Basic Techniques of Paddle Boarding

 

Table of contents

1. How to stand up on your SUP.
2. How to balance on your SUP.
3. How to hold the paddle.
4. How to fall and get back on.
5. How to move and maneuver.

 

SUP basic skills

When you've got your SUP, other gear, and places to play, you might be start asking yourself: “How do I put my SUP in the water?” “How do I get on it?” And “How to paddleboard?”

Don’t worry! After reading this blog, I bet you will master the essence of paddle boarding in short time.

SUP basic skills

Standing Up On the SUP

After you get your paddleboard to a launching point, the first problem you face with is how to get up on the board. Please follow this basic procedure to achieve this goal.

Step 1. Walk out into the water about knee-deep. (Make sure the fins on the board don’t hit the bottom). Place the board in knee-deep water, making sure the fins on the board do not hit the bottom.

Step 2. Holding the edge of the board, get on the board in a kneeling position just behind the center point of the board (you can quickly locate the center of the board by finding the carrying handle). Your knees should be about a foot apart.

Step 3. Place your hands on either side of the board to stabilize it and move one foot at a time, placing your foot at your knee.

Step 4. Get up into a squatting position, lifting your chest up first while keeping your knees bent. Once your chest is vertical, extend your legs to stand up.

Step 5. Slowly adjust your position so that your weight is centered and stable on the board.

Step 6. Dip your paddle into the water, touching (or at least temporarily establishing contact with) the bottom, bent side facing forward.

SUP basic skills

Balancing On Your SUP

Once you’re standing on your board, there are a handful of things you can do to keep balanced on your board:

Find the right stance. Position your feet so they are parallel, about hip-width distance apart, and centered between the edges of the board. Keep your toes pointed forward, knees slightly bent and your back straight.Keep your toes pointed forward, knees slightly bent and your back straight.

Use your hips. Keep your head and shoulders steady and upright, and shift your weight by moving your hips. Let your lower body move independently of your upper body.

Look ahead. Your gaze should be level at the horizon. Avoid staring at your feet. Use your paddle: Keep your paddle in the water as much as possible; it acts like an outrigger on a canoe to add stability.

Relax your feet. It’s natural to grip the board with your feet when you’re feeling unstable, but doing so can lead to numb and/or tired feet. Focus on keeping your feet relaxed and not pressing them down into the board. Occasionally wiggle your toes and rock back and forth from heel to toe, or sit down on your board to give your feet a break.

SUP basic skills

Holding a SUP Paddle

It is of vital importance to know how to hold a SUP paddle for getting the most our of your board, stroke, and stance. But many beginners to hold their surfboard paddle in the wrong way. To avoid making such mistakes, here are two things to know when holding your paddle:

  • Make sure the logo side of the paddle angles away from you and toward the nose of the board. At the start of your stroke a correct blade angle will push the nose of your board up and out of the water. As you lean forward into the power phase of your stroke, the blade will be perpendicular to the sea floor to drive you forward fast. 
  • The hand that holds the shaft should be the same as the side you are paddling on. When paddling on the right side of the board, your left hand will be on the T-handle and your right hand will be a few feet from the shaft of the board. When paddling on the left side, your left hand is on the shaft.
SUP basic skills

Falling and Getting Back On Your Paddle Board

No matter how experienced you are, you’re bound to fall off your paddle board. So it is no need to afraid to fall off in your first paddle boarding. As you get more experienced on and learn the techniques of falling and getting back on your board, you'll soon learn the best way to get back up.

Tips For Falling Off a Paddle Board

  • When you realize you're going to fall, don't go clutching the board. Because this is likely to make you fall on the board or hit it causing your own injury. The best thing to do is to aim yourself to the side so that you fall away from the board and into the water.
  • Try to hang onto your paddle while falling. If you get separated from it, retrieve your board first and get back on, then paddle with your hands to get the paddle.
  • Learn to fall flat into the water and point your toes down instead of sideways. Landing flat on the surface will prevent you from going too deep into the water, especially in deeper water where you are likely to be swept away by undercurrents. If there are rocks underneath, they can help you avoid injury. If you can, when you fall into the water.
SUP basic skills

Getting Back On Your Paddle Board

  • Usually paddle boards have foot ropes so the paddle board is not too far away from you. The footrope allows you to get close to the paddleboard. Then, position yourself next to your board and near the center.
  • Grab the handle at the center of the board with one hand. When you're sure you have a firm grip lift your legs, let them float and kick the water behind you. As you do this, slide your stomach into the center of the board. If you try to pull yourself to the end of the board, you'll just end up back in the water.
  • Hold the carrying handle and rail, slowly slide the rest of your body down the length of the board.

Moving and Maneuvering

  • Place one hand on the grip of the paddle and the other hand at approximately the midpoint of the shaft. Keep your arm straight and your grip hand always opposite the side you are paddling on.
  • Place the paddle in the water in front of your feet, with the bent side facing forward. Keep the paddle parallel to your board as you move it back and forth through the water.
  • At the end of each paddle, lift the paddle all the way out of the water and bring it back to the starting position, then repeat. Shorter paddling strokes tend to be more efficient than longer ones.
  • Change the direction of the paddle from time to time if you want to keep going straight all the time. If you paddle too long on one side, your board will turn away from that side.
  • Use the same basic paddling motion from back to front when you need to change direction. This will also cause the board to rotate in the direction of the paddle side. 
SUP basic skills

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