Setting Goals for Your Standup Paddleboard Skills

Setting Goals for Your Standup Paddleboard Skills

If you want to get better at paddleboarding, then some simple goal setting is in order. Goal setting for your paddleboarding can be fun and exciting because you take stock of where you are and plan for where you want to be in terms of skills.

You may not think goal setting is all that important if you have a paddleboard you use just for recreation and fun, but setting goals doesn’t have to be about competition. Whether you have a paddleboard to enjoy in your free time or use your board to compete in races, setting goals now sets you up for success, enjoyment, and satisfaction.

This post walks you through the rewarding process of setting goals for using your standup paddleboard so that you make time to enjoy your board. With goals, you can proactively plan and manage your time to increase your skill and make the most of your paddleboard investment.

standup paddleboard

How to Determine Your Paddleboarding Goals

When you first get a paddleboard, you may have high hopes for using it often, but your limited time and your limited skill set may dampen those dreams. So setting goals for how far you want to take your paddleboarding skills can ensure you both use your paddleboard and have fun doing it.

Whether you’re discouraged with how little you used your board last year or you’re disappointed that your skills didn’t improve as much as you wanted them to, making goals to use your board and to get better at paddleboarding ensures you don’t experience that again.

You can set goals any time of the year, but spring makes a logical choice for many paddleboard owners. You’ve been shut up all winter, and spring fever has you itching to get outside and be active, which means you can take that excitement and channel it into goal setting.

Setting goals for your paddleboarding isn’t different than setting goals for any other aspect of your life. If you have a preferred method, then get to it. If you aren’t sure your method gets results or haven’t a clue how to begin creating goals for paddleboarding, you can start by following our easy method. Just get SMART:

  • Specific: Your goals need to have details. If you want to “get better” then write that out in concrete, narrow terms. Does that mean you want to achieve a specific time in a race or for a new paddleboard enthusiast, does that mean you want to simply stay on your board for 80 percent of the time? Whatever it is, write it out in definite terms so you know exactly what your goal is and can plan to achieve it.
  • Measurable: Going hand in hand with being specific, having a measurable goal means you produce evidence of some kind. Maybe you want to paddle a certain distance in a specific amount of time, or maybe you want to have the energy to paddle for large spans of time at a continuous rate so you can go touring on fall break with your board. Just like being specific, add some kind of measurement into your goal so you can break them out into mini-goals.
  • Achievable: Just for the sake of truthfulness, unless you have some innate, unknown physical gift for paddleboarding, you probably aren’t going to win the Paris SUP Open this December if this summer is the first time you’ve picked up a paddleboard. And that’s okay! When you create a paddleboarding goal, just make sure it’s realistic given your current skill set and timetable for achievement.
  • Relevant: In board rooms, goals would need to align with a company’s mission statement or overall goal for a specific process. In terms of your paddleboarding, whether for recreation or competition, you also need a goal relevant to your overall mission with your board. So if you want to compete, then your goals need to be connected to making you more competitive. If you want it for recreation, then you might make goals connected to improving specific skills or balance. If you want to use your standup paddleboard for family time, then you might make goals related to how often you put them to use.
  • Time-based: If you don’t give yourself a deadline, you don’t have much motivation for achievement. So if you have a family paddleboard tour for the end of August, a race in the fall, or simply want to spend more time using your board, give yourself a timeframe to work with, but make sure the deadline is both relevant and realistic for want you to achieve.

standup paddleboard

Planning to Achieve Your Goals

Now that you have a specific, realistic goal written down, it does you no good to just stop there. Whether you’ve written it out or typed it up, you need to create a plan for how to achieve your goals. The easiest way is to take your deadline and work backward.

Because your goals have some sort of measurement in them, divide your goal by how many months, weeks, or days you have from now until the deadline you’ve set for yourself. Then create a plan by setting mini-goals based on your overall goal. Try these tips to ensure you have the motivation to work toward your goals:

  • Put your goal somewhere visible so you are reminded of it often.
  • Remember that physical fitness can play a role in helping you increase your skill set, so if you feel like you’re in a rut, incorporate Pilates for balance or weight lifting for strength to see if that helps.
  • Be consistent—even if you get discouraged. Paddleboarding is fun, and a great way to get better at it is just by consistently getting out on the water and doing something.
  • Have some accountability by sharing your goal with supportive friends and family. They may even join you on the water, but if nothing else, you’ll get encouragement from them.

Goal setting may sound like a dreary task, but it gives you a target to shoot for. Having something to work toward gives you the motivation to get out on the water and use your board more often. Whether you want to enter a standup paddleboard race or tour a nearby location at your leisure, setting goals helps you get better and more confident on the water, which means you’ll enjoy your board even more.

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