One of the reasons why paddle boarding is so fun is its versatility. But do you know where to paddle board yet? You can paddle on almost all bodies of water on the planet, given that you have the right experience and gear.
For the sake of generalization, since lakes and oceans are the most common paddle boarding surfaces, here we will talk about those two. So, if you’ve been wondering where to paddle board, those two are quite different, and I’ll share with you a great deal of tips and tricks. Ready to begin? Let’s go!
Lakes vs. Oceans
Want to know a good place for where to paddle board? If you’re somewhere near a lake or the sea, you will have no problem getting on your board there. However, there’s quite a significant difference between the ocean and the lake when it comes to paddle boarding.
Firstly because oceans and seas, the open waters, can be quite unpredictable regardless of the part of the day. Their activity is predominantly determined by the weather, so, for instance, if you have strong winds, the ocean will have huge waves, while the lake is quite predictable and remains calm throughout the day. This is only the first set of different characteristics that you need to be aware of, especially if you’re just starting out with paddle boarding.
Lake paddle boarding
The main reason why I took the lakes as an example is that they represent a flat-water surface, and the techniques and characteristics of paddle boarding there can be applied on any flat-water paddling.
First off, the surface is quite calmer. Thus, you will have no problem remaining stable for much longer. Beginners usually struggle with keeping vertical stroke and staying on board, so learning paddle boarding on a lake is advisable before moving to seas or oceans.
Another thing I have noticed is that there are no tides or currents that can change the course of your paddling, which can be really helpful when just starting out. Also, there are no waves to fight off and to make you fall over. However, many lakes tend to have strong winds in the afternoons, which might make your paddling harder. A way to avoid this is to monitor how the weather changes throughout the day and go when it’s calmer.
Open water paddle boarding
Paddling in the ocean is definitely a more fun experience, but if you have the luxury of choice, as a beginner, I would suggest sticking to lakes. However, don’t let this discourage you from trying paddle boarding if you only have the sea or the ocean as an option. This may mean that it’ll take you a little longer to master it, but in the end, you’ll be even better than someone just learning in a lake.
Mornings are usually calm for the oceans, and the afternoons are windier and wavier, so you can avoid the problematic weather by going when it’s more peaceful. That said, with the ocean, the weather can be quite unpredictable, so you need to be prepared for any quick changes. In the beginning, don’t go alone, pay attention to proper safety like a life vest, and a good wetsuit to keep you warm since the ocean water tends to be cold throughout the year.
Also, keep in mind the tides, currents, and diverse marine life, which can all somehow affect your paddling experience.
Don’t let this information discourage you completely from paddling. It is one thing to read about something, and it’s another to try it. Take my measures of precaution just like that, as measures of precaution. The rest is up to you.
If you can, you can also search for a nearby bay as an excellent alternative to the open ocean. Usually, bays are enclosed, so the water surface tends to be calmer, and it’s rare to experience any waves. So, if you were wondering where to paddle board near me, locate the nearest bay and try your paddling board there. It’ll be a fantastic experience, I guarantee!
Ocean paddle boards
While an experienced paddler can master all water surfaces with any board to make paddling an enjoyable experience, there are a few guidelines to follow as to which SUP you’ll need for the ocean.
Usually, for the open waters, specific boards are preferred over others that will be able to handle the more challenging conditions you might find yourself in.
This is why touring paddle boards would be something I’d recommend. The touring paddle boards are longer, so they offer more stability, but they aren’t as wide, so you can gain more speed to match the ocean waters. These boards have more rockers and come with a displacement hull, which gives you speed as well as paddle efficiency and performance when paddling against the waves. So, all in all, a touring board will provide you with the much-needed speed and is generally easier to stay straight with it no matter the water.
If you cannot get your hands on a touring board, don’t worry, it isn’t the only type of board that does well with the ocean. Generally, all inflatable and epoxy boards like surf SUP boards and race SUP boards do well in wavy, open waters. The most important feature to have of a board is the rigidity. The shape or size isn’t’ as important when it comes to ocean paddling as much as the rigid material does. So search for an epoxy board and enjoy a good workout in the ocean!
Lake paddle boards
Since lakes have predominantly calm waters, you can expect to do well with any type of paddle board. So, if you already have a board that you wanted to paddle with on a lake, it doesn’t matter which size, shape, or material it is made of. However, if you haven’t already bought a board and you’ll be paddling in lakes more often than not, then inflatable boards are the best for this. Simply because they don’t take up too much space, they’re easy to transport and offer excellent stability and durability. Especially if you’ll be doing yoga when on the lake as well.
Conclusion Where to Paddle Board
All in all, this is your general comparison of paddling on lakes and open waters. They are very different, but they both have their wonderful sides once you master paddling. If you already have a board, you can freely use it in any lake you want, but if you’re looking to buy now, then inflatable for the lakes and epoxy for oceans. If you have any more questions on where to paddle board or on purchasing a new paddle board, feel free to leave a comment below. I’d be happy to help.
Also, don’t forget to visit my Facebook and Instagram account for more cool tips and recommendations on paddle boards and accessories.
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