Dr. Bradley Thomas
top tips | PADDLE TRAINING with Dr. Bradley Thomas
1. Brave the cold water and weather and commit to at least two paddles weekly.
Committing to two paddles per week in the colder spring months is great preparation for your long summer paddles. A few tough, windblown days can also be a fun way to find some runners, kind of like a Hawaiian downwinder!
2. Use your arms like a swimmer, and keep your board steady.
Think of paddling a paddleboard like moving a racing scull. Keep the board quiet in the water and maintain momentum. For your stroke, use your arms like a distance swimmer, reach long and finish your stroke.
3. Practice home training.
For those of us too busy to paddle, use a stationary bike, squats and lunges to train your legs. For an arm workout, I use resistance bands and simulate a paddle stroke doing sets of a few hundred paddles at a time.
4. Wear a hat to keep you warm and protect your face.
A hat is a great way to keep warm at the beginning of a paddle. I keep my hat brim pretty low to protect my eyes from water splashes and my face from the sun. You can use it to cool down if things get too hot by dipping it in the water.
5. Enjoy the pain.
A good paddle isn’t going to be easy for anyone. My shoulder muscles usually hurt for the first few miles, then calm. Muscle cramps are pretty typical, so hydrate well. I use Liquid I.V. The more you paddle, the less pain you will feel—which is an amazing thing to achieve. Enjoy the water!