Don’t let yourself become “that guy or that girl.” You know, the one who makes all the classic rookie mistakes. To save you the embarrassment, we’ve compiled a list of 5 tips for beginner stand up paddle boarders. By following our advice, you’ll be able to avoid the most common errors and get the most out of your paddle boarding experience.
Paddle boarding is a great way to enjoy the water, whether you’re renting a SUP and paddle, you’ve just bought your own gear, or you’ve been out a few times. This information may help improve your future paddle boarding sessions.
Use a leash
Paddle boarders should be aware of how important it is to wear a leash at all times, no matter what the conditions are. This will help keep them safe, as well as everyone else around them. The type of leash and attachment point you use will depend on the type of paddling you’re doing.
Ensure your paddle is the right way
We’ve all been there before – trying to paddle without falling in and failing miserably because we didn’t scoop the water properly. It’s easy to make this mistake, especially if you’re new to paddling or are trying to do it quickly. The best way to avoid this is by taking your time and making sure that you scoop the water correctly before you start paddling.
The SUP stroke is a powerful stroke that starts with the shaft in the leading edge position and finishes with the blade in a trailing position. This provides stability to the blade as you move through the water. The blade is vertical during the stroke, which provides the best angle of attack and maximizes power output.
Paddling with your core
Avoid using your arms when paddling. At first, this may sound a little strange but it is actually much more efficient to paddle using your core muscles. These are the strongest muscles in your body and will, therefore, provide more power for your paddle stroke. Paddling with just your arms while standing up tall will be very tiring and won’t get you much power.
Look at the horizon
Paddling can be tricky when you first start out, and it’s natural to want to look down at the board to make sure you’re not going to fall in. However, for the best stability, it’s actually better to keep your head up and your body weight over your toes. This way you can paddle with more confidence and avoid any potential accidents. It sounds silly, but if you keep your head down and watch your toes, you’re likely to rock back on your heels and fall in the water! Watch this video by Sam Ross about standing up on your SUP to avoid this embarrassing mistake.
Stay out of the way
The ocean is so vast and mesmerizing, and lakes are so calming and serene – but we always seem to stick to the same small patch of water! Cheap Paddle boards are huge and they can really hurt when they hit you, so it’s important to be careful when you’re paddling around on one. When you’re learning to SUP, be respectful of other water users and make sure you have plenty of room to practice standing, falling and paddling.