How to Stand Up Paddleboard!

Stand up paddle boarding is a fun activity you can do on oceans, lakes, rivers, and bays. It’s a great full body core workout and way to experience the beauty of the outdoors. Best of all, it’s perfect for people of all ages, body types and skill levels. So now the summer has arrived, and we are all keen to get out onto the water. You have your SUP, your leash, paddle and buoyancy aid, so how do you get started?

Here are top 10 tips from Starboard SUP for Stand Up Paddle first timers on how to get started on a SUP. But be warned it takes time, and practice! Always start in flat calm water, use a board that has a lot of volume and is wide for maximum stability.

Top 10 Tips on how to Stand Up Paddleboard:

Tip #1 : Entering the water
Hold your paddleboard using the carry handle in the middle of the board in one hand and the paddle in the other. Position the SUP board in the water side ways, hold on to the paddle on the board.

 Tip #2 : Kneeling position
Place both knees onto the center of the paddle board. This will make you and the board more stable. Gently push away from the shore

 Tip #3 : Holding your paddle
Grip the paddle with both hands a shoulder width apart with your knuckles facing forward and place the paddle in the vertical position.

Tip #4 : Your paddle stroke
Start paddling and make sure the paddle blade is fully immersed in the water for every paddle stroke to get the most amount of power.

 Tip #5 : Turning
Once you have mastered the forward stroke, it is now time to turn the stand up paddle board! To turn the board, place the paddle at the back of the board and gently push from back to front. This should cause the paddle to turn. The wider the stroke, the faster and easier it is to turn. Switch sides and this time, pull the paddle towards you to complete the turn.

Tip #6: Standing up
Before standing up on your paddleboard, make sure to place your knees on either side of the board handle. Now it is time to stand! Place your hand on the paddle. Place one foot up first, then lift the other foot and straighten slowly your back.

Tip #7 : Bend your knees
Although you are standing, make sure to keep your knees slightly bent.

Tip #8 : Where to look
In order to be more stable, the key is too look to the horizon and not down at your feet.

Tip #9 : Holding the paddle standing up
Just like in the kneeling position grip your paddle with both hands and place your upper hand is placed on the paddle handle.

Tip #10 : First paddle stroke
The first stroke you will use is the forward stroke to propel your board over the water. Keep your paddle in the vertical position, submerge your paddle blade entirely and keep your knees bent. Once you have mastered this then you can think about turning, using the same technique as that in Tip #5.

Now you are ready to paddle, enjoy the new adventure and welcome to the stand up paddle family!

Happy Paddling!

About the Author

Helen Trehoret

SUP, OC1, V6, Surfski ... and field hockey coaching, Helen is a busy British mother of two who lives in Bretagne, France with a passion for all things Ocean. Helen runs Barrachou SUP, a SUP tour company specialized in excursions around Bretagne and Scotland.

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