Paddling is any sport that involves the athlete propelling a vessel by a paddle. Typically and until just recently paddling activities occurred exclusively on the water. However, with the recent inception of many new sports, typically in the crossover realm, a new activity has been invented that has eclipsed the category of fad and even trend and has become a legitimate category of sport. This new paddling sport occurs not on the water, but rather on land and is known as land paddling.
What is Land Paddling?
Land paddling is the solid ground version of what standup paddleboarding is on the water. Actually, as the sport has been catching on, there is already the need to add specificity to the term SUP, or standup paddleboarding. This has caused the emergence of the term Street SUP. In basic terms, land paddling involves a person propelling a skateboard, usually a longboard, with a stick. Essentially, the skateboard is paddled down the road with the arms via a pole instead of the legs pushing on the ground.
A question might come to mind as to why someone might choose to land paddle as opposed to straight-up skateboarding or standup paddleboarding (on water). The answer lies in the overall trend of sport, physical fitness, and our desire to lead a healthy active lifestyle. Land paddling is a healthy low impact alternative to running. It is attractive to paddlers and skaters alike. And for some, its simply the latest cool sport to get into.
You might be wondering if land paddling is a sport you’d like to pick up. Well, you’re in luck. It’s really quite easy to get into land paddling and if you’ve skateboarded in the past, you’re halfway there.
If you, your kids, or a friend has a skateboard lying around, you can get a glimpse into land paddling. All you’ll need is a sturdy stick or pole like a broom or pool net. Remove the end, get on the board, and push away. Of course, the “paddle” won’t be the right length, nor as sophisticated as an actual land paddle, but this could give you the idea behind the sport and make you want to explore further.
If you have never been on a skateboard, please don’t try this without help from a friend or getting lessons. You’ll actually need to learn how to land paddle in this case. You would also do good to go to a skate shop and get some lessons. But fear not, today’s longboards are sturdy and stable, and if you take it slow balance won’t be a problem with some practice.