Therapydia- New Design to Physical Therapy and Wellness

WhatSUP is welcoming an awesome physical therapy company, Therapydia, to begin making monthly appearances on the blog! Therapydia isn’t your traditional physical therapy clinic. They use their knowledge and background in the physical therapy to bridge Yoga and Pilates to enhance the patients experience and overall health. They don’t just deal with current and persistent injuries; they believe taking a proactive approach to prevent injuries before they occur and to help people stay healthy. WhatSUP is very excited to partner with Therapydia and have them as a guest blogger, as we share similar beliefs! Their blog posts will be geared towards paddlers providing stretches and exercises that we all need to do in order to prevent injuries. Be on the lookout for their next post and stop in to one of their locations near you!

Therapydia

After speaking with this company, I did some research to learn more and soon realized that their primary focus is to keep people healthy and to educate them on effective methods to do so. I had the privilege to see what their therapists do and how they are different first hand when I visited their South Tampa physical therapy location. Now, I have been to a couple of physical therapist previously (due to sport injuries, severe car accident, etc.), and I have never experienced better care or the individualized attention as I did with Therapydia. They use state of the art equipment, and only see one client at a time. This is different than any other therapist that I have seen.  I used to get so frustrated when I went to PT and they would have 4-5 other patients there at the same time. Not Therapydia, the one-on-one attention given ensures proper technique during stretch or exercise. Lastly, they incorporated Yoga and Pilates into the session which I believe is extremely powerful.  Continue reading Therapydia- New Design to Physical Therapy and Wellness

SUP Safety

The month of June had the single worst weekend in SUP history- two days, four deaths. There were 3 separate incidents across America that lead to 4 tragic deaths of stand up paddlers, among leaving others in critical condition. All occasions resulted from strong offshore winds! Surprisingly, many victims of the horrific cases over the past couple of years have been paddling before or were athletes. Meaning this happened to all types of people, not just some random person trying SUP for the first time.

I talk about this often when taking people out or even when I see people on the beach that are not with my group- “PLEASE HAVE A PFD AND LEASH ON BOARD!” In more cases than not, I get strange looks or even people comment saying “I’ll be ok without it.”

Although a leash is not required by Coast Guard regulations, for all of my customers it is a must-have. I require them to wear it and keep it on at all times. Now, for all of my groups, when we head out to paddle the winds are very calm and the conditions are not mandatory for a leash, but you never know! In Florida, and a lot of other places outside of the Sunshine State according to articles, the weather can change in minutes. One second its gorgeous, sunny weather with very little wind. The next its blowing 15-30 mph. The leash is what’s going to save your life, probably more than the PFD in most cases. Not what you would expect right? But the reason is most people strap the PFD on their boards and if you don’t have a leash and fall off the board from high winds, there goes the board with your PFD :-O . I always tell my customers, “The board is a huge floatation device in itself- use it.” With the leash, you are attached to the board so if you do fall off you can still get your board easily.

Gear that I recommend-

As for leashes and PFDs, there are tons of companies out there. I recommend a coil leash so it does not drag in the water and slow you down. It can still stretch up to 9-11ft when needed, but when you are paddling its coiled and remains on the board instead of dragging. Leashes come in a variety of colors so you can match it to your board and paddle with style. The PFDs I use are low profile waist belt pack by Onyx. They are reasonably priced and sleek around the waist unlike many other PFDs.

PFD's and Leash worn at all times
PFD’s and Leash worn at all times

Continue reading SUP Safety

Yoga for the Paddleboard

As requested, I’ve made a short little video for people to try out the type of yoga I teach on a paddle board. There are quite a few people that are really interested in taking a SUPYoga (aka paddle board yoga) class but feel that it will be too difficult. This quick series of poses are similar to what I teach in a class that you are able to take to your mat. Try the sequence before making your decision to sign up for class. If you feel comfortable, then we would love to have you!

