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Paddle boarding, the sport with which man conquered the ocean

Jana Fikotová
14.Oct 2017
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2 minutes

South African Chris Bertish dared to head out and conquer the ocean, when on 6 December of last year he stood on his paddleboard and paddled from Morocco across the Atlantic. In 93 days he covered 7,500 kilometres.

Originally, he planned to ride the board for four months, but in the end he landed on the shore of the Caribbean island of Antigua a month earlier. Chris allegedly did a luxurious 70 km every day and burned 12,000 calories, which is like doing an Ironman race every day. He was the first person to conquer the Atlantic on a paddleboard.

What is a paddleboard?

A board with a paddle that moves over a river, lake or sea. This sport, which dates back to 1960 in Hawaii or the Easter Islands, is more effective than surfing, because the athlete does not have to wait for luxury waves to ride, but instead needs only a river current or water surface for ordinary fitness training. Sometimes, paddleboarding is also called SUP (Stand Up Paddling).

Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 9 - 176m
Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 9 - 176m, Praha 9

“The board is shaped like a surfboard, with an additional single paddle. In recent years, it is the number one sports hit. It involves the entire body, perfects balance and improves physical fitness,” say instructors.

Choosing a board

Beginners should choose an inflatable board: it is more affordable and universal. Both men and women can ride. In Prague, interest in trying paddleboarding at least once has increased at rocket speed, according to the rental shops.

Don’t be afraid to paddle

According to instructors, there is nothing to be afraid of. Everybody can stay upright on the board thanks to the support of the paddle. Who wouldn’t enjoy riding the board standing up through nature on rivers, or browsing the centre of Prague on a board? Instructors recommend kneeling on the board on the water surface, and once you gain stability, you can stand up. The paddle used to propel the board also serves as a support. Ideally, you should alternate sides with every three strokes. There may be waves even on a river, which the rider can manage thanks to the paddle.

Where to ride in Prague?

It is possible to ride almost anywhere. The most popular place to try this sport is from Žluté lázně lido to the first weir near Mánes. The board can be carried over the weir and then you continue to Kampa Park and the tip of Střelecký Island. More experienced surfers can take the luxurious trip from Prague all the way to Kralupy nad Vltavou. Next summer, surfers on paddleboards are expected to appear among traditional Czech boaters on rivers all across the country.

How much does it cost?

A luxury paddleboard of premium quality generally costs from CZK 14,000 to CZK 30,000. Racing razors and solid carbon fibre boards can reach astronomical prices, while the most affordable ones start at CZK 8,000. If you want to just try paddleboarding, visit a rental shop. The price for one day is a luxurious CZK 500. 

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