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Water Workout: Paddle Board Like a Pro

If I told you I were a paddle boarding pro, I’d be lying…

I used to think I was a pro [mostly because I had always paddled on calm waters, in Michigan + Maui]. So when I attempted the sport in Malibu for The Chalkboard Mag, I assumed it would be easy breezy.

Enter the 5:30 am wakeup call. It’s choppy. Really choppy. The mood is ominous and I feel like I’m filming a part in Chasing Mavericks. I attempt it anyways, make it to my knees… and come frantically running back to shore because I swear the giant mass of seaweed was actually a great white shark.

Second attempt: I enlist the help of my #badass friend who’s actually a paddle boarding pro. She assures me there are no sharks and happily allows me to cuss my way to the middle of the Pacific.

I stand. I conquer. I even relax because the water is, indeed, calmer further out.

Paddle boarding is a seriously good workout — for your mind and body. Pick a calm day to challenge yourself both mentally and physically, and you’ll come back feeling zen and adventurous…

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Here’s how to paddle board [like a pro]…

GET OUT. Wade out until you’re about knee-deep in the water. Hop on the board (placing the paddle over top), and remain on your knees. Once there’s a break in the waves, stand up and begin paddling. Note: if you’re a beginner, have someone with experience help you get out/return back.

STAND UP. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and centered on the board. Keep your knees slightly bent. Place one hand around the top of the paddle, and the other about halfway down. Use your core muscles for balance, and shift your weight by moving your hips. This is a full-body workout.

CALM YOUR MIND. My initial fears of the water made this step difficult. You have to free yourself from anxiety and allow your body to adjust — you’ll feel free, adventurous, and alive.

SIT DOWN. Once at ease, allow your body to move freely. Try sitting on the board if the water is calm enough, and indulge in the peacefulness surrounding you, while allowing your mind to wander freely.

STRETCH + MEDITATE. A lot of people use paddle boarding to stretch and meditate. If the waters are especially calm, you can move around on the board to benefit both your mind and body. Experienced boarders will also do yoga while on the water.

Suit: Vitamin A

Photos by Annie Shak