Making it count in 2014

Small changes = big gains

With the ringing in of a brand new year, plans are made for the months ahead, goals set and resolutions made. Some will fall by the wayside, others will be half measures while the golden few will stick like glue and be capitalised upon.

Pic courtesy Phil May

The secret to any New Year resolution is to make it achievable. Waking up, determined to become the next Kelly Slater is all well and good but hardly doable if you’re a middle aged dad, with a family of four, residing in a land locked, wave starved part of the country. Keeping goals realistic is the only way to ensure your plans work out.

What we all can do is make the little things count. A wise man once said: ‘If it’s worth doing then it’s worth doing right.’ This mentality can be adapted to your stand up paddle boarding sessions.

Most of us will have limited time to squeeze sweeping sessions in but when the time comes, have some simple goals in place, be willing to adapt and have a purpose.

For instance: If you have aspirations of stomping a specific wave manoeuvre, consider the fundamental skills you’ll need to build up to that point. It’s no good just going hell for leather, closing your eyes and hoping and praying. Everything stems from having solid building blocks in place before attempting to smash it during the main event.Joey T getting some

If you have limited time in the waves then it’s even more crucial to have defined, simple and actionable ‘tasks’ in mind as you hit the surf. However, and it’s worth making this crystal clear, shooting for the stars with your SUP sessions shouldn’t be to the detriment of enjoying yourself and having fun – this should still be paramount!

All of us have good and bad days and sometimes, even with the best laid plans, a great forecast and plenty of pre-SUP preparation in place, our bodies and/or mind refuse to step up to the plate. At this point have a contingency plan and don’t be afraid of flipping things on their head and focus on alternative aspects of your paddling. If you’re not making headway with improving your downwind speed, for instance, then change tack and think about your paddling technique. And if this isn’t working then just enjoy the view more. Above all don’t beat yourself up if it ain’t happening.

Making your SUP sessions count doesn’t have to be an in depth, time consuming exercise in analytics. Picking small areas of your stand up routine to work on will have a knock on, and positive, effect to all areas of your SUP.

Here are a few suggestions of simple exercises to aid your SUP performance this coming year –

  • Increase your paddling reach (extension) – this will make you more efficient and faster as a result
  • Work on improving your SUP surfing bottom turn – a good one will give you speed and set you up for the next section
  • Keep yourself better hydrated – a ‘juiced’ up paddler will enjoy improved performance during races, over distance and in the surf
  • Use your head – stop looking at your feet, lift your bonce and see your overall paddling improve
  • Try as much new kit as you can – this will give you a better understanding of what works best for you

Make your goals realistic, achievable and neat fitting with your usual stand up paddling routine and watch your stand up paddle boarding performance shoot through the roof. 2014 –  time to make it count!

Happy New Year from Loco SUP

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