Reasons why standup paddlers are laying down

Prone paddling was here first. So was surfing. This has nothing to do with anything, except that you’ll see a post once in a while where paddlers who have been paddling prone will say something like, “It’s Paddleboarding, not Prone!”

Most of the paddlers I know who paddle traditional boards were in one of two groups:

(1) Current and former lifeguards who used rescue paddleboards

(2) Surfers who wanted to keep in paddle shape when there were no waves.

I can tell you why I like it: It’s completely different. It feels like a swim workout. And, when you get in a downwind bump, it feels like flying. Candice Appleby once told me it was as close as you could get “to feeling like a dolphin.” She’s right. The experience, much like traditional surfing, is a much more intimate, water-contact experience. You are in the water as opposed to above it, so it’s a different sensation. When I get out of the water, I feel the same as I do after a really hard swim workout. It’s that same swimmers high. I never got a runners high, but I imaging it’s similar. I like mixing it up with a prone paddle one day followed by a standup paddle the next.

I bought a used 14 from Chris Aguilar (Bark and Quickblade) and love it. 2013101495132613.jpg


This morning, we headed out at dawn. There were three of us paddling two 14′ custom Barks and a 18′ Custom Bark with a rudder. I’ve been paddling for a year, but inconsistently. Dave Baker, from Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue, has ben paddling consistently for over a year or two on the bigger boards. And for Chris Johnson, this morning was his first paddle ever.

If you get a chance to try it, try it. For people who love to swim, it’s a natural transition. For triathletes, it’s perfect for the same reasons. Or, if you’re just looking for another challenge, go for it. There are a number of used boards available as well as new ones. Surftech has the Commander, a stock (12′) traditional paddleboard modeled after the prone board jack Bark used to win the Carolina Cup in 2012.

I’ll be writing more on traditional paddleboarding now that I have more of a network of prone paddlers.

Do you have any questions about Prone? Do any of you have prone boards for sale or are you looking to buy one?

The increase in prone: A completely different workout