Oregon Paddle Boarding
In the last few years paddle boarding has exploded in popularity. Paddle boarding is a dynamic sport that involves an extra large surf board and a paddle. Instead of riding the surfboard on your stomach, the user instead stands up or kneels to catch waves. This allows people to stay almost entirely out of the water. In my local area I have started to see people paddle board in the ocean, rivers, and lakes. Another big benefit is the fact that just about anyone can learn to paddle board quickly and easily unlike surfing. In fact, surfing can take multiple years to get good at while paddle boarding can be learned in one short session on a lake. Plus, the risk of getting injured is much lower than other water sports. I recently took a trip to Santa Barbra California to explore the area and play in the ocean. The swell in Santa Barbra is blocked by the Channel Islands so they don’t get very many waves breaking on the beach so people paddle board instead of surf. I decided to give the sport a try so I rented gear at the local harbor. I then took off on my paddle board out of the harbor and into the ocean. The air was a warm 80 degrees and the water was in the low 60’s. As a longtime surfer, I was amazed at how easy it was to learn paddle boarding and I found myself causing along like a longtime pro within a few minutes. I was able to quickly pick up speed in the calm harbor and make my way towards the ocean. When I was tired of paddling I sat down on my board and enjoyed the sun. After taking a long rest and soaking up some sun rays I made my way back towards the harbor mouth. I was blown away by how fast I could move down the ocean especially when the water is clam and glassy. There are a variety of different board lengths to chose from depending on where you are going. For the newbie, you can get a 10 foot board that’s perfect for cruising flat surfaces like lakes, harbors, and calm rivers. More experienced riders will ride slightly smaller boards when they cruise down rivers and streams so they have more control. As riders get more advanced they usually start riding waves in the ocean with their boards. These type of boards different dramatically and are usually shorter and more streamlined. Instead of being thin like a surfboard these paddle boards are short but with plenty of volume and foam. Riding in the ocean with a paddle board can be fun because your able to catch waves that surfers can’t because of your larger board and paddle. Unfortunately, riding in the ocean comes with a certain degree of risk and danger because you have to deal with a very heavy board and paddle when you crash on a wave. Overall, paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. These unique board designs allow riders to access shallow waterways and canals that otherwise couldn’t be accessed by boat or jet ski. I fully expect the surge in popularity to continue as more people discover the sport.