Paddle Boarding

Today, I think most people who live near any body of water have either seen someone or heard something about this exciting new sport. Its the newest and fastest growing water sport in the world called “Stand up Paddle Boarding”. Its also referred to as paddle surfing or SUP short for “Stand Up Paddling”

Research has shown that this kind of activity goes back centuries in French Polynesia where indigenous tribes were seen standing on hollowed out logs. By the early 1950’s, beach boys in Hawaii were seen by tourists vacationing on the islands standing on their surfboards holding long wooden paddles. Today “Stand Up Paddling” boards are lighter, wider, faster and come in larger varieties of color ad design.

Currently, this sport is booming everywhere in the world. Races, events and competitions are being held in several countries including Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Canada and Australia. The average person who may not have ever competed in a sport before, are competing in SUP races worldwide.

Christina Boeri, a passionate paddle boarding enthusiast and good friend of mine just returned from her one week Hawaiian trip and said “Its everywhere, everybody is doing it, every car has at least one board strapped onto the roof.”

With Stand Up Paddle boarding, the possibilities are endless, if you want to ride waves it is a blast, if you want to explore and paddle beautiful flat-water lakes that is also a great adventure. I’ve witnessed people fishing on their boards, going down wild rapid rivers and as well as paddle surf the wake behind boats for long distances without a rope.

Some of the challenges beginners face when purchasing their first board, is what brand to buy, what size, shape, color and design. The choices are vast. New models and brands are being introduced to the market continuously. It is important to choose a board that is big enough to give you stability based on your weight and height. Another consideration would be the kind of paddling you intend to do.

Ridding waves and long distance speed paddling require completely different types of boards. Most people are purchasing what we call an “all a rounder” board witch has a typical length between a 10’6 to 11.’6. They are approximately 29 inches wide and 4 to 5 inches thick.

Many board companies will carry this category of paddleboard and this allows the user to catch waves and also paddle flat water. Boards will run you about $1000 to $2000 depending on the expected use. Paddles start at about $150 to $400 for top quality Carbon Fiber paddles.

The benefits of this new sport go way beyond the fun factor. The health benefits are fantastic and another bonus is that it works your mid section giving you an affective core workout. Paddleboard sale in the US will explode on that basis alone!

Personally, when I first tried this sport, I new within 5 minutes that I was hooked. The feeling of calmness and peace one experiences is so different than any other sport that I have ever done. It really is like walking on water!

Beginners should always get started on calm flat water and get a feel for the board and learn proper paddle strokes and balance. Paddle boarding schools all over the world make sure their customers have a positive experience by teaching their newbies in a relaxed calm body of water for their first outing.

Ideal Body Types For Badminton

Something you may notice is that very few professional mens singles players are much taller than 6 feet. This seems to be the height at which you start finding fewer and fewer players. Each inch taller seems to be something of a disadvantage on the whole. There are of course some advantages to that extra height like the extra reach it provides, but in a sport that demands so much agility, it proves to be more of a burden. Going the other direction you find very few mens singles players that are much shorter than 5 foot 6 inches, or perhaps even 5 foot 8 inches. At this point your court coverage is going to start being hindered compared to the other players. There are of course examples of players who have been outside this range, like Ong Ewe Hock who was 5 foot 3 or 4 inches tall, and Thomas Stuer Lauridsen who was 6 foot 3 (I thought he was much taller, but wikipedia argues otherwise). Thomas Stuer was a great player, but he also battled with injuries that were no doubt caused by his size.

If you go into the other events you start to see a lot more variation is the heights of players. In mens doubles you see small players like Yap Kim Hock player with a much taller partner, Cheah Soon Kit. Yap was a lefty, and Cheah was a righty. While Cheah was the big gun from the back, Yap was a force at the net. In mixed doubles Zhang Jun won the Olympics, and if you were to see him outside of badminton¬†with no knowledge of his sporting success, you would assume he was terribly out of shape. He is a very stocky guy, and while he will never cover the court like Lin Dan does, he is ridiculously strong. I’m sure nobody looks forward to returning a smash from Zhang Jun.

