: Kneel on Deck

Stand to one side of the board, which should be gently stable on a calm surface, and place one foot on the board. Attach the leash, then kneel on the SUP with a knee on either side of the carry handle, resulting in your body weight bearing slightly to the rear of the middle, just forward of the tail. Always kneel for launch and entry because it’s easier to control the board in this position.

Step Two: Move to a Safe Zone

Hold the paddle with one hand on the middle of the shaft and the other near the blade and move out to a safe zone in deeper water before trying to stand.

Step Three: Stand Up Slowly

Once in a safe area, a bit out from shore, you’re ready to stand on the sup paddleboard. Grip the paddle horizontally with both hands about a foot from its centre, then lower it, placing your knuckles on the deck. Bring your leading foot, then the second, to a knees-half-bent position and straighten up slowly, keeping eyes forward, the paddle blade in the water, and a slight bend in the knees. You’re up, and it’s time to start moving forward in a straight direction.

How to Paddle a Stand Up Paddle Board

Hold the paddle with the hand nearest the fin in the middle and the other firmly gripping the top of the shaft. Lift the paddle and dip it into the water near the nose. Keeping it underwater, sweep the blade firmly along the rail towards the tail in one smooth movement, only lifting it once it has completed the length of the deck. Raise the paddle once again and repeat this movement three to four times.

How to Balance on a Stand Up Paddle Board

The SUP paddleboard will move directly forward for a while after a few strokes … and it’s okay to raise the paddle and let it drift while finding your balance. Keep your knees slightly bent and your eyes focused on where you want to go. Make sure you’re standing just behind the carry well with feet equidistant from the centre of the board.

Keep a straight back and evenly weighted feet on slightly bent knees. Balance comes quickly with practice. If you feel uncomfortable or the wind blows too strongly, return to a kneeling position to regain control.

Changing Sides

After a few strokes on one side, the board will veer in that direction, so it’s time to change sides. Slide the hand that grips the handle down to meet the one in the middle. Then, once you’ve got a firm grip, swing the paddle over to the other side, and move the second hand to the top of the shaft. Take three to four more firm forward strokes and let the board drift.

Turning Around on a SUP

To turn slowly, dip the paddle into the water at the nose. Instead of bringing it back in a straight line along the side of the rail, move it outwards and back to the tail in a wide semi-circle. Here’s a video to demonstrate:

To turn more rapidly, called a Step Back Turn, plunge the paddle in at the tail – and swing an arc towards the nose, keeping the blade below the surface. Here’s a video to demonstrate:

Congratulations! You’ve got the basics of learning how to paddle board, and now practical experience is all you need. We hope you have a fabulous time out on the water, getting your balance and trying out various manoeuvres on

SUP Pumps

What is the Best Pump for Your Inflatable Paddle Board?
While a lot of inflatable paddle boards come with pumps as part of a package deal, the truth is that those pumps are usually not the best quality. Don’t get me wrong – they get the job done and if you’re new to SUP, then buying a package with a cheap pump included is a good entry point into the sport. But there’s a reason that the higher quality boards don’t come with pumps and why you should think about upgrading your cheap pump with a more high quality one. Not sure which model you need? Or if you should go with an electric or hand pump model? Don’t worry, we’ll give you some tips and our recommended pumps.

Benefits of a Good SUP Pump

When you’re taking that iSUP out on the water, the most important thing is that you get that board properly inflated. If you don’t, then your session out on the water won’t be a fun one. You need a quality pump that gets you to the needed PSI – and that doesn’t take you forever to actually get the board inflated.

The best pumps have two inflation settings – high pressure and low pressure. This is the best way to make sure you get your board aired up to the correct PSI level.

And a good quality electric pump should have a pressure gauge on it to help you make sure that you don’t end up over-inflating your board.

Hand Pump vs Electric SUP Pump

Each type of pump for you inflatable stand up paddle board has is benefits. As expected, the hand pump models tend to be cheaper to buy. And the electric models are easier to operated and quicker to fill the board. However, you have to be careful when using an electric pump so that you don’t accidentally over-inflate the board

You don’t have to worry so much about over-inflating it when you’re using a SUP hand pump, but it gets really difficult to get those last few bits of air into the board when you’re doing it by hand. It takes a bit of strength to use a hand pump to inflate the board, so you need to decide if you really want to fatigue your arm like that before you head out on the water. Also consider that it will take longer to inflate by hand – at least a good 12 minutes on average if you’re not used doing it. Of course, you can use a hand pump anywhere at any time since all you need is your own strength.