I wanted to make a couple comments on the poses in the video. Some pointers to help with balance, especially when participating in SUPYoga are:

  • Staggered stance- It’s not about the center line as if you are in a studio. We are all trying to stay on the board during class, so staggering your knees and feet (left knee is on the left side and right foot is on the right side) can really help with balance.
  • Back foot flipped up- You’ll notice in the video that I have my back foot flipped up so I’m on my toes during modified Warrior for example. I always do this when I’m on the paddle board because it gives me a little extra stability. You can do this on land as well.
  • Staying down on the board- You’ll notice that there are no standing poses. In my SUPYoga class, it’s the same way! Incorporating the standing poses while being the on the water is for the more advanced SUPYogi. They are a lot more difficult to balance with the instability of the water and you are more likely to fall in.

Now, the most common question I get about my SUPYoga class is, “Am I going to fall in?” My response is always the same 🙂 Only if you push yourself, determined to get a particular pose, then yes you will fall in. Other than that, majority of my students never hit the water during class. Most of the first-timers are very shocked at the end of class staying completely dry.

The beauty of SUPYoga is that it forces you slow down and concentrate on your body and movements. If you rush into a pose, you are bound to fall in! It’s extremely dependent on the core. You are working the core muscles the entire class while being on a paddle board.

Once you feel ready, come out to a SUPYoga class and enjoy the outdoors! The schedule of classes are located on the website.

How to turn- Reverse Sweep

We are now on Part 2 of the ‘How to Turn’ series. This week we are learning how to perform a Reverse Sweep. It is similar to the Sweep Turn but just in reverse. This turn is a little more difficult than the sweep turn, but needless to say it’s just one way you can turn a paddle board when you are out on the water.

How to do a Reverse Sweep Turn

First, as with any turn, you want to start out in an athletic stance while standing on the board, soft knees and tight core. Since this is the reverse of the previous turn, you will place the blade of the paddle into the water at the stern (or back) of the board instead of the front. You will essentially do a backwards paddle, sweeping out away from the board in a semi-circle motion. This turn can be performed while standing, on your knees or even while sitting. It is a great turn if you need to turn quickly, as the board will move much faster than a sweep turn. When you are paddling on the right side, performing a reverse sweep, the board will turn right. And vise versa, when you are doing a reverse sweep on the left, you will turn the board to the left.

Start at the Stern (back)
Start at the Stern (back)
Sweep to the bow (front)
Sweep to the bow (front)

Common mistakes with this turn is not placing the entire blade in the water. People in the beginning tend to get scared and they barely put the paddle blade in the water. A good thing to remember if that you don’t have to perform this turn very quickly. You can go slow with the entire blade in the water and the board will still turn. Next, is to remember to plant your feet. If you try to do this turn very fast, it can throw you off your board. This is where the slightly bent knees and tight core will help. You can use this turn in almost all conditions. The only time I would steer away from the reverse sweep is when you have head-wind because if you try to perform a reverse, you will move farther back and away from when you are trying to go.

When to use this turn

You want to use a reverse sweep if you are about to paddle into something or need to move out of the way quickly! The reverse sweep allows you to turn the board quicker than the sweep turn, so this would be a better option.

Pros vs Cons

The pros to this turn is that you are able to turn the board quickly. If you are about to paddle into something or someone, you can quickly move out of the way with the reverse sweep. I consider this turn to be an intermediate turn, so a majority of people do not have a lot of trouble conducting this turn. Once people get the hang of paddle boarding they are able to perform a reverse sweep. The cons to this turn is that the reverse sweep essentially stops the board from moving forward which takes some of the stability away, making the board less stable. Additionally, the paddler really has to work out their core to perform this turn correctly. A lot of times a beginner paddler will essentially do a backwards paddle because sweeping out away in a semi-circle can be difficult for the core.

