The benefits and methods of symmetrical land paddling have been described in a couple different SlingBoard articles, but understanding them all together is a helpful step for the ideal land paddling experience. The technique for paddling on both sides is a rather simple one. A rider should have one hand in the middle of the shaft part of the paddle (usually the dominant hand feels most comfortable there) and one hand at the top where the handle is. To switch a rider simply exchange hand positions while keeping the land paddle elevated above the street. Then the rider can paddle on the opposite side of the board. This can be performed with a skateboarding stance but may be slightly more difficult since the paddle will be partially going behind the rider’s back. An SUP stance is usually better suited for side-switching, but requires a rider to have better balance since a rider does not have a foot placed at the back of the board for stability.
Now that technique has been discussed, it is helpful to understand the benefit of performing land paddling symmetrically. These have been laid out below:
Probably the most obvious benefit to a symmetrical workout is in balanced muscle building. When only one side is exercised (for instance only a right tricep used in paddling), it will lead to a stronger muscle on only that side. This may even get to the point visibly which will cause uneven muscle tone. So, a symmetrical workout allows for both sets of muscle groups to be challenged as well as encourage cardio. When only one side is working out, exercise can be performed for a very limited amount of time which usually involves little cardio. However, if both sets are being performed at continued intervals, then the heart is constantly working to pump appropriately which results in a better endurance workout as well as strength conditioning.
Rotating Muscle Usage
In land paddling a symmetrical workout will provide a resting period for one side of a muscle set while it works out the other side. Resting stages are used in all kinds of workouts such as lifting because it allows the individual to perform more than if all is done at once. The same is true in land paddling. Allowing one side to rest and then the other provides the muscles with time to rejuvenate themselves and perform even more than they would otherwise. This means that a rider can go longer and farther by switching regularly than if a rider did one side as long as possible and then switched.
Balancing Leans / Better Turn Radius
Finally, one benefit to switching sides that has not been discussed much previously is the opportunity to use the paddle while turning. If done properly a rider can gain a little extra lean on a turn than he or she would be able to otherwise. This is because the rider can use the paddle to stable him or her in the lean and then can push against the paddle to regain proper balance coming out of the turn. This may even make lean turns easier for learners who are uncomfortable in this area.