One of the attractions of paddle boarding for many is being able to switch off from the world. No technology, and no distractions, other than the natural surroundings around us. However, your phone can be a very useful tool when you’re ‘on board’, and not just for taking Insta selfies. Here are our favourite and most-used apps…
Designed and created by paddle boarders, for paddle boarders, you can use Paddle Logger to track your paddle sessions, view and share your adventures with others, set up distances for race training, and stay connected with loved ones in case you get into difficulty. This last feature is really good; you can set up an alert which, if you don’t check in after a certain amount of amount, contacts them immediately. If you have an Apple watch, you can also track your health gains too. Free, with in-app purchases.
Yep, your running app now tracks SUP sessions too. Record your sessions for distance and speed, compare to others in your locality, and even compete against others in designated ‘segments’. One segment example is the Hennerton Backwater; start at the Henley end to the Wargrave Marina, you , you can compare your time against others.
Record your paddle sessions including your top speed, average speed and speed breakdown, and rank yourselves against other paddlers. You can also get live weather data including wind direction and speed. GPS tracking will follow your exact location whether or not you have phone signal. Create a bucket list of your most-wanted paddles and connect with other paddlers.
Join an active SUP racing community and gain access to customised training videos as well as strength and conditioning training from world-class paddlers and coaches Larry Cain, Seychelle and Travis Grant. Membership stars at $10 a month, and for $60 a month you get personalised analysis, plus you can post your workouts and photos alongside such SUP stars as Connor Baxter.
BBC Weather and Met Office are great starters for planning your paddles, but Wind Compass gives you accurate weather data based on your actual location, not the nearest weather station. You can track conditions at multiple points on the river, and even monitor it on an hourly basis. It shows you wind direction, wind speed, temperature, sunrise/sunset etc.
A great feature here is paddlePoints, a free-to-join service that enables you to find new routes (including where to park etc) and store your own favourites. See routes others have followed and set up markers to denote the best and worst bits about each paddle. You can also find out the relevant licence requirement info for each paddle point.
What Three Words
What Three Words have basically divided the world into 3m squares and given each one a unique combination of three words, and these addresses are as accurate as GPS coordinates. If you get into a spot of bother, or lost, you can share your location to get help.
Want to know the river conditions before you head out? The Environmental Agency website is a good starting point, and it uses a yellow/red warning system to denote high levels. RiverApp has 1,186 UK rivers and tells you not only how high the water is, but how fast the flow is too. Everything you need to decide whether or not the river you want to paddle is safe to use.