Browse the SUPWell class schedule and you’ll see the name ‘PaddleFit' popping up everywhere. So what is it and why do we use it? Alongside our experience on the water and desire to see you succeed at stand up paddling, PaddleFit is the coaching system that forms the building blocks of our SUP instruction. It’s a unique coaching system in the fledgling sport of stand up paddling.
The PaddleFit system begins with PaddleFit Basic which is an introductory class to teach the basics of SUP. Those include safety, equipment, getting in and out of the water, standing up, falling off, getting back on your board, paddle stroke basics, stopping and turning. So PaddleFit Basic gets you off to a good start.
From an introduction, building block number 2 is often technique. Yes, there is technique involved in SUP. Certainly if you want to paddle efficiently, without niggles and pain and with some power, technique is essential. Do you get back, foot or shoulder pain? Know where to hold your paddle? How much do you and should you use your arms? Loopy stroke? All those questions and more are answered through a progressive set of classes called PaddleFit Tech I and PaddleFit Tech II. Focusing on simple PaddleFit drills and getting real time feedback on how you are going consistently improves our clients’ paddling.
Partner technique up with paddling further and at a higher pace and we start to build paddle fitness. This is the purpose of classes like PaddleFit Water where there is a technique focus combined with experiencing a range of more challenging conditions and paddling intervals to build strength and fitness. We enjoy progressing your fitness, skills and experience so you can look back and reflect that ‘I wouldn’t or couldn’t have done that weeks or months ago’.
In many ways these building blocks are creating a sound foundation for the really fun experiences you can have with a paddle board. Exploring rivers, estuaries and islands knowing that you have the skills and fitness to enjoy it fully. Rangitoto, Whitford, Puhoi and many more opportunities open up. Or racing and pitting your wits against a course of buoys that require you to use your fitness and skills and to learn new tricks. Or for a bit of ‘urban surfing’ there’s downwinding and learning to catch and ‘surf’ the bumpy water. If the beach is your happy place, learn to catching and ride waves on a SUP. And if your aspiration is play at beach with the kids, that’s a great family experience.
The PaddleFit system provides us with all the tools to grow our paddlers from first glide to first wave. Or whatever your SUP aspiration may be. And it means we can do it in a way that is biodynamically sound and takes into account good fitness principles like dynamic warm ups and prehab exercises to avoid injury.
Got a SUP aspiration for 2019?