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Stunning Trails of North America to Longboard

One of the best ways to appreciate a longboarding session is to take in a fantastic view. With summer fast approaching and travel limitations still in effect for many places, now is the best time to get outside and explore our very own local(ish!) North America. Not every landmark location has paved roads for longboards, but these do! Here are a few of our picks for trek-worthy trails of North America:


Cardinal Greenway in Richmond to Marion, Indiana: Part of the Great American Rail Trail, this massive trail spans a whopping 62 miles, with many historic arched steel bridge crossings. With this path mainly being flat, it is perfect for new longboarders or those looking to pull out a land paddle and get some speed or train. Ideal for those looking for a longer course. Look for a longboard designed for a smooth ride for this one—you won’t regret it!

Edmonton, Alberta’s River Valley Trails: This city is split in two by the North Saskatchewan River, which results in some gorgeous views and trails to explore right in the heart of a city. You can eat, shop, and explore the downtown core, then feel at peace riding through a beautiful river scenescape within minutes. The trails follow along riverbeds, so keep in mind there will be gentle to intermediate hills and slopes along the way. Try to plan your trip for summer for even more excitement downtown – there’s a reason Edmonton is commonly called ‘Festival City.’

Iowa’s High Trestle Trail in Madrid: Interested in a gorgeous photo from your day on the trail? The High Trestle Trail has got your back. This trail has a bridge that is a piece of Iowa public art. In the daytime, the Trestle Trail Bridge is an impressive optical illusion—by night, the bridge lights up, erupting in vibrant color. The photos of this bridge run from the beautiful to the bizarre. Take your camera for this one!

Paseo del Bosque Trail in New Mexico: Another urban trail, this time in sunny Albuquerque! This space doesn’t stop at just a beautiful path to longboard – there is a beach with public art, a nature center, and the Rio Grande Valley State Park. You can also head off this trail at peak locations to find restaurants if you feel peckish, so it’s perfect for an impulse day trip that included forgotten snacks – talk about multitasking! Just keep in mind not all parts of this trail are paved, so you may be carrying your board if you feel like off-roading.

Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail of Canmore/Banff Alberta: Few things are more awe-inspiring than the rocky mountains. This trail in Canada takes you between the two mountain towns of Banff and Canmore. The path is parallel to the highway, so if you are looking for a peaceful course, this may not be it – but what it lacks in quiet it makes up for in breathtaking views and potential wildlife sightings. It is not uncommon to find mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, marmots, and yes, occasionally bears and moose frequenting the space around this pathway – so keep a lookout for an unforgettable sight!

Yampa River Core Trail of Steamboat Springs, Colorado: Following the Yampa River, you are sure to be brought to a state of meditative serenity. Steamboat Springs offers various things to do both on and off the trail, so consider planning a multi-day trip to this location. Once you’ve experienced the beauty of the river and mountain skyline on a longboard, consider returning the next day and riding down the river on an innertube. Of course, as the name suggests, the hot springs are a fantastic way to open or close a trip to this paradise. Are you looking to be a little more off the beaten path? Check out Fish Creek Falls nearby for another impressive view.

Now get out there and adventure! If you are interested in finding your own longboarding spot, you can check out this trail archive for the United States or this one for Canadian sites. Just make sure to confirm they have asphalt, or you may end up disappointed and on foot.

Benefits of Commuting with a Longboard

Finding ways to incorporate daily activity in today’s busy world is incredibly difficult. But the studies agree – we are not as active as we should be, and the fallout from lack of exercise is extreme. The PHAC recommends at least 150 minutes per week, but many are struggling to find the time. Some have begun to look at their commute as a time hack to get in their activity minutes. Many seasoned longboarders already use longboards to get around, so why not grab your board and head to the office? Here are several compelling reasons to begin and end your workday on your longboard:

Health and Wellness

Though this may seem obvious (and it is), there are trackable benefits to grabbing your board and jetting to the office. Adding exercise to your day can improve mood, contribute to great sleep, and reduce your cardiovascular disease risk by up to 57 percent! It is also a significant stress reducer, which can help start your workday in a better mindset – or blow off some steam after a long or difficult day at the office. 

(Re)Discover Your City

Finding your way to the office via longboard is likely a very different route than by vehicle. Although this may be a little tricky to sort out at first, it is a perfect opportunity to find a new trail or a great coffee shop slightly off your typical route. You may even find art hidden in plain sight, like these utility hole art pieces. Some of the best places in cities are slightly off the beaten path, so get out there and find your new hidden gem. Your friends and family will be impressed with your niche knowledge of great places to go. 