So with these professional players in mind, what should an aspiring badminton player such as yourself do? How should you adapt your style to your build? Well if you’re like me, short stocky, you probably need to rely more on defense. You should focus on deflecting and absorbing your opponents attack in order to tire them out, and seek opportunities later in the rallies. To go too aggressively at your opponent will tire you out quicker than them most likely. Playing flat will eliminate their reach advantage over you, and since you’re shorter, you’re more likely to be able to steal the attack during flat play.

If you’re tall and lanky you want to take advantage of the extreme angles you can produce. Push the play deep to all four corners of the court, your opponent who is shorter than you won’t appreciate the extra steps they have to take. Also, from the back court your drops and slices will be a source of frustration for your opponent who’s standing too far back because they’re afraid of your smash.

Golf Weight Training

There is a HUGE misconception of what and how this type of program should be done. It does not take going into a gym and lifting heavy weights; nor does it take a 2-3 hour daily commitment.

I have seen many “so-called” golf weight training programs, books, and videos etc that do in fact show the golfer in the gym and on machines. Sitting on a machine, isolating one muscle group is not golf-specific or sport-specific for that matter.

Golf is a dynamic movement done on your feet. Sitting in a machine in a “controlled” environment will not improve your swing.

The golf swing incorporates most of the muscles of the body in a sequential motion. I hope you can now see sitting in a machine won’t improve that.

So what truly is a ‘golf-specific’ program?

For starters, doing a lot of exercise ‘on your feet’ and in your golf posture will help. The more you can get in your posture and strength train, the quicker the benefit to your game.

Golf also involves balance and stabilization. To improve this takes a concentrated effort on core work and exercises involving balance (such as one-legged exercises).

The more popular golf-exercises are done on a stability ball; using exercise tubing; handweights; and even weighted medicine balls.

This allows you to do many dynamic movements similar to your golf swing, directly relating to more power, distance and accuracy.

These pieces of equipment are very inexpensive and portable. You can have a complete golf weight training gym in your home for under $100 easily.

For example, exercise tubing is approximately $20 and you can immediately do golf swings with it. This is as golf-specific as you can get. Doing your actual movement with resistance will dramatically increase your power output.

There are dozens of simple, golf weight training exercises you can do with the above equipment (and in your home). The beauty of this type of golf training is saving time and money, but most importantly making it fun and enjoyable.

When you do these types of golf weight training exercises you will be encouraged that it will be the missing link to your best game.

Often, we try to get on the fitness, weight-loss bandwagon, only to quit after just a week or so. With the above type of training, your doing both. You not only see a dramatic improvement in your game, but the icing on the cake is looking and feeling better.

I have worked with hundreds, if not thousands of golfers via the web who have sent me emails stating how they have stuck with their programs longer than any other time in their life. They say the connection between health and golf is what did it.

So don’t get overwhelmed the next time you here about golf weight training. With a little research, you can be doing your golf weight training program in your home in no time.

Serving Under Pressure

Don’t rush through your motion

The mistake that most players make is that, “They don’t want to deal with the pressure, so they tend to rush through their motion”.

This leads to nervous energy and it throws off their serve!!

So, step away from the line for moment and take a deep breath and exhale, then release all the stress, out of your body.

Then do it again, but this time in a more calmer way.

That should help you relax a little better.

After that,

Serve on your terms

Never start your motion until you are relaxed, so if you still feel nervous at all, just step away from the baseline again.

Apologize to your opponent, then take another deep breath and start your motion again.

Serving is away about timing, rhythm and flow.

And the more you do it on your terms, the more self-control, you will feel over any type of situation on court.

This will also give you the mental edge in match play.

Allow your serve to flow

Now you should be emotionally ready to serve.

So let your serve flow.

Never try to force your motion.

Because you will throw off your timing by doing that.

Instead, follow your normal routine and let your service action flow.

Follow those instructions above and you will start dominating your fears in matches.

“Practice these 3 tips in your practice matches and also in your real matches. “

Keep working on these tips too.