 

How to turn- Sweep Turn

This week’s blog post focuses on a ‘How To’ video. Today I will be teaching you how to turn properly on a paddleboard. The easiest, not most efficient turn, is called the Sweep Turn. There are pros and cons to this turn, but needless to say, it’s just one way you can turn a paddle board when you are out on the water.

How to do a Sweep Turn

First, you always want to start out in an athletic stance while standing on the board with soft knees and tight core. You will place the paddle blade into the water at the bow (or front) of the board and sweep away from the board in a semi-circle. This is where it gets its name- Sweep Turn. You can perform this turn while you are sitting or on your knees as well. When you are paddling on the left, you will turn right. And vise versa, when you are sweeping on the right, you will turn the board to the left.

Sweep Turn 1

Sweep Turn 2

A couple mistakes people tend to make are not sweeping away from the board and not putting the entire blade in the water. If you are sweeping close to your board, then you will not turn the board. That is essential at forward paddle. You want to make sure your top arm is down, unlike a forward paddle. Next, don’t be afraid to put the entire blade in the water. This is where you will get your power when turning. If you barely have the blade in the water, you will not turn the board.

When to use this turn

This is the preferred turn when you have a lot of head-wind. Since the wind is in your face, pushing you backwards, you want to always be paddling forward. The sweep turn allows you to turn the board while still moving in a forward motion. Other turns end up moving you farther backwards and not the direction you are trying to go.

Pros vs Cons

The pros to the sweep turn is that it is the easiest turn. All paddlers are able to perform the sweep turn. The con is that it takes a couple paddle strokes to actually turn the board. You are not able to turn the board very quickly with the sweep turn. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to turn the paddleboard in about three sweep turns.

SUP Spot of the Month

Each month I will be highlighting a location around the Tampa area where you can get out on the water with your paddleboard and friends. You may know some of the locations, but there are some that people have no clue that they can take their boards out of or that the spot even exists.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 7.39.20 AM Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 7.41.41 AM

Marjorie Park Marina is a great location for SUPers in the Tampa area. It is located on Davis Islands which is an island just off of downtown Tampa and it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s a hidden gem that most people have never been to or even think about to launch their paddleboards. I’ve actually seen people bring their boards to this location and launch from the sea wall (very dangerous BTW) instead of the dock because they think they are not allowed to use the docks. There are gates on the docks because this is where the Police and Fire Department dock their boats as well as people living on their sailboats. But the main dock is actually open to the public!

Marjorie Park   Marjorie Park

Marjorie Park   Marjorie Park

RATING:

I rate this location  4 stars  for a couple of reasons. Quite, quaint, beautiful gem, tucked away on Davis Islands. Continue reading SUP Spot of the Month

Yoga on a Paddleboard- Poses that won’t scare you!

Yoga on a Paddleboard. “WHAT??!! No way! I would be in the water the entire class!” is the response I get all the time when I explain to people that it’s not just yoga, that we are doing it on a paddleboard. People in the SUP industry like to call it SUPYoga (Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga) and it is completely different that your typically yoga class in a studio. Majority of the poses are down on the board, especially for the beginner. We do not have a lot of standing poses in a basic level 1 class. Now the more advanced you get, you can definitely begin incorporating the standing poses such as Warrior 1 & 2. I think that’s why people are so scared to even try SUPYoga is because they see all these pictures on social media with people doing headstands or backbends and think that’s how the entire class will be like. Not at all.

Majority of people in my classes never fall in the water. Our feet get in the water during the beginning of class to get onto the board. And I encourage my students at the end, during Corpse Pose, to let their hands fall over the board to touch the water. It is a great feeling at the end of class to be lying on the board, feeling the slight movement of the water beneath you where you can reach over to dip your hands in. But other than that, most people never fall in. Unless you are really trying to get a particular pose or really pushing yourself, then you definitely have a higher chance of falling in. But that is not the majority.

