Outdoors blog


Is paddle boarding bad for your back?

Paddle boarding is not bad for your back. In fact, it can be helpful. What is bad for your back is the position you take on the board. If you stand with your legs straight and your knees fixed then you will run the risk of pulling your back out of alignment.

How can you hurt your back with paddle boarding?

There are different ways you can hurt your back as you enjoy the paddling activity.

Let us look at some:


Wrong paddle boarding techniques

Using the wrong paddling techniques will not only lead to back pain but also leg, elbow and shoulder pain. If the right posture is not maintained as you paddle, you run the risk of hurting your back.

Wrong paddle board

The kind of board you get can also contribute to your back pain in addition to other pains. For example, if you are tall and decide to use a narrow board then you will need maximum core strength to paddle especially when faced with choppy waters.

If you are a short or small person and you decide to paddle with a large board then you will find yourself leaning more to the side.

Wrong blade length

As for the blade length, a short blade will require you to flex your spine. This in turn will cause disc overload, something that is not good for your body.

Wrong technique of transporting the board

You may think that you have the power to carry your board into and off the truck every time you go paddle boarding. But, if done wrong, you risk hurting your back. Simply grabbing and pulling it out of the truck any way you see fit will not be good for your body, especially your back. You have to be careful not to overload your discs during the process. Enlist the help of other people to remove the board and also make use of a trolley to transport it to the waters.

Not maintaining the slight “sit-back” position after every stroke

As you paddle, you may want to stand up straight and paddle or bend over slightly as you try to maintain your balance and paddle. However, it is a good idea that with each stroke you make, you assume the “sit back” position. You make like you are about to sit back and then go in for the next stroke.


How can you minimize pain while paddling?

There are a few things that you can do to minimize pain as you paddle. The pain could be on your back, shoulder, leg or elbow.

You should:

  • Not have a tight grip on your paddle. You may think that tightening your grip on the paddle will help you paddle well or faster but it will only result in pain.
  • Not jump onto the board minus stretching a bit. Even a simple walk along the shores after a long drive will help.
  • Avoid being tense on the waters. Try to relax as much as you can and your muscles will also relax. In addition, try to practice using your torso with every stroke or turn you make.

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