How Can Paddle Boarding Help You De-Stress In The Fall?

Fall can be a stressful time so get out on your paddle board to decompress.


paddle board with eps foam core

When the weather starts to get chilly and especially when the snow starts, it can be difficult to find ways to stay active. However, don't worry: there are plenty of options for staying in shape and having fun even though it's too cold outside! One great option is paddle boarding. Read this article to learn why you should try a SUP adventure in the fall!

What is Paddle Boarding?

sup paddle used for stand up paddle board sweep stroke

A stand up paddle board is similar to a regular surfboard but quite a bit larger so that you are able to stand on it in flat water while you propel yourself with a SUP paddle rather than a careening wave. Paddling a SUP board is an incredible workout that especially works the core muscles. Stand up paddle boarding is also a low impact activity that gets you out in nature and can be very relaxing. Stand up paddling can also help you improve your balance and coordination.

Why People Enjoy Stand Up Paddle Boarding in the Fall

paddle boards on the open ocean

Getting out on your stand up paddle board is a great way to get out and enjoy the fall weather while getting some exercise. The water is usually calm in the fall, making it a great time to paddle board. Paddle boarding is also a great way to clear your mind and de-stress while the autumn colors surround your waterway.

Signs of Stress or Anxiety

marine life on a stand up paddle board

It's no secret that the fall season can be a stressful time for many people. The leaves are changing color, school is back in session, the days are getting shorter, and the holidays are just around the corner. If you're feeling stressed or anxious, paddle boarding can be a great way to relax and unwind.

There are several signs that you may be experiencing stress or anxiety. If you're having trouble sleeping, feeling irritable or short-tempered, or find yourself eating more or less than usual, these may be signs that you're under stress. If you're experiencing chest pain, rapid heartbeat, sweating, or difficulty breathing, these may be signs of anxiety.

If you're feeling any of these symptoms, paddling a SUP board can help you relax and de-stress. Paddling is an excellent form of exercise that can help to release endorphins and improve your mood. Being out on the water can also help to clear your mind and give you some time to yourself, away from the various screens we stare at all day long.

So if you're looking for a way to relax and unwind this fall, stand up paddling may be just what the doctor ordered.

How to De-Stress in the Fall on Paddle Boards

sup paddles and a sleeping bag for SUP yoga on stand up paddle board

The leaves are changing color, the air is getting cooler and Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks. Fall is definitely in the air! For many people, fall is a time to de-stress and enjoy the outdoors before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Stand up paddle boarding can be a great way to decompress. The peacefulness of being on the water, surrounded by nature, can help to clear your mind and relax your body. Since stand up paddling has been proven to both build muscle as well as your cardio endurance, you are taking care of your body while also caring for your mind.

SUP yoga is also a hugely popular way to relax the mind while on a paddle board. Imagine holding a pose and watching marine life under your paddle board. You can't replicate that in a yoga studio!

Here are some helpful tips to help you get started on a Stand up Paddle Board:

coast guard approved personal flotation device for stand up paddle boards

We've come up with a list of paddle boarding tips that will help you get going on your first SUP outing:

1. Find a calm body of water.

Stand up paddle boarding on a lake or river is a great way to relax and take in the scenery. If you’re new to stand up paddling, it’s best to start out on calm water before venturing into rougher conditions.

2. Dress for the weather.

Fall weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to dress appropriately for the conditions. Wear layers that you can peel off if you start to get too warm. Wetsuits are also a good option for fall paddle boarding, as they will keep you warm if you fall into the water.

3. Bring along some snacks and drinks.

Paddle boarding can be a great workout, so make sure to bring along some snacks and drinks to keep your energy up. Granola bars, fruit, and water are all good options.

4. Go with a friend.

Stand up paddling is more fun with a friend! Not only will you have someone to chat with, but they can also help you if you need it. It can also help keep you safe in the event the weather takes a blustery turn as there is safety in numbers.

5. Take your time.

There’s no rush when paddle boarding. Take your time and enjoy the experience. Listen to the sounds of nature and feel the water on your skin and the chill on your face.

SUP Paddle Technique

paddling a stand up paddle board with a pointed nose

Learning the paddling techniques for stand up paddling takes practice but can usually be picked up in your first SUP outing - especially if you start in flat water rather than the open ocean. Begin in the kneeling position on your board with your knees straddling the carry handle which is also the center point of the paddle board. Choke up on the paddle so that your hand positions are below the T grip.

Time to Stand up!

sup paddle for stand up paddle boards

Once your paddle board has a little momentum, put your paddle across the board in front of you and your hands on the deck pad about a foot in front of your knees. Now use your hands to help push you up from your kneeling position in one smooth motion while grabbing your paddle as you rise.

