3 Tips to Improve Your Paddle Boarding Technique
Table of Contents
1. Enhancing Your SUP Stance
2. Proper SUP Posture
3. Improving Your Paddle Stroke
4. Wrapping Up: Practice
Very few people actually take a SUP lesson before getting on a paddle board for the first time. There is always room for improvement when it comes to paddle boarding techniques. You may be holding yourself back without even realizing it! Perhaps your paddle stroke needs fine tuning or your overall stance needs improvement.
It is essential to understand that bad habits can affect your efficiency, control, stability, and cause muscle fatigue. A good paddle board technique will ensure you go faster, longer, and avoid muscle injuries. Luckily, these common SUP mistakes are quick and easy to fix. There are three simple steps to improve your paddle board technique. As you improve your stroke, it will become more natural, and soon you’ll have the experience and confidence you need to paddle board not just in calm flat water, but in fast moving rivers and even ocean waves alike.
Enhancing your SUP Stance
You may wonder what your stance have to do with paddling, but getting your foot position right is actually one of the key factors in an effective paddling technique. One of the most common SUP mistakes beginners make is standing too far forward or backward on their paddle board. Consider this rule of thumb, the further you stand from the middle point of your SUP, the more difficult it will be to stay balanced and gain momentum when paddling.
Proper posture and foot placement ensure you balance and control your paddle board with ease.For the best performance, make sure you are not too far forward or too far back on your board. The best spot is at the middle point, if you want to determine the center of your board, look for a carry handle because it is always located at the center of your board.
A good rule of thumb is to place your feet shoulder width apart on either side of the handle. For the most control very slightly angle your feet outward. Distribute your weight evenly and do your best not to grip your toes to the deck pad as this will cause you to lose your balance.
Proper SUP Posture
Bad paddling habits result from a bad SUP posture. There are several ways to improperly stand on your SUP. For instance, standing with your knees bent too much and back hunched causes unnecessary back strain, and ultimately, leads to bad paddling habits. An improper posture can lead to unnecessary strain on your back, arms, and legs. Fortunately, it’s easy to correct and doesn’t take much time or effort. This easy adjustment will help you improve not only your comfort, but your overall efficiency and capability as a stand up paddleboarder. It’s simply remembering to build these good habits into your paddling experience.
-Keep your knees slightly bent in such a way you can see your toes.
-Your knees should be angled over your feet. Avoid caving your knees inwards or -outwards as you paddle.
-Keep your back straight always to avoid straining or back pains
-Always look ahead/at the horizon and never at the board. Remember, you will lose your balance if you keep looking around or down at your feet.
-Always engage your core. Paddling from your core will create the most stability, proper weight distribution and efficiency. It will also help with tired arm, shoulder and back muscles.
Improving Your Paddle Stroke
Perfecting your stroke takes some practice and experience. Once you've mastered paddling, you might still be making a few mistakes in your technique while you're out on the water. But it’s easy to adjust if you follow these tips. Take a few minutes to analyze your movement, correct it, and improve your efficiency.
Step1: the dip
Newbies are often tipped forward at the waist with their legs rigid on the board, resulting in a lot of energy expended but not a lot of progress. To get a good reach, lean forward, pivot your hips, and move forward the shoulder of the arm that is placed lower on the paddle. You need to aim as far as the nose of your stand up paddle board to get maximum reach and power. With the dip, keep the shaft perpendicular to the surface of the water. Remember, you will generate less power if the blade is angled.
Step2: power strokes
Ensure you have held the SUP paddle correctly and then engage your core muscles to pull the paddle through the water. Relying on your back and core muscles ease the paddling process and reduce the possibility of developing back pain. Always keep both of your arms straight when paddling to generate more power and avoid getting injuries.
You want to end your stroke level to your feet. This will ensure you don’t decelerate while paddling. Lift your paddle efficiently by lowering your upper hand, avoid twisting the shaft. The exit should come naturally to your arm movement in a seamless stroke. Once you release, position your paddle back to the front of your body to prepare for another paddle stroke. Remember to keep your core engaged and legs slightly bent while preparing another stroke.
Wrapping Up: Practice
As you can see none of these are difficult techniques to master. While it might not be absolutely perfect every time, having a great stroke that is almost perfect will improve your paddleboarding performance and experience compared to just settling for a subpar stroke. Now you’re ready to get out on the water and give it a try. You’ll quickly recognize what areas you need to work on.