Bad Beach Start vs. Good Beach Start by Robert Norman

Hey TotalSUP readers! It’s Robert Norman AKA SUPerman here with a fun paddle tip. Today’s subject matter is beach starts. This is applicable for a race situation…or just trying to look smooth when you go on your next paddle adventure.

The first clip is primarily how many people look, very timid, cautious and unprepared. A slow walk to the water and NOT utilizing the foreward momentum onto the board. Fin gets stuck in the sand. Having to paddle while kneeling. Switching sides after only 2 strokes. Overall a very slow start.

With a few cues in mind and some practice you can fly into the water like in the second clip.

The first step is determining where you are placing the board. Make sure you don’t drag that fin, or a faceplate is imminent.

Next is how you’re going to transition from pushing the board off to standing on your feet. You don’t necessarily need to belly down (although it looks the coolest and provides the most glide.)

You can also push off and throw your knees onto the board so you’re in a kneeling position before standing. This is beneficial since transitioning to your feet is slightly quicker.

So you have less board glide from the run, but you start paddling faster. The decision is up to the paddler. My transition on this board isn’t as graceful since I have a recessed deck here… so I usually belly down!

Either way, this is crucial, the entire point is to gain forward moment and project it into free board glide. A good transition will be 20-30 feet of glide on the water without even paddling.

Third, have your paddle securely on the shaft on the exact position and side you’re going to paddle on. This way, when you stand your opposite hand simply goes to the top handle you begin paddling.

You’ll see in clip one I don’t have my paddle where I want and the first thing I do when I stand is switch sides. This is the worst time to switch! Be ready to paddle immediately when you stand by having that hand ready. The less time spent switching sides the more time spent going forward!

Start by practicing going a walking speed and deliberately think about each move here. Over time you can start to accelerate and make it all seem very seamless each time!

Thanks for reading! Right now through TotalSUP I’m offering a special for online coaching. A video analysis and a month’s worth of on the water workout routines for 25$! If you are interested contact me through¬†

About the Author

Mathieu Astier

Mathieu is the hyper-active founder of TotalSUP and a multilingual online marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience working for top international internet companies. His love-at-first-sight for Stand Up Paddling in 2013 led him to build one of the leading online media dedicated to SUP in English and French and to turn his family lifestyle towards the ocean.

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