“There’s a very quick learning curve, unlike surfing, and it takes less time to learn the proper technique,” instructor Stacey Marchel said. “I have found that after the first lesson, once they get their sea legs after an hour or so, they get pretty comfortable.”
• The board
The varieties of paddleboarding result in boards of numerous sizes and shapes — ranging from $900 to $1,000 to as much as $1,600 for custom boards — from the 12-foot-6 to 14-foot boards for racing to the lighter, wave-catching boards between 9 and 11 feet.
“The basic thing is where to stand on the board — the sweet spot,” said instructor Dan Gottlieb, standing on a 12-foot board. “The feet are equidistant to each side of the carrying handle — the left-right balance is well-maintained, the fore-aft balance is well maintained.”
Don’t look down. Look at the horizon. The only way to have a perspective on the horizon is to look forward.
• Paddle grip
“Anybody can stand up and start to paddle,” Marchel said, adding that a good paddle will be about 6 inches above the head. “But holding the paddle properly in a way that makes it more efficient is important, especially if you’re doing races.”
“It’s not like you’re in the water a lot,” Gottlieb said. “The only thing getting a little bit wet is your feet. On nice winter days, you can come out here and get a good workout without too much in the way of protective clothing.”
Added Marchel, “I was laughing about how I was paddling more in January and February than I did all last summer.”