Why do you paddle? David Walker at Paddle Logger wants to know

Paddle Logger is an award winning GPS tracking app for your iPhone or Apple watch that helps you keep track of all of your paddling activities. The app is free to use with a subscription option for Pro features and has been designed to help you get the most from your time on the water. Some of the team here at TotalSUP have started to use Paddle Logger and you can see that unlike many tracking apps that include water sport as an option Paddle Logger was designed by paddlers, for paddlers.

David Walker is a keen Stand Up Paddleboarder based in the south west of England. He is also the CEO at Paddle Logger, the app born from his passion for the water and for data. In his first article for TotalSUP he asks us the important question, “Why do you paddle?”

Why do you paddle?

Paddle Logger

This is a question I find myself asking stand up paddlers all over the world. It is an interesting question, we can all give fairly superficial answers about fitness, getting outdoors and being social. These are all great and important, but really you can go running, hiking or play team sports to get many of these things.

So, why do you stand up paddle?

Take a minute and think beyond the above before you read on.

What I have found is we all share a common feeling / vibe / emotion towards the ocean and the water. It is hard to put into words but it comes down to being drawn to the water. It is a healing place, highly emotive and there have been many studies about blue health and this attachment to the water which if you have time I would urge you to seek and have a read.

If you have ever spoken to someone about paddling who has never tried paddle sport there can be disconnect. “Why would you do that?” or similar. As soon as you take that individual on the water, get them standing and they gain some confidence for the first time – something clicks. They get it, and begin to understand why we all love the water and love paddlesports. You can see it on their faces and I know many of you reading this will know what I am talking about.


Water is our playground

We talk about it here at Paddle Logger, how the ocean [sea/river/lake/etc.] is our playground. It is a place where get more benefits than just paddling. We de-stress, we find solace, we clear our lungs and mind. It is a place where amongst other things we are able to improve our mental and physical health without even realising it.

With that in mind and all these benefits we want to encourage paddlers to spend more time on the water this year. Paddle regularly, paddle longer than the usual ‘season’ enjoy the experience and benefits of getting out in cold crisp wintery mornings. (Get some appropriate clothing – you will be fine!!)

Paddle Logger Dawn Paddle

Stand Up Paddle goals for 2023

To do this we are setting personal paddle goals and asking stand up paddlers to set some intentions and do the same!

Setting goals at the beginning of the year/season and externalising them is a great way to ensure success and stay motivated by tracking your progress. For 2023 we launched a simple Goal Setting and tracking which is part of Paddle Logger’s free feature set, getting on the water more is important for everyone and we want to help as many people as we can.

Goals give us something to focus on and provide us with a plan of action to reach our desired outcomes. Whether that is to take part in your first race, improve your ability or even just commit to spending more time on the water. A target can be motivating, seeing you only need another 100 km to fulfil a distance goal or that you need to have another 10 sessions on the water in September. Visually seeing your progress chip away as you succeed is both rewarding and motivating and might give the inspiration needed to keep going and to push to reach our full potential.

Once you have set your initial Goals: Distance, Time on the Water and Number of Sessions, these will be locked to deter you from reducing them just to get the trophy! However, across the season, you can unlock and adjust or stretch them as needed and before you know it your paddling will have achieved far beyond what you thought possible.

Paddle Logger Goals 2023

What makes a good goal?

You goals should not be easy, nor should they be unattainable. Do you have large long term plans, that can broken down into smaller achievable targets? Equally not all goals may obviously fit into 3 numbers, e.g. improve Step Back/Pivot turns. One thing we wholeheartedly believe is to become a better paddler and improve your skills, you need to spend more time on the water. So maybe have a primary commitment to a certain number of sessions rather than focusing on covering a specific distance.

With the ability to set paddle targets at any time in the year and lock them away, we want to encourage stand up paddlers to take a proactive approach to achieving their goals. On top of this Goal Setting feature, Paddle Logger has a large range of features which make viewing insights into your progress simple which means making informed decisions on how to adjust goals as the year progresses is even easier.

Paddle Logger GO

By using the Home Screen and Lock Screen Widgets you can quickly see your current progress and detailed breakdowns of your time on the water, by week and month. As well as track against your overall goal progress in-app. While you are in the app you will find a bunch of other features which can give you insight into your performance, tools to help you train and keep you safer and connected on the water. The more you paddle and focus on spending time on the water honing your craft, the better you will become. The more you will achieve and the more fun you will have with new experiences in our epic ocean playground.

When it gets cold, there is frost on the car, you aren’t in the headspace or you are running out of time in a busy week wondering if you can really be bothered today. In this moment, numbers, hope of progression, motivation of completing a goal, won’t get you safely on the water.

What will get you on the water is remembering why you paddle.

Why do I paddle?

There are a lot of reasons I like to get on the water and one is the ‘vibe’ that David talks about. I also like to set targets, both for distance and speed and I am planning on using Paddle Logger to keep track of my progress through the year. If you want to keep track of me check back here on a regular basis and see how my year with Paddle Logger goes. My goals? 2000km in 2023 and hold 9.5 kmh for an hour.

Paddle Logger is a free mobile app for iPhone and Apple Watch, with a subscription for additional features. You can download it today here and find out more information here.


About the Author

Chris Jones

Chris is the driving force behind SUP My Race, a distance challenge group for Stand Up Paddlers on Facebook. He is a super-keen paddler who has been on the water for nearly 10 years now and shows no sign of stopping. When he isn’t logging data on his laptop he can be found on the lakes and coastal waters in south west Sweden.

To follow Chris:

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