Think repeat, repeat and more of the same thing, until your own them.

You want to own these tips, because at the junior level, they can help you rise straight up to the top of the ranking!!

I’ll be honest here with you too.

Stay Safe When Surfing

Dangerous surfing situations can happen fast and without warning. Follow these tips to do your part to stay safe out in the water.

Know how to swim. You must be a strong swimmer to surf. Treading water won’t be good enough if you’re tossed from your board or pulled out by a rip.

Wear safety gear. Use a leash. You’ll avoid losing your board or having it hit others in the head, and it can help you find your way back to the surface if you get disoriented underwater. Rash guards, wetsuits, and booties will protect your body from cold waters, reefs, and the sun.

Watch out for rips. Rip currents can be exhausting at best, deadly at worst. Avoid them at all costs. Watch for “rivers” in the water, areas of faster or backward flowing current. The waves will look flatter or uneven in this area. If you do get caught, motion for help or start paddling parallel to the shore until you break free.

Practice sun safety. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses or a UV-blocking wetsuit top. More surfers die from skin cancer than drownings.

Don’t dive head first. Never dive head first into unknown waters. Neck injuries can be life-long and debilitating. If you’re taking a fall, extend a hand out in front of you and fall flat. This is especially important in surf breaks over reefs or in shallow areas.

Protect your head. Make sure you know where your board is at all times. A leash helps with this. Protect your head as you surface to avoid getting hit by your board.

Surf with a friend. Use the buddy system every time you hit the water. If you get in to trouble, you’ll have someone to help you.

Know your limits. Don’t attempt to tackle waves beyond your abilities and don’t rely on your leash to protect you. Leashes can break in big surf, which means you’ll be out there without your board in conditions you may not be able to handle.

Know And Practice Surf Etiquette

Surfing is a fun and laid-back sport full of camaraderie. A lot of this philosophy can be attributed to practicing good surf etiquette.

Watch out for other surfers. Hang on to your board so it doesn’t hit other surfers. Never ditch it if you can help it.

Wear a leash. Related to #1 above, a leash helps keep your board with you. You won’t have to swim after if it you lose it and you won’t have to worry about it hitting someone else.

Don’t paddle in front of others. Also called “snaking”, this involves paddling around someone to get ahead of him or her and closer to the wave in an attempt to gain right of way.

Practice right of way. The surfer closest to the curl has right of way. Don’t drop in on them. Wait for the next wave. Paddling surfers yield to surfers riding a swell.

Help others. If you see a surfer in trouble, help him or her. The ocean is no place to ignore someone in distress.

Keep these safety and etiquette tips in mind next time you’re out riding the waves and you’ll gain the respect of your fellow surfers, as well as come back from your excursion in one piece.

Stay Fit Diet For Surfer

A surfer should essentially focus on both pre-surfing and post-surfing diet plans.

Before you set out to surf, you need to make sure that you have completed your intake at least 45 minutes before you enter the waters.

Any food you might take will consist of one or more of the essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water in varied proportions.

There are hundreds and thousand of foods around. Diet can be confusing because digestive capabilities and individual food comfort differs between people. Before we go deep in to the many food choices, you should know that your digestive system and your natural intellect welcome food that is naturally friendly to your gut. Foods that are gut friendly are easy to digest and it makes you feel better and energetic post meal, as opposed to feeling heavy, sleepy and tired with unhealthy gut tiring foods.

What is comfortable to you might not be to someone else and vice versa. So, listen to your senses and decide on what you would take before and after surf.

Proteins without saturated fat, complex carbohydrates and whole grain, soy foods, diary foods low in fat, high fiber and nutrient rich foods are good pre-surf diet choices.

Holistic dieticians recommend, eat when you are hungry, and nothing if you are not. Your body demands food if it is in need of energy. Issues arise when you over feed or under feed it. Eat right enough for your hunger, because hunger is directly proportional to bodily needs.

Hunger compliant surfers are normally healthy, because they neither over eat nor under eat.

