Love your watersports or being by the beach (or on the river)? Paddle boarding has a range of health benefits that make it a great activity for your body as well as a splashingly good time.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve tried paddle boarding before, or haven’t heard of it until now. Paddle boarding is low-impact, easy to learn and can be enjoyed as part of a club, socially with friends, or even when you’re craving some me-time outdoors.
On this page we look at:
- How This Girl Can – Victoria Ambassador Lisa found confidence later in life to get back on the water and combine getting active with her love of the ocean
- What paddle boarding is, and why it’s great for your body
- Social paddle boarding and finding a paddle boarding club
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How Lisa built her confidence back to get on the water again with paddle boarding
Although Lisa, 52, grew up around the ocean, it took her years to build the confidence to get back on the water. She always thought she couldn’t stack up to the blokes or stand on a board – but she can! Lisa’s never had body image issues and reckons “a bikini body is just a body you put in a bikini!”
What is stand-up paddle boarding?
As the name suggests, stand-up paddle boarding is a fun activity on the water where you’re standing up on a board. You stand at full height, and use a ‘paddle’ to move your way through the water. It’s also sometimes referred to as just ‘paddle boarding’, or even sometimes it’s just called ‘sup’.
While there are some competitions available, paddle boarding is mostly about enjoying being in touch with the water, and having a great view of the surrounding scenery. You can go at your own pace and it’s gentle on the body.
You might wobble a bit at first as you find your balance, but that’s completely normal! Once you learn to ‘sup’ and pick up some stand-up paddle boarding tips, you’ll be gliding around feeling great.
Finding a paddle boarding group for women and having a go
Here are some tips to get started learning to paddle board and finding groups to connect with.
- Coasting SUP (Surfing Victoria’s introductory program SUP program for women) is a fun way to find some ‘you time’ in the great outdoors. It provides some paddle boarding classes to get you going, and you can meet some new people too.
- By searching online you can find a range of companies and organisations offering paddle boarding for women. They’re set up for beginners, and can’t wait to show you a few techniques.
- There are a range of social paddle boarding groups in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Have a look around a contact your local association or even your local council for more information. Where there’s a river or ocean, there’s usually a paddle boarding group nearby.
- Once you’ve had a few paddle boarding classes, you can buy your own sup board and head out on your own. How good is that? You can ask your local paddle boarding group or find a local retail store to help you find the best beginner sup board for you.
Finding paddle boarding groups and locations near you
- Visit the website mentioned on this page: Coasting SUP.
- Google it! Search to see what paddle boarding classes and groups there are near you. There are a range of beautiful river and beach spots in Victoria, so have a look around to find where to do paddle boarding in an area that’s not too far away.
- Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood, to see if a paddle boarding group has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
- Ask other women about paddle boarding – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.
Can’t get out right now?
You may not be able to make it out at the moment, or maybe you’re not near water to go paddle boarding. That’s okay, there’s plenty to keep your ‘sup’ dreams alive while you’re at home.
There’s a lot you can learn about stand-up paddle boarding online, so you can watch a few videos to learn some paddle boarding tips and techniques. Or if you love an adventure, you can start researching the best paddle boarding locations to try.
Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.