Portland’s occasional sun breaks have us all dreaming about the spring stand up paddle season. The problem is many of our boards have not seen action since late last fall. You could put the board back in the water on the next sunny day and hope for the best, but why not try these three simple steps to get ready for spring.
Inspect and repair your SUP
Dust your board off and give it a through inspection. Pay close attention to the nose, tail and fin boxes. These are the most common areas for damage. If you find a crack, test it to see if it is through to the core. To test, spray 409 (or any soap that will bubble) on the crack while it sits in the sun. If the crack bubbles then you need to repair your board. If no bubbles appear, no repair is necessary and you should just keep an eye on it. If you are unsure about a crack or ding swing it by the shop.
Funny enough, most dings occur putting the board on and off the car. Prevent future dings with the new LIFTSUP handle. This handle sits flush with the deck when not in use, then pops up like a suitcase handle to make carrying and loading your board a breeze. They are $139 installed (or $39 for you DIY folks). Honestly, it’s a small investment to protect your board (and shoulder rotator cuff) from damage.
Set your 2012 goals
Do you want to paddle more? Do you want to get around Ross Island faster? Are you looking to explore new water? Are you SUP-ing to improve your fitness? What about improving your technique? Write your goals down and post them in a prominent place (research shows this increases your likelihood of success.) If you are a recreational paddler, why not consider a race? There is no better way to push yourself then with a date and distance marked on your calendar. The Ross Island SUP Challenge is May 19 & June 2. With both an elite class (8.3 miles) and a recreational class (4.3) miles this race offers something for everyone. Register or get more information here.
Get you core back in shape
Now that your board is looking it’s best and your mind is focused, it is time to pay attention to your body. One of the best things about SUP is the way it works our entire body. For many that is hard to replicate in the winter. Here are two links to great core exercises designed by and for stand up paddlers. Most can be done with little or no equipment right at home (although it always looks better when they do it on a sunny beach.) A little work ahead of time should decrease those 12 ibuprofen days this spring.
What are your plans to get ready for the SUP season? Share your tips and goals in the comments below.