Some manual SUP pumps are foot pumps – you may even have used one like this with a inflatable kayak. These are easier to use than hand pumps during initial inflation because they’re not as hard on your back while you’re using them. However, we notice a foot pump becomes more of a challenge to use with an iSUP as you try to get it to the max PSI level needed. So, you’ll find that you end up needing to switch to another pump to top off the air and reach the required PSI level.

One word of caution though – once you start using an electric pump, it will spoil you and you’ll never want to go back to using a hand pump for your iSUP!

K-Pump K20 HP SUP & Kayak Pump Review

If you’re looking for a good SUP pump that is compact, and portable so that you can take it anywhere – and that is easy to use, then look no further than the K-Pump K20 HP pump.

It has a decent mid-level budget compared to the other pumps on our list above. And it works well and is reliable each and every time.

Hands down, this is the best SUP hand pump on the market right now.

The K-Pump K20 HP is a two-stand pump – with stage one for volume, and the second stage for high pressure. It is very easy to use, and if you’re using an electric pump for your stage one, the J-Pump K20 HP is the perfect top-off pump to get your board to those final PSIs that you need.

The K-Pump 20 HP is perfect for SUP boards and other smaller drop-stitch crafts that require high inflation pressure for best performance.
The high-volume mode lets you quickly bring your board up to shape, easily reaching 6 psi.
Then, with a simple twist of the wrist you switch to the high pressure mode, where you can achieve up to 25 psi.
The K-20 HP weighs in at a mere 2 lbs. and is 21 inches long.
There’s an adapter for Leafield valves and a universal adapter that fits Halkey-Roberts and most other boat valves.
Ergonomic design is comfortable to use, even with extended use.
Efficiently operated by one person. No hoses to kink and pull out.
Rugged construction is backed by an unlimited 2-year warranty.
Made in USA.
All K-Pumps float!
NOTE This pump comes with a check valve which allows you to use it to inflate military valves and other valves that don’t have a one-way plunger-type system.

BTP Mano Two Stage Electric Turbo Pump Review

The BTP Mano Two Stage Electric Turbo Pump is suitable for Inflatable Kayaks and Paddle Boards. The first thing that you need to know about this pump is that there is a single-stage model, the Bravo BP12 Single Stage Electric Pump for Inflatable SUPs, Kayaks and Boats. The BP21 is cheaper, but you really should spend a little extra for the BTP Mano since it is a two-stage pump because it will be a much better experience for you. Overall, we think this is the best SUP electric pump on the market right now.

One thing to keep in mind is that this pump only goes to 14.5 PSI, which is fine because you really should be topping off to those final PSIs with a good hand pump, like the K-Pump 20 HP so that you don’t accidentally over-fill the board with air.

Also note that you can buy the BTP two stage electric turbo pump with battery or without – just know that without a battery means that you’ve got alligator clips you gotta attach to your car battery to power this thing. The nice thing about the battery is that you can then inflate the board anywhere. A full charge on the battery lets you inflate the board several times.

It is noisy when in use, but it works fairly quickly to inflate a paddle board. Just use the stage one setting (which is not as loud) to initially fill the board. Once it starts to take shape, switch to the louder stage two to finish off up to 14.5 PSI.

(Stage 1) Low pressure/high volume turbine blower.
(Stage 2) High pressure piston for higher PSI.
For products with high air volume requirements. Inflates up to 14.5 psi in minutes
Included: 102″ (8’6″) cable w/alligator clips, 72″ (6′) inflation hose, Common valve adapters / 12 volt battery not included. / Does not plug into wall outlets. Cannot plug into a car cigarette lighter / Weighs: 5.5 lbs. Dimensions: 12″ x 4″ x 6″
Stops automatically when selected pressure is reached. With a full battery charge, you can easily inflate large inflatable boats several times over

How To Use A Pump With Your iSUP

Using your electric or hand pump to air up your inflatable stand up paddle board is really quite simple. If you’ve ever aired up a tire, then you’ll find it to be somewhat similar. Here are the basic steps that you need to take – just keep in mind that each pump is slightly different, so be sure to read the manufacturer instructions before first use

