How to Paddleboard for Beginners

How to Paddleboard for Beginners

Stand up paddle boarding is a fun activity you can do on any body of open water. It’s a great full-body core workout and a way to experience the beauty of the outdoors. In recent years, stand up paddle boarding has become more popular, as it’s perfect for people of all ages, body types, and skill levels. 


How to stand up: 

Stand alongside the board in water that’s just deep enough that the fins on the board don’t hit bottom (about knee-deep water). 

Get onto the center deck of your board in a kneeling position. 

Keep your hands on the side of the board to stabilize it and move one foot at a time to place your feet where your knees are. 

Instead of standing up in one motion, raise your chest while keeping your knees bent. Once your chest is vertical, extend your legs to stand up. 


Staying balanced on your SUP: 

Once you’re standing, you’re going to try to maintain your balance on the board: 

Position your feet, so they are centered on the board, parallel, and about shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet pointed forward, knees slightly bent, and your back straight. 

Keep your head upright and avoid staring at your feet. Instead, you should be staring straight ahead or level with the horizon. 


How to hold a SUP paddle: 

The blade of the paddle should angle forward from the shaft, towards the nose of the board. When you’re paddling on the right side of your board, your left hand will be on the T-grip, and your right hand will be a few feet down on the shaft. When you switch sides, reverse your hand positions. 


For those inevitable times when you lose your balance: 

When you feel yourself tipping over, try falling to the side so that you fall into the water and not onto the board. Falling onto the board is more likely to cause an injury. 

Try to hang onto your paddle while falling. If you get separated from it, get back onto your board first, and then paddle with your hands to get the paddle. 


Basic SUP strokes: 

Front Stroke: To go forward, place the paddle in the water about two feet in front of you, and then push the blade all the way under the surface. To go in a straight line, you’ll need to alternate strokes on either side of the board. There’s no set number of strokes per side -- try about 3-4 strokes per side before switching.

Reverse Stroke: To reverse, slow down or stop the paddleboard, perform the opposite steps of the front stroke. If you’re paddling on the right, reach back behind you and place the paddle in water near the tail of your boad. Then push the blade all the way to the surface. Doing the reverse stroke on the right side of your board will cause your board's nose to turn to the right and vice versa.



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