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Land paddling for all round SUP progression.

A few years back land paddling was proving to be fairly popular but of late it’s tailed off a little. Essentially land paddling is using a pole/stick to propel yourself forwards on a longboards style skateboard. There’s much similarity between this and on water stand up paddling and it’s a good way to help develop that essential muscly memory.

Using a skateboard of any kind is sometimes frowned upon by older generations. There does seem to be a stigma attached. Add a ‘stick’ and self conscious types may not even give land paddling a second gland. Yet it can be extremely beneficial for riders looking to develop their skills – especially if you’re aiming to learn how to carve effectively whilst using a paddle to enhance this (think SUP surfing).

We’ve talked a lot on the McConks blog about how to cope and deal with stand up paddle boarding in wind. Another way to combat the breeze is to bust out the skateboard and wooden pole. Finding sheltered tarmac for a spot of Terra Firma sweeping is sometimes easier than locating sheltered water. As such when it’s blowing dogs off chains your trusty land paddle may come into its own. And it’s the same when cold weather hits. We know many a paddler who resorts to land paddling shenanigans when thermometer readings drop. Keeping the joints moving and reminding your body what paddling is, even if on land, is no bad thing. So much so that land paddling can be a session saver during the off season and summer alike.

Land paddling flavours – how would your land paddling quiver look?

Be under no illusion that if you choose to push it on your land paddle set up, and cover a decent amount of distance, you be giving yourself as much of a workout as you would afloat. Possibly more! Some land paddlers are quite happy to sweep off for miles at a time, dealing with all the uneven and undulating terrain you’d expect to come across on land.

And for those determined to take things to the extreme then skate park messing about is also possible aboard your land paddling kit. If you’ve got the cojones to take on ramps then flicking the board through top level coping turns, again using the paddle for placement and additional leverage through each turn, will be very familiar to banging a top turn when in waves. Just be sure to wear adequate protection – such as a lid and pads – when tackling skate park obstacles.

If you’re interested in land paddling then there’s specialist kit, such as boards and paddle available if you fancy. You could DIY it though and cobble together a land paddle paddle from an old windsurf mast for instance. Couple this with a standard longboard skateboard and you’re good to go…

Land paddling mightn’t be for everyone. But for those that do indulge, it’s a fun alternative to water SUP and a sure fire way to keep the paddling stoke alive when you can’t get wet.

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