Improve Stamina

If exercise is already a regular part of your life, consider increasing your endurance by taking a longer route to work. You can also work additional muscles by adding a land paddlecreating a whole new workout. Challenge yourself to hit a new time record for racing to the office, or add extra weight to a backpack to up the difficulty level. As long as you are safe, there are limitless ways to improve your athletics longboarding to your job.

Find More Joy

With 40+ hour work weeks, side hustles, family and more, it isn’t easy to find moments for yourself. Hopping on your longboard, putting in some music or a podcast, and taking time to clear your mind and be present as you head into work is a perfect way to find peace in a busy world. Many of us are finding our moods decreased and our anxiety increased, and getting some fresh air, being active, and taking a moment to center all at once is a triple threat to lift your spirits.

If the weather is warm and you have an excellent commuting board, rolling into work instead of driving or transit can improve your mood, health, and connection with your city. Finding new ways to incorporate fitness into your daily routine does not have to be challenging. If you are already commuting, why not make it count? Jump on your longboard and feel the difference it makes to your day.

Exercise Benefits of Land Paddling

Although paddleboarding looks effortless, those who practice know it’s a fantastic full-body workout combining balance, muscle strength, and fun. Let’s face it – many people live far from oceans and other bodies of water, and many can’t get on the water every day to paddleboard even if they do. With SUPStick, the experience of paddleboarding can come to you on land. There are so many ways that land paddling can increase your stamina, develop strength, and give you the endorphin rush of an incredible workout:

Custom Training

Where are you on your fitness journey? Land paddling is a workout designed to challenge you no matter what fitness path you are on. If you are looking for a light cardio session, breeze down the boardwalk on your longboard or head down to your local coffee shop – guaranteed the ride would be more enjoyable with a SUPStick. Are you training for an athletic event? Take your SUPStick up hills or challenge yourself to go further and faster than before – you’ll be surprised at how much variation land paddling can provide.

Strength

Your abdominal muscles are essential for stability, back support, and injury prevention. They are also a necessary part of any workout. Keeping steady on the longboard with the SUPStick will provide you with a core-burning super-session, letting you skip the crunches and planks. Looking to turn up the dial? Weave back and forth to engage those obliques, a notoriously tricky muscle to hit.

Endurance

One of the best ways to increase stamina is to focus on distance. Land paddling allows you to complete laps, travel bike trails, and climb hills repeatedly to not only increase your endurance but measure your increase in stamina. Challenge yourself to see if you can complete additional laps over time or tackle a monster hill you have been eyeing.

Flexibility

Though it may not seem like it, during your land paddling session, you are stretching. When you reach up to paddle through to the push motion, you are stretching and supporting your range of motion. SUPStick further supports the range of motion by providing a water paddle’s authentic feel through the downstroke. You are also stretching as you weave, crouch, and extend during other aspects of your land paddling workout. Active and dynamic stretching during your session not only improves flexibility but supports and trains your fascia, the connective tissue supporting your muscles.

Land paddling is a proper full-body workout, challenging your body while freeing your mind. Engage your core stability muscles, stretch and flex, and gain new stamina levels with land paddling. From the novice to the trained fitness professional, SUPStick will be a welcome addition to your workout routine and support your fitness journey.

Introduction to Land Paddling

Interested in getting on a longboard and paddling, but unsure where to start? SUPStick has you covered – from the tools needed, through positioning, to moves on the go. Let’s get into how you go from novice to pro:

Don’t Leave Home Without

There are some land paddling essentials you will want before beginning your session:

  1. Longboard – this one seems like a no-brainer, but not all longboards are equal. If you are a beginner, look for longer boards with wider wheelbases. Although these boards will have a wider turn radius, they provide additional stability as you begin your land paddling.
  2. SUPStick – Not all paddles are considered equal. The SUPStick provides a paddle’s most intuitive feel on the market, with a lightweight yet sturdy design to stand up to your learning curve.
  3. Protective Items – Helmet, wrist pads, knee and elbow pads, and closed-toe shoes. Protecting yourself with these items will help provide a safe experience. There is nothing less fun than taking a tumble and realizing you really should have worn knee pads or skinning the tops of your toes in flip-flops while pushing off a little strange. Although we encourage these items every time you use a SUPStick, they are incredibly essential to wear while learning.

