Land paddling is a thrilling sport and an exciting workout. The rush of the wind, the accelerating speeds, and the constantly changing scenery are all parts of this enjoyable ride. These experiences are all heightened by a rider paddling harder and faster allowing for greater speeds. However, a land paddler can be significantly limited by the amount of traction that a land paddle can get. If a land paddle slips in the back part of the stroke, a rider will lose potential speed and may even find himself or herself unbalanced by the event. Therefore, it is important for land paddle riders to always look for ways to obtain the most traction while paddling. This can be done in a couple of ways.
Using Firmly Planted Objects
One method of gaining better traction while riding is identifying other objects that can be used to push against. For instance, a SlingBoarder might ride along the edge of the road or on the sidewalk and use the wooden post or metal pole holding up a sign for traction. The way to do this is to place the edge of the land paddle foot on the opposite side of the sign. Then as a rider rolls past, he or she can push against it knowing that both the friction against the ground and the pole behind the paddle will keep the foot firmly in place. This method requires precision timing for the rider to maximize benefit. A rider must be able to observe possible objects to use, place the paddle foot against it before the board has reached it, and then push against it just as the rider reaches and passes it. Other possible objects to use include fire hydrants, trees, or even the downslope curb at the corner of a driveway.
Using Different Terrain Types
There are still other methods that can be used to provide a rider with better paddle traction. One of these is to test out different types of ground. Riding on grass will provide a different level of grip then riding on a sidewalk which in turn will be different than riding on dirt. Land paddle feet are often designed differently. So, a rider should take the time to test out his or her paddle on different terrain. Some land paddles will gain better traction on grass than on pavement. In this scenario, a rider can ride at the edge of a sidewalk so that he or she can still use the land paddle on the grassy area to the side. Noticing the differences in terrain can really help an all terrain skateboarder to perform at his or her peak.
Using the Curb
The last pro tip in regards to gaining better traction is to take advantage of curbs. The way to do so is when paddling on the side of a street (which should only be done on roads with low vehicular traffic), place the paddle foot in the crack or gutter area up against a curb. Avoid doing so if this area is dirty or muddy so as to keep the land paddle from getting dirtier than usual. However, when the roadside is clean, using this technique can help a land paddler obtain extra traction due to the friction not only from the ground but also from the side of the curb.