Oatmeal is best to you keep you energized for a long stay in water. Complement it with blueberries, nuts and raisins, fiber, easily digestible fats, and cinnamon for better digestion pre-surf.

Other choices of pre-surf food would be whole grain bread, granola, yoghurt, protein shakes, rice, black beans, tofu, energy chocolates or eggs with seasoned pepper

Those who develop leg cramps while on sea can consider including banana. Isotonic drinks also do help.

Those who do not have a lot of time for meals pre-surf can consider energy snacks like a fruit mix, fruit smoothies, nuts and raisins, muffins, peanut and banana, energy bars, or raw vegetables.

Heavy foods pre-surf over works the digestive system, leaving the body with less energy for the rest of the feats. So, have an energetic yet light diet pre-surf.

Post-surf is the time to relish your achievement for the day. You likely are hungry. Fish, grilled chicken, baked potatoes, French fries, steamed vegetables, tea or anything you like that is gut friendly.

Places To Learn Surfing In Costa Rica

The Caribbean

The conditions for surfing in the east coast do not last throughout the year as the waves are mainly the result of tropical storms. Therefore, it is not recommended for a novice to attempt surfing on this side. For new surfers, the Pacific Coast side is more of an option.

Pacific Coast

The west side of the coast can be further divided into three distinct regions, the North, Central and South.

North Pacific Coast

This is the most popular region for surfing in Costa Rica and has some great places for surfing.

Places such as Playa Naranjo have very strong winds, especially between December and March. This is a great place to stay and learn surfing due to its location. You can also camp here but a 4 wheel drive is a necessity here.

Tamarindo is a town with startling beauty which offers great surfing conditions for both novices and experienced surfers alike. The best conditions are found between December and April. Tamarindo also offers Spanish classes so if you were interested in learning Spanish too, you will have the best of both at your disposal.

Central Pacific Coast

Hermosa Beach in the Central Pacific region keeps its waters in a constant swell. The beach stretches for several miles so you can easily find a spot where it is not too crowded. The good thing is, this beach is easily accessible from San Jose.

South Pacific Coast

Playa Dominical has waves in store for all skill levels. This region features beautiful lush landscapes and coastal rainforests. This is the place to go if you want to pack light. Just don’t forget the wetsuit!

Be a Good Badminton Player

Physical Skill

Let’s start with the most fundamental of badminton skill, ie: Strokes, Steps/Footwork, Stamina, and Strategy.

  • Strokes: The basic technique of badminton strokes includes Overheads forehand and backhand clear / smash / drop, drives, lifts, net shot. You are higher recommended to learn from the badminton demo video(see link at the bottom of this page). With the video, it will save you a lot of time learning all the basic strokes. After you have learn the basic strokes, the next step you have to do is practice and practise. Without the ability to execute all the different strokes, one will not be a complete badminton player.
  • Steps/Footwork: Steps/Footwork is always comes together with stroke. A good badminton must have a good coordination of footwork and strokes. This includes foot, body, arms, swing coordination.
  • Stamina: A badminton can last anything from 15 minutes to 1 hour plus and there can be more than one game within a day. A completed badminton match is best of 3 games, that means you got to play at least 2 games continuously. Without good stamina, a badminton player will be unable to successfully execute his/her desired strokes or even cannot finish the game. Again, stamina need to be build over the time via regular training, workouts or exercises. Regular workout will also help to improve your game by increasing your arm strength.
  • Strategy: With good badminton skill and stamina is not enough, you must also have a good strategy to win a game. you have to make the correct shot at the correct time, either a drop-shot, smash, or clear? This is also important to identify the weakest point of opponent. This is especially crucial for doubles game, you should identify your opponent weakness and attack the opponent who is weaker. This is the most simple strategy. If your opponent is weak on his/her backhand clear, then you should hit the shuttle towards his/her backhand more. To go one level higher, it is also important to make the correct choice for a series of return and to lay out a game plan for whole match. This is so called the strategy of a badminton game.