Roll out your iSUP on a flat surface.
Attach one end of the gauge to the hose and the other end to the pump. Make sure that the connections are tight and secure so that you don’t suffer any air loss.
Remove the protective cap from the valve and get rid of any debris that you see.
Attach the valve by pushing it down on the nib and then giving it a turn clockwise to ensure a proper seal.
Straighten the hose to make sure there are no kinks or tangles and then begin use by pumping with both of your hands on a manual pump or connecting the electric pump to a power source and then powering it on.
Inflate to the max PSI for your board – if using an electric pump, the pump’s max will likely not get you to the proper PSI and you’ll need to finish off with a hand pump.
When done, quickly remove the hose from the iSUP and attach the protective cap. Being as quick as possible reduces air loss.

5 Reasons Why You Need to SUP For Your Health

Stand up paddle boarding for your health has increased in popularity since COVID regulations restricted the use of indoor facilities and almost forced us to start exploring more outdoor activities. Paddle Boarding is not just a fun activity, it also has a wealth of health benefits. Here are five health benefits of stand up paddle boarding in more detail.

Improves Balance

Balance is so important for general health and well-being, particularly as we age. Stand up paddle boarding improves balance in a few different ways.

SUP For Your Health
Paddling requires the use of core muscles to maintain balance. This improves core strength and stability and has a positive impact on balance.
Standing on a moving board and attempting to maintain balance while paddling can also help to improve ‘proprioception’ – the body’s ability to sense its position in space. This can help combat aging.

Improves Strength

Stand up paddle boarding is a full-body workout that engages a variety of muscle groups, including the core, upper body, and lower body.

As you stretch forward to start your paddle stroke, your core engages and you use upper body and leg muscles to transfer the catch of the paddle through your body to the board.

When your body twists and turns, your abs and obliques are forced to contract and lengthen. As you continue to move, your glutes, quads, and hamstrings will work overtime to keep you and your board moving through the water. So what muscles does paddle boarding work?

Core Strength

One of the key muscle groups that is targeted during stand up paddle boarding is the core. The act of paddling requires the use of the core muscles to maintain balance and stability on the board.

Is sup good for your back? These muscles, including the abdominal and back muscles, are constantly engaged as you paddle, helping to strengthen and tone them over time.

Here’s more information on why it’s important to maintain good core stability.

SUP For Your Health

Upper Body Strength

The upper body muscles are also heavily utilised during stand up paddle boarding. The chest, back, and shoulder muscles are all engaged as you use the paddle to propel yourself forward.

SUP For Your Health

Leg and Glut Strength

The leg muscles are also used during stand up paddle boarding, particularly when adjusting your balance and stance on the board. Standing on the board and paddling requires the use of the quadriceps, calves, and gluteal muscles, helping to strengthen and tone them as well.

SUP For Your Health

Stress Reduction

The act of stand up paddle boarding itself can be very relaxing and calming, as it requires focus and attention to balance and move. This helps to engage the mind and improve mindfulness, helping to clear the mind and reduce stress.

Being out on the water, surrounded by nature is a calming and peaceful experience. The sights and sounds of the water can help to relax the mind and distract from daily stresses.

SUP For Your Health

Paddle Boarding with friends and family also contributes to stress reduction by improving social connections and support systems. Strong social connections have been linked to lower stress levels and improved mental well-being.

Improves Heart Health

Paddling on a stand up paddle board requires the use of multiple muscle groups and gets the heart pumping, increasing cardiovascular endurance and improving heart health.

Regular physical activity has been shown to have a variety of benefits for heart health, including improving blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and insulin sensitivity. Stand up paddle boarding is a great way of introducing physical activity while being in full control of your level of effort and intensity.

Helps With Weight Control – Calories Burned Paddleboarding…

Stand up paddle boarding is a high-energy activity that can help to burn calories and boost metabolism. Depending on intensity level, you’re likely to burn between 340 – 460 calories per hour while stand up paddle boarding.

Stand up paddle boarding is a low-impact sport, which means that it places less strain on the joints and muscles than activities such as running or cycling. This can make it an excellent option for people looking to stay active and burn calories, while minimising the risk of injury.

How To SUP Yoga

Here’s a video showing you some basic Yoga moves to get started. Or check out our post on SUP Yoga and Meditation.

SUP Yoga tips

SUP for your health!