Why stand up paddleboarding is good for your health

It’s no shock to find out that the covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on mental health. The changes to our routines and social interactions, fear and anxiety of the impact of the virus itself and juggling work and schooling arrangements have taken its toll on the best of us this last year or so. The pandemic really has been devastating for so many and it may take a long time to overcome the damage and to navigate our way to a new ‘normal’.

One casualty of the pandemic has been physical activity levels. Sport England’s report into the impact of Covid-19 has found that people reduced their exercise and activity levels in 2020, mainly through reduced opportunity and dwindling motivation. Fitness habits changed as fewer people went to the gym and did other indoor activities such as swimming. As we move through 2021 however, the appetite for activity is returning, and outdoor activities are booming, especially those that don’t require a regular subscription payment. You can see Sport England’s research at https://www.sportengland.org/know-your-audience/demographic-knowledge#coronavirus-7919

In 2020, an activity which really grew in popularity was stand-up paddleboarding. You can be forgiven if you’d never heard of this before but if you haven’t heard of it by the summer of 2021, then maybe you’ve been living under a rock because IT. IS. EVERYWHERE, even dinosaurs are paddleboarding!

We talked about the rise of paddleboarding last year and it seems that 2021 will be another year of growth. More and more people are working out the positives of water based outdoor activities and paddleboarding is easy to take up. Soon, paddleboarding might even be on the NHS. Recently, it was announced that people in Nottingham could be prescribed paddleboarding and other waterside activities to boost both physical and mental health.

Photo by Tower Paddle Boards on Unsplash

But why is paddleboarding such a good thing to be doing? Here are five reasons why paddleboarding could be the ideal activity for both physical and mental health this year:

  • It’s done on the water. Water has amazing qualities. It’s therapeutic and peaceful and has a different impact on your body than other forces. Falling into water is (usually) less painful than hitting a patch of concrete or tarmac, though you should still take care of hazards and wear appropriate safety clothing. Water is often located in places away from modern stresses amongst nature, and indeed the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year revolved around how vital to well-being nature and outdoors can be.
  • It’s easy to get into. You need a paddleboard, which you can hire if you’re not sure about buying straight away, and some suitable clothing. That’s about it. The rest is a little practice. It doesn’t matter if you’re not good at it straight away, and that’s part of the fun.
  • It’s a good overall physical workout. It works your arms and your core, and helps with balance and co-ordination.
  • The SUP community is really friendly and welcoming. You never know, you might make a new friend or three in the process.
  • It’s good for social distancing and it’s always outdoors, so much less worry about virus transmission. Unlike contact sports, it’s an activity that thrives on distance from other people and it can be done with as many or as few people as you like.

Where can you paddleboard in the UK?

The UK is abundant with inland waterways and plenty of coastline. There are lots of water sports centres in and around the UK where you can learn to paddleboard, though you don’t need to have lessons. You can just find your own waterway and teach yourself, however, you will need to check that you’re allowed to use it. Check out the information from the Canal & River Trust and British Canoeing for more information about accessing the UK’s waterways.

Photo by Larkin Hammond on Unsplash

Check out these articles for more ideas about where to paddleboard near where you are:

A guide to paddleboarding in London

11 epic paddleboard locations in Wales

Top 5 best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland

While paddleboards are inflatable and don’t take too long to inflate and deflate, if you keep yours inflated and prefer to travel ready to go, our HandiRack is ideal for when you just want to load up and go. Our inflatable HandiRack roof bars can be fitted to most cars in minutes and can help to safely transport you and your paddleboards, kayak or canoes wherever you need to go. The British summer can be unpredictable at times, it’s always important to find ways to maximise your leisure time.


The HandiWorld Guide to Father’s Day 2021

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

After a year that none of us are likely to forget, lives are just beginning to return to a form of normality around the UK. With that in mind we see that Father’s Day is just around the corner and it’s an ideal time to decide what to buy as a gift this year.

If you’re looking to move away from the usual gifts and give something different that makes an impact, we’ve got some HandiWorld suggestions for you. If you, like many others enlist your Father to help with lifting, carrying and moving loads, our first suggestion might help with the strain of that lifting and handling.

The HandiMoova 2in1 Load Carrier is adaptable, versatile and efficient. It transforms in seconds from a 2-wheel hand truck to a 4-wheel platform trolley. This means that not only can smaller loads be easily manoeuvred, but for those times where larger bulkier items need moving your Dad will easily be prepared for both.

Fully collapsible for flat and easy storage, the HandiMoova 2in1 will fit in most car boots for those times when you call home asking for Dad’s assistance.

Next up is our bestselling HandiRack.

Our HandiRack inflatable roof bars should be on every Dad’s wish list this year. Inflatable, easy to install and remove, they can be used for all of your travel and leisure needs. A strong, safe and innovative solution for a multitude of transportation and leisure problems.

No need to worry when there’s a change of car either, as they fit almost every make and model. You can find out more about exactly which cars the HandiRack fits here:


Another fantastic use for the HandiRack is if Dad likes water sports (or is ever enlisted to take you canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding). The HandiRack can be quickly inflated and essential sporting equipment securely transported to your destination. To round off the brilliance of this product as a gift, the box is a great shape for wrapping!

