SUP can sometimes be thought of as a long winded activity. As in it takes considerable time to actually get a paddle session in the bag. With us all leading busy, hectic lives this perception can be off putting. When actually with some prior preparation and planning it’s perfectly feasible to indulge in short paddles often. Thereby getting your quota up. We know some who only manage to get out for 45 minutes at a time. But with consistent regularity, this builds up to considerable SUP miles covered in week, month and year. If you’re short on time here’re some SUP tips for short duration strike missions.
Know when it’s you’re time – plan ahead for SUP.
Being organised is half the battle with splash and dash missions. Often times a window of opportunity open but is missed because of other thoughts taking priority. At the start of each week look at your diary. (If you don’t keep a diary – just a simple on the wall type – then it’s worth doing). Block out the periods of time you’re free. Then double check and block some of it out for SUP time.
Depending on how close you are to a put in you won’t need hours and hours. If you’re really close to a paddling location you may only need an hour.
Have your stand up paddle kit ready in advance.
Pack the car or have your SUP gear ready, in the van, and good to go the night before. That may mean inflating your board if it’s not pumped up for instance. Faffing about trying to sort your gear during the time frame you’ve allotted to paddling reduces the amount of float you’ll actually get. And this goes for your water wear as well…
If you’re going to be donning a wetsuit then make sure it’s dry and folded the correct way well in advance. Have all your essentials also in place. Wetsuit boots, for instance, will also need to be dried out. Put them next to your wetsuit or paddling clothes. As a preference have them ready an waiting your transport also.
Go flat water.
Unless you’re right next to a wave location. (And we’re talking 5-10 minutes drive away). Stick to flat water paddle spots. That way you’ll just need to turn up, put in and paddle. Ideally, the location you choose will be familiar and you’ll have an idea of how long you can SUP before needing to head back. Avoid locations you don’t know.
Rivers with minimal flow, canals and lakes can be good options. If the paddle spot is coastal you’ll need to factor in tide – particularly if you’re aiming for harbour or inlet routes. Also, if you can, have a back up spot in mind should your primary location not be workable. And perhaps think outside the box. If the days are short then night paddling can work. As long as you’re experienced, well equipped and the venue suits this type of thing.
Making time for personal well being and headspace is as important as being responsible for your family. Everybody needs a release and some stress busting time. Just paddling a SUP for 200 minutes can sort your right out.
Without it being detrimental to other areas of your life be selfish about your quick fire SUP sessions. Make it known this is when you’re heading out. Don’t feel guilty and ‘book’ something else in the diary. Unless it’s important of course. Earmark your time frame and get gone for some SUP action.
Stay stand up paddle safe.
Quick SUP sessions shouldn’t be at the expense of SUP safety. All the usual boxes should be ticked in terms of not taking unnecessary risks, knowing your limits and practicing good safety sense. Sometimes even the best laid plans go awry for various reasons. Mother Nature might not be playing ball ‘life’ just gets in the way. Make sure you’re aware of the weather forecast for the period you intend to SUP. If it’s predicted to be blowing dogs off chains then perhaps that’s one of those times to sit it out.
Don’t be disheartened here though. There are always other sessions to be snagged. Stay optimistic and look towards the next window if your chosen unexpectedly closes.
For more tips and stand up paddle boarding tips, tricks and info head over to McConks’ knowledge hub here.