Learning How To Paddle Board

45096724721_e8864960e1_oThere’s nothing better than a beautiful day on the water! While many experienced paddle boarders are brave enough to venture into the Gulf of Mexico, we’ve found the peace you can experience on many of our back waterways is a wonderful experience everyone can enjoy! If you’ve never had a chance to paddle your way into this family fun, here’s a quick first timers guide! Remember, you can rent paddle boards while you are here. Keep reading for tips on your first-time paddle boarding and local places to rent a board while you are here!
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To get started, you’ll need a board, a paddle, a personal floatation device if you’re a beginner and double check your board has a tether so you can’t be separated from it. Here’s a quick list of places you can rent a paddle board while visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast:

Gulf Shores:
Down Under Dive Shop – 251.968.3483
Go Go Kayaks – 251.752.5500
Gulf Shores Boat and Paddle Sports Rental – 251.923.8205

Orange Beach:
Paddled By You – 251.752.9250
Salt Coastal Outfitters Paddleboard Rentals – 251.348.0233
OB Watersports – 251.981.2527

Before you go, be sure you bring plenty of water in a resealable (and preferably reusable) container so you stay hydrated! Remember, this is a physical activity and you will need that H2O. Don’t forget your sunscreen as well! You’ll be getting plenty of sun even with that sunscreen because it’ll be reflecting off the water. Most importantly, tell someone when and where you plan to take your board out. If something happens, you want help to come your way.
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How to start

Grab all your gear and get in! Start in about 12 inches of water at least. Tether your board to your ankle, lay your paddle length wise toward one side of your board and lay face down on top. This puts you in the perfect position to push up onto your hands and knees then sit back on your heels. From here you can start paddling into slightly deeper water if your not already there.

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Once you are more comfortable and feel ready to stand, lean forward again with your hands and knees on the board. (You can lay your paddle in a T at the front of your board.) Slowly and one at a time, put your feet flat on the board. You are now in a squatting position. You can slowly stand up from here or keep your hands on the board and let your bottom lead the way. Either way, remember to go slow and steady to maintain your balance!

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Keep your feet shoulder width apart, one hand on top of your paddle pole and one in the middle, hold your paddle with the angled fin pointing forward. Go ahead and practice on either side before you get too far away from the shore or the dock.
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Most importantly, remember to Have Fun! That’s what it’s all about!