Our final suggestion for the Fathers who love their outdo

or sports, is our CAMBA Kart – All-terrain kayak, canoe and SUP trolley.

We know all too well how tricky that final bit of the journey can be once you arriv

e at your destination. Negotiating tricky terrain can often be the most difficult part of the trip, including heading back up to the car after a great day out. The CAMBA Kart is different to other kayak carts; it features clever CAMBA patented technology that keeps the Kart balanced at all times, and makes it much easier to negotiate obstacles and rough terrain. Suitable for use with canoes, kayaks and paddleboards, it is designed from the strongest materials to ensure the best performance. You can find out more about this incredible CAMBA technology here:


Whatever you’re planning on doing to treat your loved ones this Father’s Day, we do hope it’s a very special day for you all, from the team here at HandiWorld.


Stand up Paddle Boarding for Beginners

Stand up paddleboarding is an activity growing fast in popularity. Whether this is due to the coronavirus (stand up paddleboarding is a good social distancing activity) or something else, we are not really sure, but we’ve certainly seen a lot more people out and about doing just this. Have you ever been stand up paddle boarding?

What is stand up paddleboarding?

Stand up paddle boarding (or SUP) is like surfing but isn’t. Instead of using waves to propel yourself like in surfing, you use a paddle to push yourself along still waters or waves. You can paddleboard on a lake, a river, or the ocean. You can stand up on the board, or kneel if you prefer.

It originated in Hawaii and has been around for hundreds of years, though the modern version dates from around the year 1900.

Photo by Matt Zhou on Unsplash

Is stand up paddle boarding difficult?

Stand up paddleboarding is very accessible as an activity. It doesn’t require the skill of surfing, and is easier to get into than kayaking. It’s suitable for people of all ages and it can be taught in a few hours, unlike surfing where you often need multiple lessons for a sustained period of time to really pick it up.

Have a look at this article from Isle, Surf and Sup to learn more about how easy it is to get into stand up paddleboarding – https://www.islesurfandsup.com/is-paddle-boarding-hard/

How to do stand up paddle boarding

Stand up paddleboarding is basically standing or kneeling on a board while using a paddle to propel yourself. It’s all about balance and momentum – like cycling. There’s not much else to it. Learn to balance yourself. Learn to move from a kneeling position to a standing position. Get the hang of paddling and turning your board in a different direction. It’s all about practice.

Here’s a great video from Tin Box Traveller

What stand up paddle board to buy

Getting the right sized paddleboard is important. Longer and wider boards provide better stability but might be difficult to paddle, especially if you’re short and lightweight yourself. Wider boards are good for increased stability in moving water – such as rapids.

Bigger boards are more difficult to store but inflatable SUPs are available and these provide good stability too.

The HandiRack, our universal inflatable roof bars, are a great way of transporting your SUP.

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Bars

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Bars

Have a read of this article from PumpedUpSup to learn more about ideal SUP sizes – https://www.pumpedupsup.com/blogs/news/what-size-sup-board-is-right-for-you

Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash

What to wear when stand up paddle boarding

What to wear when stand up paddle boarding is kind of important but there’s not really specialist SUP wear – it’s the same stuff you’d wear if you were surfing. A wet suit is good but then swim-shorts and t-shirts are fine too. The plan isn’t to spend too much time in the water anyway!

You should wear a floatation device, especially if you are not a strong swimmer. Children should certainly wear one.

If it’s a cold day (or even if it’s not) you might also want to wear thermals. The water can be cold even if the sun is shining.

On your feet, water shoes are a good option. Bare feet are fine, until you fall in and need to walk on the bottom of the riverbed.

If it’s a hot day, then don’t forget your sunscreen and shades.

It’s also important that you get a board leash – like in surfing – so your board stays close to you if you fall in the water.

Where to go stand up paddle boarding

There are lots of places around the UK to go stand up paddleboarding, but like kayaking, you might need a license to access some waterways. While some stretches of water are public access, many are under the control of the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, the Broads Authority and a number of other waterway authorities.

You can get a temporary licence (30 days) from The Canal & River Trust https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canoeing-and-kayaking/paddle-boarding-the-basics or an annual membership from British Canoeing which includes a licence for a host of managed waterways around the UK and liability insurance – https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/news/2019/stand-up-paddle-boarding-on-canals-and-rivers

Check out the list of locations covered by British Canoeing membership and those not included to find a suitable place near you – https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/go-canoeing/access-and-environment/licensing

The CAMBA Kart, our innovative board and paddlesports trolley makes getting your SUP to the waters edge much easier.

CAMBA Kart Paddlesports Trolley

Is stand up paddleboarding safe?

Stand up paddleboarding is as safe as it can be for an activity that is physical and done on water, which can be unpredictable. It’s important that you, as with other watersports, respect the water and take notice of the safety advice from your instructor.

Check out safety advice from the RNLI at https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/stand-up-paddle-boarding

Are you a stand up paddleboarder?