During my SUPYoga class, I like to start extremely basic. So here are some poses for you that are easy to try and you will most likely NOT fall in.

Child's Pose
Child’s Pose
Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Upward Facing Dog
Upward Facing Dog
Modified Warrior
Modified Warrior
Corpse Pose
Corpse Pose

Continue reading Yoga on a Paddleboard- Poses that won’t scare you!

How to Stand Up on a Paddleboard

Here is another post of ‘How To…” In this issue, I will be showing you how to stand up on a paddleboard. The first thing everyone has to understand is that just because it’s called ‘Stand Up Paddleboard,’ does NOT mean you have to stand up on the board the entire time or at all. Some of my best times on the water is when I’m just floating along, lying down on the board. Or when we are at Kids Camp goofing around throwing each other off the boards. With that being said, if you are interested in either learning how to stand up, finding an easier way to stand up, or just learning how someone else stands up on a paddleboard, this blog post and video is for you!

If you are getting into the water, either by beach or dockside I suggest starting off on your knees. When you are on your knees your center of gravity is lowered which makes paddling easier and the board more stable. Paddleboarding is similar to riding a bike (It’s actually easier than riding a bike!)- the more momentum the bike has, the more stable it becomes. The same applies to paddle boarding. The more momentum you have from paddling, the more stable the board becomes – making it easier to stand up. So paddle for a little bit while you are on your knees to pick up speed. Once you feel like you have enough momentum, go up on your fists while holding on to the paddle. Then place your feet where you want them to go- nice wide stance around the handle. Stand up, look up and start paddling. You want to keep your eyes on the horizon to keep your balance. Typically, beginners will look down at the board which makes them even more shaky. You want to keep your head up and paddle to gain your momentum back.

The more you are on your board and on the water, you will realize this process can be much quicker and easier. You will start to feel very comfortable on the board, knowing when you are going to fall and how far you can push your limits. If you are interested in a lesson, contact us at 813-999-6414 or Book Online.

Recap:

  1. Start off on your knees
  2. Go up on your fists, so you can hold the paddle
  3. Place your feet where you want them to go, in a nice wide, athletic stance
  4. Stand up, look up, and start paddling
  5. Have FUN!

Why a Kids Camp?

People ask me all the time why I have a Kids Camp over the summer. “Why not?” is my reply every time. Kids are the best and will always keep me young. I love teaching! And even though I’m extremely happy for making the change in my career to take WhatSUP full-time, I will always miss being with kids all day. So I LOVE having my kids camp. It’s a great opportunity for me to still teach kids, even if it is paddleboarding instead of in the classroom.

Exploring at Paddleboard Camp
Exploring at Paddleboard Camp

Every summer the kids always say, “there’s no way you’re a teacher!” Camp is not like the classroom. It’s very laid back and they generally create the schedule. We typically start the day with learning paddle technique and turns to make sure the kids are efficient and comfortable on the water. We build the technique each day and by Friday they are essentially experts. Each day we practice in the morning and then the rest of the day is FREE time. I want them to have a blast, so they choose what we do. Want to go on an eco-tour or snorkel or play ‘running of the boards’? They decide what we do next. We are constantly laughing, playing and just genuinely having a great time on the water all day.

Continue reading Why a Kids Camp?

How to Hold a Paddle Correctly When Paddle Boarding

By now, a lot of people know what “Stand Up Paddle Boarding” is, especially if you live anywhere near some kind of water, being the ocean, lake, river, bay, etc. Many people have even rented some boards from a rental stand. They bring the board and paddle (and hopefully a PFD and leash) out to where they want to the launch and say “Have Fun!” This is great and all but a typical rental stand does not show them how to even hold the paddle correctly. I do have to say that it is getting much better, but it is so common to see people with the paddle facing the wrong way.

So here’s a quick video- How To Hold the Paddle Correctly! Enjoy 🙂

Continue reading How to Hold a Paddle Correctly When Paddle Boarding