Mental Strength

Besides physical skill, a good badminton player must have good mental strength as well. Mental strength is the ability to make the correct decision even when under pressure or at the crucial moment. For example, when one is down to 5-19, or reaching the match point, 20-20. The player must stay focus to the game regardless whether he/she is leaving behind, leading, or under huge pressure due to the internal or external factor (eg: audience). A good badminton player must also be able to change strategy during the game on different situation. A good badminton player will not go down without a fight and should be able to keep his pace and the accuracy of his shots until the very last point in the game. A good example would be the game in between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan during the Malaysia Open 2006. Lin Dan was already leading 20-13 in the rubber game and this was a really difficult situation for Lee Chong Wei, But he handled the pressure well and showed a great fighting spirit, slowly clawing back in to the game. And Finally, he won the game by 23-21.

You also have to keep yourself calm in the court and with high EQ. Many incidents, good or bad, can happen during a match either outside or inside the court. For example, bad line calls, umpires decisions or insulted by the audience or even opponent coach. See The Athlete’s Mind Guide(refer link below this page) .

Sport Nutrition

Beside physical skill and mental strength, Sport Nutrition (refer link at the bottom of this page) is also important especially for the player preparing for the tournament. On a day-to-day basis, you have to take care of your nutrition by consuming a well balanced diet comprising carbohydrate, fat, protein, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and water. A Nutritionist can extend help in achieving this. Water should be consumed in just adequate amounts before, during and after play, ideally at the amounts required to quench the player’s thirst.

About Carlton Badminton Rackets Evolution

Carlton badminton rackets are at the forefront of development and have been responsible for many of the innovations that have seen rackets develop into the shape and form they are in the present professional game. Many top players rightly entrust their badminton equipment to Carlton, inclusive of world beating doubles pair Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms.

Speed through the air is one of the paramount factors in developing the most effective and efficient rackets – reduction of drag and aero-dynamic performance are paramount and when Carlton introduced the first modern day metal racket this paved the way for the future of development for all the top brands and manufacturers.

Indeed, it was the advent of this type of racket that really put Carlton on the map on a global scale. The company also produced the world’s first synthetic shuttlecock and the first one piece graphite racket. In the 1980’s virtually all professional players used a 3.7s from Carlton – true testament to its amazing prowess.

Badminton rackets have to be able to deliver power, speed and control and the research and development team at Carlton have continued to deliver by utilising grommetless technology and creating faultless synergy between the strings and the frame of the racket. These innovations help to ensure leading edge racket control and feedback to help the brand increase its worldwide appeal and recognition.

Carlton won’t stand still and recognises that innovation and styling are key to ensuring they stay ahead of the game. Their mission in simple terms can be summed up in 2 brief but decisive points: Design and manufacture innovative equipment that drives elite players to success on the world stage. Produce equipment that maximises the enjoyment for recreational players at all levels.

Carlton badminton rackets have all their bases covered and will continue to dominate the sports racket industry for years to come. As their worldwide profile increases their market share will increase and they will compete with Yonex to gain the number one spot in the provision of top quality badminton equipment for professional, amateur and recreational players.

Correcting a Golf Slice

Correcting a golf slice is not difficult, but may require plenty of practice, patience and more practice.

There are three ways to correct a slice. Hire a golf instructor, purchase some DIY books and/or grab a golfing buddy to follow you around the fairways and tell you what you’re doing wrong.

In the meantime, practice these simple guidelines in the backyard or out on the course.

  • Line your feet up correctly – square yourself up with your feet approximately shoulder width apart and the golf ball about half way between them
  • Point your leading shoulder in the direction of the hole. Wherever your shoulder points is where the ball will go
  • Keep your swing even and relaxed, knees slightly bent. Don’t try to hit the golf ball too hard, jab at it or over-correct
  • Head should be down and eyes fixed on the ball. Don’t look to see where the ball is going, your aim should already be lined up with your body positioning. Lifting your head will destroy your aim
  • Always remember to follow through. When the ball is hit and the club is over your head, then you can look up

Afterward, don’t forget to shout your golf buddy some liquid refreshment at the clubhouse. Important tips can be traded and your golf slice discussed with all the minutiae a relaxing cold drink allows.