Main Challenges for Learning to Paddle Board over 60 year olds

Paddle boarding has become a popular water sport in recent years, attracting people of all ages and skill levels. It’s a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors. However the challenges while learning to paddle board for those over 60 years old can differ from younger age groups. Today we discuss the common challenges learning to paddle board when over 60 years old. We offer some solutions to these issues enabling paddle boarders to gain more confidence while on the water.

1. Fear of Falling

As we age, our bodies become less flexible and our balance may not be as great as it once was. This can be a concern for over 60 year olds when learning to paddle board. The fear of falling into the water can be intimidating. Studies show that our sense of balance can begin to change after the age of 50. However, it’s important to remember that falling is a natural part of learning. It’s not as scary as it seems. With the proper safety gear and guidance from an instructor, falling off a paddle board is not a major risk. Empowering yourself by improving your balance has benefits in other areas of your life as well as paddle boarding. Learn more about improving your balance for paddle boarding here. It’s also helpful to start in calm and shallow waters before venturing into rougher waters.

2. Physical Limitations

Other challenges when learning to paddle board whilst over 60 years old, are physical limitations. As we get older, our bodies may not be as strong or as agile as they once were. This can make it challenging to get on and off the board. Physical limitations can create challenges in maintaining balance and control while paddling. It’s important to note here that you don’t have to stand up on a paddle board. You can also sit down! In fact it can be easier to get on and off than a kayak. My 80 year old Dad noticed the difficulty of getting back into his kayak in deep water. Climbing up and over the sides isn’t an issue with a paddle board. See the video below of an easy option for getting on and off a paddle board for elders. the 3:41 mark is where the action is.

There are also modifications and equipment that can make paddle boarding more accessible for those with physical limitations. Using a wider and more stable board can provide more stability. Using a paddle with a larger blade can help with propulsion. Improvements to fitness levels are not restricted to younger age groups. Practicing flexibility improving activities such as yoga allow you to overcome range of motion challenges. Paddle boarding itself is a great work out for core strength. However you may find that the exercise you do off the board will also help maximise your paddle boarding experience.

3. Lack of Experience

For many over 60 year olds, the thought of trying a new water sport may seem daunting. This can be the case especially if they have never tried any similar activities before. For some, this lack of experience can lead to feelings of inadequacy and hesitation to try something new. However, it’s important to remember that everyone starts as a beginner.

With the right instruction and practice, anyone can learn to paddle board. It’s also helpful to start with a lesson of other beginners to learn together and support each other. Joining a social group can also be a great way to share tips and skills with others. The Buddhist tradition celebrate, being in the mental space of a beginner. Known as ‘beginner mindset’ it’s seen to help ‘temporarily let go of any learned ideas and concepts about the world’. This enables one to approach a situation from a new perspective.’ I think we can all learn from this!

4. Safety Concerns

Safety is always a top concern when participating in any water sport. Learning to paddle board when over 60 is no different. It’s important to be aware of potential hazards such as strong currents, high winds, and other water crafts. Wearing a personal floatation device (PFD) can help with confidence levels and in some areas is required by law. Always wear an ankle leash so you don’t risk being separated from your board. You should always stay within your skill level. Again, joining a paddle boarding group or taking a lesson from a certified instructor can also help ensure safety. It can also provide guidance on how to handle any unexpected situations.

5. Finding the Right Equipment

There’s many types of paddle boards on the market. This can be overwhelming to assess which one is best for you. The weight of the board and carrying it to and from the water can be a concern. Others may be worried about the stability and maneuverability of the board. The best way to address these concerns is to do research. Talking to experts at a local paddle board shop or hire can help. They can help you find the right board for your body and skill level. Renting a board or selection of boards can help determine the best option for you.

Learning to paddle board can be a fun and rewarding experience for over 60 year olds. It’s always important to acknowledge and address any concerns or challenges that may arise. With the right equipment, instruction, and practice, anyone can enjoy this popular water sport. You may even surprise yourself when you reap its many physical and mental benefits. So don’t let age hold you back, grab a paddle board and hit the water!

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