Throughout history, much has been said about the parallels of sports and real life. Athletes and the common folk push their bodies and spirits amid training and hardships to achieve triumph—or at the very least—wisdom and character building.
This goes the same when trying to learn the elegant and challenging art of stand-up paddle boarding in Loboc River in Bohol, Philippines.
1. Get the right tools
Painters need the right brushes, canvas, and paint. Novice stand-up paddlers need the appropriate gear. First, pick the widest, thickest and longest board you can find. It will help keep you steady and balanced. Next up, the paddle needs to be around 25 cm longer than you for better grip and traction. Finally, the leash has to be either as long as or a bit shorter than your board.
2. Start in calm waters
Just like training wheels when you were first learning how to ride a bike, you need to take it slow and find your balance in calm waters at the beginning.
3. Don’t be afraid
Spoiler alert: You will fall. And you will fall a lot! But don’t let that stop you! In the words of the Batman’s trusty butler, Alfred Pennyworth: “Why do we fall sir? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
4. Learn to take a fall
While it doesn’t look pretty when they take a tumble, stuntmen and skateboarders are experts when it comes to wiping out. Ask your instructor or coach to teach you. Learning how to fall will help you avoid injuries.
5. Don’t look at your feet
Always look forward. It just like taking dance lessons. You look at your partner or instructor and not below so you don’t wipe out or crash into others.
6. Tackle the waves you know you can tackle
There are a handful of videos and stories online about high school kids and knucklehead fans challenging – and trash talking–professional basketball players. And every time, they end up getting beat and humiliated. Lesson here: Don’t bite more than you can chew.
7. Wear a vest
It could be an actual life vest or a metaphorical one. You need thicker skin to succeed and survive in sports and in life.
To know more about stand-up paddle boarding, check out Loboc River Resort in Bohol, Philippines at www.lobocriverresort.com.