Stay Balanced with your Feet Parallel

arms straight on a stand up paddle board

Keep your feet parallel and about shoulder width apart with your knees slightly bent. To paddle forward, you will need to learn the forward stroke. Start with your paddle on the left side of the paddle board which means for a proper paddle grip, you will want your right hand to hold onto the T grip while your left hand holds onto the paddle shaft a comfortable distance down from the T grip. To paddle the board forward, reach forward with the paddle board blade so it enters the water near the nose of the board.

Proper Technique Starts with Keeping the Paddle Blade Forward

stand up paddle board with carbon fiber paddle board

Keep the blade forward rather than using the paddle is a scooper. This seems counterintuitive to most paddle boarders because it seems like scooping more water would be more efficient. In reality, you will find it every difficult to paddle forward in a straight line with the paddle blade backward because after a few strokes, your board will begin turning and you will have to switch the paddle to the other side of the paddle board which is very inefficient.

Paddling Properly

stand up paddle boards for paddle surfing

Pull the blade of the SUP paddle along the rails (sides) of the paddle board until you reach your feet or a few inches past your feet. Your top arm will be slightly bent at the beginning of the stroke but try to keep both arms straight towards the middle of the paddle stroke. Pull the paddle out of the water once the blade reaches your feet and reach forward again with the blade to repeat the stroke.

Switching Sides

stand up paddle boards

After a few strokes or if your board stops traveling in a straight line, it's time to switch your paddle to the other side of the paddle board. Simply pull the paddle out of the water at the end of a stroke and with the paddle directly in front of you, switch hands on the paddle and repeat the same process on the right side of the paddle board.

Turning Paddle Boards

sup surfing on a stand up paddle board

Now that you've mastered paddling in a straight line, you are probably going to want to be able to turn your board when it's time to head home. Here are a few paddling techniques to help you accomplish this.

Paddling on the Opposite Side

stand up paddle board equipment in swimming area

Before your skill level improves, the easiest way to turn your paddle board is to continuously paddle on the side of the board that is opposite the direction that you want to turn. This will cause a wide arcing turn that takes a while to complete. To speed this process up, execute a forward sweep stroke, which means you will pull the paddle blade a few feet out from your paddle board rather than right along the rails.

Reverse Stroke

fishing gear on a stand up paddle board

A couple of quicker paddling techniques for turning paddle boards are the Reverse Stroke and the Reverse Sweep Stroke. The Reverse Stroke is just like it sounds, you reverse the forward stroke which means you are using the opposite side of the paddle blade so the board will turn quicker. Start with the blade at your feet and push the paddle to the nose of the board.

Same theory with the Reverse Sweep Stroke, start with the paddle blade at your feet and push it out a foot or two from the rails of the board and then back to the nose.

Pivot Turn

one foot back on a stand up paddle board

This one is for advanced paddlers as it requires a fair amount of practice but the upside is that it allows you to turn your board on a dime! Step one foot back to the tail of your board while moving the other foot towards the center point of the board. Your feet will still be roughly shoulder width apart. Use the back foot to push down on the tail of the board, which will like the nose of the board. Now execute a forward sweep stroke and you will find yourself turning rapidly.

This is a good turn to learn if you plan to do any SUP surfing (or paddle surfing) so that you will feel comfortable turning in a wave. It's also a good one to learn if you plan to get into paddle board racing as the displacement hull on a race board can be challenging to turn quickly around buoys.

What to Bring Paddle Boarding in the Fall

stand up paddle board equipment for sup touring

When paddle boarding in the fall, you will want to bring a few extra items with you. A Coast Guard approved personal flotation device and a safety whistle are always a good idea, even if you are a strong swimmer. A paddle board leash is also important in case the wind picks up and blows your board away from you if you fall in.

The water can be cold in the fall, so you may want to bring a wet suit or dry suit. You will also want to bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the UV rays that are still out.

A dry bag is also a good idea to store your valuables. Finally, don’t forget to bring plenty of water and snacks to keep yourself hydrated and fueled during your paddle boarding adventure.

Inflatable Paddle Boards can Help you Explore the Backcountry

carbon fiber sup paddle for paddle surfing on a paddle board

What better way to de-stress than to head out to a beautiful alpine lake that is virtually empty? Having the place to yourself with no power boats around is the dream of most paddlers.

Inflatable SUPs have made it possible to take paddle boards virtually anywhere. Just deflate the board, throw it in the paddle board bag and head out! With recent advances in technology, the inflatable SUP board is nearly as rigid as a solid paddle board. This would explain why inflatable paddle boards make up close to 50% of new SUP board sales.

It's pretty handy that inflatable SUPs are a complete package which include; board bag, pump, SUP paddles, kayak seats and a shoulder carry strap.


hard paddle boards and inflatable paddle boards

Summer is over and the stress of school, work life and the holidays are upon us. Which means, Fall is still a great time to get out on your stand up paddle board and escape all of those stressors. Trust us, your body and soul will thank you!