The Basics

Now that we have all our tools let’s talk about our starting position for land paddling. Start on a flat, traffic-free location like an empty bike path or well-maintained sidewalk. That way, you can go at your own pace and not have to worry about surprise cracks or debris running under your wheels.

Stand on your board with your feet perpendicular, as you would a skateboard. Rotate your feet slightly towards the front of your board, and ensure you feel comfortable in your stance with your weight evenly distributed. The foot you lead with closer to the front of the board is up to you – ‘regular’ stance leads with the left, and ‘goofy’ leads right. The foot you don’t lead with you use to push.

For gripping your SUPStik, the hand that will cross over your body when paddling will grasp the top encompassing the ‘T’ portion of the paddle. The alternate hand (on the side of the body you will be paddling on) will grab roughly halfway down the SUPStick – the grip should approximately line up with your waist. If you have ever used a paddle for a boat, canoe, or standing paddle in the water, the grip will feel very similar. If you have your left foot forward, your top hold of your SUPStick should be your left hand, and vice versa for the right.

Let’s Get Going

With knees slightly bent and your core engaged, push off with your non-leading foot onto the pavement. Start slow, and ensure you feel comfortable and balanced before proceeding. When land paddling, use your top hand to guide and your bottom hand to add force through the row. Taking an upward and slightly forward stroke, push your SUPStick into the ground, use a rowing motion and paddle through the pavement. The SUPStick flexes into the movement be design, giving you a realistic rowing experience and limiting jarring hits onto the pavement. As you lift your SUPStick from the pavement, try not to twist and destabilize yourself. Keep your core engaged, giving yourself additional stability. As you gain more experience, twisting and maneuvering will enhance and alter your experience.

Practice shifting your weight towards your toes and heels to make turns and weaves. The SUPStick can help tighten the turns made once you are comfortable. Touchdown on the pavement on the side you are shifting your weight towards, and the SUPStick will make the turn more precise.

To stop, shift your weight to your back leg and foot on your longboard and bend your knee low towards the board deck. Doing this will slow and ultimately stop your board. You can use your SUPStick behind you to assist you in slowing down.

When land paddling, it is essential to learn the fundamentals to minimize potential injury. Now that you have the basics of land paddling, you can enjoy this new activity while maintaining proper form. With a strong foundation, soon you’ll be land paddling with more complex moves and on more challenging terrain with ease.

Learn how to choose the right longboard for you here.

How To Choose The Right Longboard For You

The longboard market has a board for every need. Although this extreme variety gives the rider the best buying experience, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused. To help find the perfect ride, let us demystify some terms:

Deck Length – typically the first thing to consider, the deck length defines how long the longboard is from tip to end. Different sizes benefit different people and situations – what someone interested in starting wants will not be the same as someone who hopes to do complicated tricks and turns. A new rider should investigate a longer board, which can provide much-needed stability in the beginning. Even advanced longboard riders enjoy a longer board for a more comfortable ride. These boards can range from mid-size (33” to 42”, or 84cm – 107cm) to the long (43” and up, or 109cm and up). Shorter boards under 32” are perfect for experienced trick-style riders, youth, and shorter riders.

Kicktail – the end of the board is angled upwards, like an edge of a skateboard. The kicktail can be handy for tricks, getting up and down from curbs and making quick and precise turns. Most novice longboard users will not use this feature, and a board without a kicktail can be more stable at the back – we suggest that newer riders opt for no kicktail.

Deck Flex – a self-explanatory term, the deck flex can make a ride smoother by absorbing some of the impact of uneven ground or small debris in the riding path. It is also easier on your ankles and knees, so riders who frequent long journeys may opt for a board with more deck flex. Alternatively, decks with less flex offer more stability for the beginner and are more accurate to the original longboards.

Wheel Diameter – how wide the wheel’s diameter is can impact the ride itself. A wider wheelbase lifts the board off the ground, are slower to get up to speed, and can withstand higher speed for longer. Smaller wheels get to speed quickly but lower the board closer to the ground, impacting turning.

Durometer – the hardness of the wheels is a factor in most longboard searches as well. The harder the wheel (measured by ‘A’), the more equipped for speed. The softer the wheel, the more comfortable the ride with enhanced shock absorption.

With these concepts in mind, consider your experience with longboards and your predicted use and go forward. Consider each option carefully, and soon you’ll be enjoying the ride with your longboard, correctly selected for you.

SUPStick™️ is the ultimate land paddle, whether you’re training for a race, commuting to work or just cruising around.

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