For me, I am all about multitasking. That even goes for relaxing and stress release. Sounds counterproductive but, trust me, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is the perfect way to merge your mental health day with meeting you fitness goals! Plus, after the initial cost of the board, it is a low cost activity, family friendly, and you can catch a nice tan. Really, what more could you ask for? Oh wait, you can even include your dog! There, it's official, SUP is as good as it gets!
What does it cost to get started? First and foremost, rent a SUP or try out a friend's board to experience it. Next, look for a used board or an entry level board. Beginners are typically going to start with an "all around" style board. These have a wider profile, therefore, they are easier to stabilize; a good place to develop balance and coordination.
In the photograph below, I am holding a Tahoe SUP board called the YoFit. It is an inflatable board specifically designed for yoga and fitness. Notice how wide it is and the nice foam deck pad. I am able to cruise around the lake and stop for a fun yoga session. Since it is inflatable, I could even hike to a remote body of water and then go for a paddle session! (It's on my to-do list!)
But not to be discouraged, if hiking and boarding isn't on your wishlist, then there's no loss to keeping it simple. Personally, I'd still recommend an inflatable for a beginner, but an epoxy board is perfectly fine too. Paddle boarding can also be accomplished from the kneeling position until confident enough to stand. In the photo below, I am on a Tahoe SUP board called the PaddleCraft. It is a fantastic composite board for a range of interests and skill levels.
For now, I am still trying out boards until I can find the perfect one for my budget and skills. I definitely enjoyed the Tahoe SUP line. Here's a few more photos from the demo at Folsom Lake.