Are Inflatable Paddleboards Better Than Hard Ones?
NEW YORK (Reuters) - small paddle board has surged to a fast-growing water sport that fitness experts say delivers a full-body workout to anyone exercising on an ocean, lake or river.
About 1.2 million people tried mini stand up paddle board in 2011, up 18 percent from 2010, according to the Outdoor Industry Association’s 2012 report, and nearly 60 percent of SUP enthusiasts tried it for the first time in 2011.
Carey Bond, an instructor and guide at Manhattan Kayak Company in New York City, co-founded the Suplogix research group to explore the biomechanics of small inflatable paddle board.
Stand up rescue inflatable paddle board is a rapidly growing sport and recreational activity where anecdotal evidence exists for its proposed health, fitness and injury rehabilitation benefits. While limited scientific evidence exists to substantiate these claims, previous studies have shown that high levels of fitness, strength and balance exists amongst participants of this sport. The purpose of this study was to conduct a training intervention on a group of previously untrained individuals to ascertain the potential of SUP on various health parameters.
An intervention study was conducted where after being tested initially, subjects were left for 6 weeks to act as their own control before the SUP intervention began. A total of 13 SUP participants completed the training study (nine males, four females) which was comprised of three 1 h sessions per week for 6 weeks.
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) originated in Hawaii in the 50's and is a mixture of both surfing and paddling . It is an emerging recreational activity which has attracted attention for its proposed fitness, strength and balance benefits. Anecdotally, SUP is thought to be a beneficial clinical training tool as it possesses many facets of an ideal rehabilitative exercise . However our recent review of the literature has identified minimal scientific evidence to substantiate the proposed benefits.
Stand up 10 foot inflatable paddle board is a physical activity in which the participant maintains a standing position on a board similar to a surfboard. However, stand up paddle boards are longer in length (8–15', 2.44–4.57 m), thicker (4–8", 10.16–20.32 cm) and wider (26–31", 66.04–78.74 cm) than traditional surfboards. Stand up paddle boarding involves a participant getting to their feet on a large board before using the long paddle for propulsion with strokes on either side of the body . Paddling involves the similar biomechanics of dragon boat racing which has the paddling mechanics of an entry, drive and exit of the paddle from the water . It requires a rhythmic alternating paddle to propel the craft through the water. Isometric contractions of the entire trunk, gluteals and lower leg musculature are required to counter the rotational forces from the pull phase of each paddling stroke .
One of the major attractions of SUP is that it is thought to a good fitness training tool. Physical activity is well understood to increase cardiovascular fitness which is associated with cardiovascular mortality . Physical inactivity is a major modifiable risk factor of a range of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer . Physical activity significantly improves overall health, lowers the risk of heart disease by 40 %, stroke by 27 % and lowers the incidence of hypertension by almost 50 % . Physical activity has also been associated with improved mental health and wellbeing, minimizing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and depression .
Our prior research has demonstrated that high levels of aerobic and anaerobic fitness, core strength and balance are possessed by those classed as elite amongst this sport [8, 9]. Given the issue of sedentary behaviour and limited scientific research on SUP regarding the anecdotal claims of benefit of this activity, our intention was to assess the benefit of SUP on a group of sedentary, untrained individuals with respect to fitness, strength, balance and self-rated quality of life.
A total of 18 sedentary individuals (ten males, eight females) were recruited through radio and media advertisements about the study. A total of 13 individuals (four females, nine males) completed the training program. Inclusion criteria required individuals to have not been participating in physical activity for the last 6 months and were aged between 18 and 60 years. Exclusion criteria included a history of back pain, physical and psychological impairment. The study was approved by the University Human Research Ethics Committee (RO-1550) and each participant formally consented to taking part in the study.