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Bliss Life

be bold. be brave. be remembered.

Making Waves: Go Adrift!

Jun 15, 2012 08:58PM

Provided by Adrift Tahoe.

Written by Susan Thorn

As June 21st is to the summer solstice, so is paddle boarding to your sense of inner adventure! If you've yet to try paddle boarding and are a bit nervous about it, don't be shy! When it comes to stand-up paddle boarding the best paddler on the lake is the one having the most fun!

Paddle boarding is a great total body workout because it targets every one of your muscles. Not only is it great for the core but also awakens some sexy toned muscles you didn't even know you had! Paddle boarding is the perfect overall workout for creating a beautiful symmetry that will be the envy and catch every eye on the beach.

Transporting your paddleboard is a breeze! Most paddleboards have been designed with a built-in handle, making carrying the board easy. Start with the board on its side resting on the ground; each side of the board is called a rail. Reach for the handle and tuck the board up under one arm and grab your paddle with the other. Learning the sport in ideal conditions on calm water is best.

Getting Started

  • Enter the water along one side of the board.
  • Place one hand on each side of the board holding the rails, with the paddle grip on the rail edge and the blade resting on the water.
  • Pop yourself onto the board just slightly behind the center point of the board in a kneeling position. While in this position, take your time and get your bearings. The board should be fairly balanced. If the tip is in the water, position yourself further back. If the tail is too far in the water, move up on the board.
  • Keep your hands placed comfortably on each side of the board to steady it.
  • When you are feeling good about your balance, you can transition to standing.
Paddle Boarding Stance
  • Feet should be shoulder width apart and centered between the rails (board edges).
  • Keep your gaze level with the horizon and resist the urge to stare at your feet—this will affect your balance.
  • Keep your toes pointed forward, knees slightly bent, and your back straight.
  • This is a sport that, like skiing, requires you to be moving to maintain your balance and steer. As you increase your forward momentum, your stability and balance will improve.
Paddling and Turning
  • When paddling on the right, your left hand is across your body and on top of the paddle, your right hand sits lower on the shaft, and in the reverse for paddling on the left.
  • Keep your arms straight and let your torso to do most of the work, which makes this such a great core workout. Believe it or not you have more strength in your abdomen than you do in your arms.
  • Pushing down on the paddle with your top hand, plant the blade under the surface, and pull it back toward the tail of your board. Keep your strokes short at first and close to the board.
  • Take four to five strokes on each side in a moderate and even pace. When you switch sides, reverse the position of your hands.
  • Flat water is the best place to start. Find a quiet beach or cove where there is little traffic, buoys, or boats.
  • The easiest way to turn is called the sidestroke—you simply keep paddling on one side until the nose turns in the direction you want to go.
We recently were lucky enough to catch up with Marcus Tingle of Adrift Tahoe and got some great tips! Marcus shared how paddle boarding has come about. He has a passion for the sport and for some very personal reasons! In 2001 Marcus was deep into the surfing scene in Southern California. He found himself obsessing about the Moai of Rapa Nui, the Polynesian monolithic statues of Easter Island and began to wonder about the significance of Aloha in the line-up. His desire to follow his passion drove him to start Adrift as a grassroots T-Shirt company, where he found something he could really sink his teeth into. During a trip to Lake Tahoe, Calif. in 2006, Marcus found his mind racing with all kinds of visions, visions of paddle boarding exploding in Tahoe, and that it has!

Not only did the move to Lake Tahoe allow Marcus to live his passion but it also created an opportunity to be closer to his family. Marcus was able to be near his mom who spent her summers on the lake, and recently having lost his father to an airplane accident, the move made this all the more gratifying. Marcus has had waves of support from his family, including Pamela and his daughter Amelia. He, with the support of many great friends, has turned Adrift into the ideal spot to buy or rent SUP's and Kayaks! If you have questions, Marcus has answers!


For the newbie starting out, Marcus shared some tips: It is important to paddle on your knees and in a centralized part of the board. While doing this, be sure to choke up on the paddle so you don't have to reach so high, and keep the paddle blade facing out, or in the cupped position to get the most pull from the water. The faster the board moves while paddling on your knees the more stable it will become. When you get your confidence in hand, standing is a breeze. Place the paddle in front of you, flat on the board, and lay both hands over the paddle, performing a 'downward dog' yoga move, and walk your feet up to the center of the board.

Marcus reminds us that when starting out, the sooner you start to paddle the better. Having the paddle in the water can add greatly to your sense of stability. Placing one hand on top of the paddle and keeping it close to the mid-section is ideal. Be sure the blade is flared out and you reach out in front of you. Having the blade enter the water at a full stretch in front of you and pulling the blade out of the water by the time it reaches your feet will move you forward with ease. Using more of your stomach muscles and less of your arms during this process will develop your power and endurance. Remember, keep paddling, have fun, and explore the environment that you are in. The perspective from standing on a SUP is the best view you can have at the aquatic world that lies beneath.

Get out there and do it! They say life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. Be courageous today and take the plunge! Get on that board! And in the words of Marcus Tingle at Adrift Tahoe, "The world is covered in water, so GO ADRIFT!"