As technology advances, the price of goods comes down. There have been tremendous advances in paddlecraft, with durable inflatable boards, kayaks and canoes, as well as folding crafts or those that break down. Paddleboarding, once a more exclusive sport largely due to the cost of a board and the difficulty of transporting them, is now far more affordable and accessible.
The cost of an inflatable paddleboard has come down significantly, one available now at the end of the season on Amazon for as low as $299. An inflatable board, two-piece oar and pump will all fit in the smallest of cars. It’s important to read reviews, or perhaps rent equipment before purchasing. Local area surf shops can provide rental equipment to get out on the water, as well as advice and boards to purchase.
A low impact, total body workout that will improve balance, flexibility and core strength, paddleboarding is also an escape from the stress of daily life. Water is inherently soothing. Being out moving on the water alongside the ducks and with eagles flying above can be blissful.
The outdoor gear cooperative, REI, offers basic instruction and safety information that beginners will find helpful at www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/paddleboarding. Note that the U.S. Coast Guard and the Oregon State Marine Board do not recommend paddling alone. Paddlecraft 10 feet and longer must be licensed, and a life vest must be on board. Pack a whistle, sun protection and phone (in a plastic bag). Note that the temperature can vary and dress accordingly.
The Seasoned Surfer writes at theseasonedsurfer.com, “The casual recreational paddle boarder can burn 305-430 calories per hour,” the caloric burn increasing with exertion. While the beginner will need to develop the skill to sit, stand and kneel, those more advanced can practice yoga on a paddleboard. Those intending to venture out into the ocean will need a board that can handle the waves.
Beaver Creek in Seal Rock offers an easy place to launch and relatively flat water for beginners, however, it is important to consider the wind and the tide. The return trip on the creek can be much more taxing than the trip out. It may be necessary to sit or kneel when heading against the wind and the current.
Alsea Bay and Yaquina Bay offer paddling opportunity, as does the Port of Toledo. The Yachats River, the Siletz River and the Yaquina River can be paddled, being mindful of conditions. Area lakes are a good place to get started.