Health & Spirit

Why Kayak? What's SUP? Two Ways to Paddle Into Pleasure

Marilynn Preston on

STAND-UP PADDLEBOARDING IS HOT! Technique is also the secret to success with SUP. Many people stand incorrectly, paddle just with their arms, quickly tire, feel bored and quit.

"Use your core muscles for all your strokes," the experts at SUP TV teach, in their many "Golden Rules of Stand-Up Paddling" videos on YouTube. That means instead of just paddling with your arms and shoulders, dig deep and engage your lats and abs, the muscles around your core that control and support your spine, your posture.

Also, be sure to plant your blade fully in the water before you start to pull. Who knew? You'd never do this if you were paddling a canoe or kayak, but it's very useful when you paddleboard because it gives you more power and control and helps stabilize you on the board.

How you stand on the board is crucial. Always assume the Ready Position: Your feet are shoulder-width apart; your knees are bent and act like shock absorbers; your back is straight, not hunched, so you can keep your core muscles engaged and prevent lower-back strain and pain.

SUP TV turns out to be a font of information about paddleboarding, including a terrific video series about my new summer love, SUP Yoga, featuring Jodelle Fitzwater.

Down dog on a moving mat? Warrior poses on gentle waves? What a hoot! What a workout! And when you fall, you make a big splash.

But I still love Walter the most. Yesterday, I saw two loons, seven ducks, one blue heron and six turtles on a log. And that was just the first hour.



"Row, row, row your boat,

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

Life is but a dream."

-- Nursery rhyme


Marilynn Preston is the author of "Energy Express," America's longest-running healthy lifestyle column. Her new Amazon best-seller, "All Is Well: The Art {and Science} of Personal Well-Being," is available now on Amazon and elsewhere. Visit Creators Publishing at to learn more. For more on personal well-being, visit

Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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