Paddlesports: canoeing and kayaking
While swimming is undoubtedly the world’s most popular water sport, there are plenty of other water sports which are rapidly growing in popularity – these include kiteboarding, surfing, wakeboarding and more. While all the above sports attract a strong following, paddlesports may have the widest range of appeal out of all water sports. Whether you want to improve your aerobic fitness, enjoy your natural surroundings, race through slaloms or become the master of the white water rapids, paddlesports has it all on offer. While the terms canoe and kayak are often used interchangeably, there are actually key differences between the two. You kneel in a canoe (usually up to three people) and use a single bladed paddle, whereas a kayak has an enclosed cockpit (generally your legs are covered) and you use a double bladed paddle. While there are a multitude of variances of these descriptions, for the purpose of this article they will both be referred to as paddlesports.
Here are some of the ways in which paddlesports might benefit you.
While swimming lengths in a swimming pool is perfectly fine for some, one of the key advantages for those participating in paddlesports is that you get to adventure out into the open air and explore the environment around you. For those that partake in paddlesports to get closer to nature, this can be an extremely therapeutic and relaxing experience.
When using a kayak your legs are covered, and there is a widespread misconception that no leg muscles are utilised in the movement. This couldn’t be further from the truth however. When kayaking with proper form, the entire body is used, making it an excellent workout for people who want to retain a lean body composition and improve their muscular endurance.
For those looking for stronger arms and shoulders, paddlesports are one of the greatest ways to achieve this goal. Even for aesthetic purposes, studies have indicated that elite-level kayakers have greater circumferences of the upper arm, forearm and chest than less experienced kayakers. So, if you’re looking to improve the size and muscularity of your upper-body, paddlesports may be the answer.
Instead of sitting on the edge of a lake with the intent on luring some fish to your bait, why not sail out and discover an area with a high population of fish? You’re more likely to succeed when you find a fishing hole far away from the other fishing enthusiasts.
Of course, for those that are more interested in the competitive element, paddlesports has what you need! From sprint racing, to slaloms to polo canoeing, you’re sure to find some type of competition that is exhilarating and enjoyable, whether you prefer to play as a team or go solo. For those that want to take their paddling skills a step further, after a lot of time and dedication you can reach professional standards and represent your country in the quest for a gold medal. Check out the Team GB Canoe Slalom Team here.