When first learning how to paddle board, a lot of beginners would be facing certain problems. Some might have a problem balancing on the board, it could be easily overcome as you have more time on the paddle board. Another problem that a lot of beginner paddle boarders faces is going straight. It’s a problem that can’t be easily overcome if you don’t know how to do it right, and it’s the kind of problem that can really frustrate you. So here we are going to show you a few tips that could help you go straight when paddle boarding. If you have yet to try stand up paddle boarding, you should really pay more attention before actually getting out on the water because this might sound like a basic skill to acquire, but it’s actually much more difficult than it looks for certain people.
Properly place your feet on the board
First of all, you should start with having your feet placed on your board evenly. What that means is that your feet should be equally apart on either side of the carry handle in the center of the board. Also, your weight must be equally distributed between your feet. Avoid leaning more to one foot to prevent the board from turning automatically. Here’s an important tip for you to note: always keep your paddle shaft as vertical as possible when the paddle is in the water like shown in the picture below.
Try putting your top hand over in front of your hand and you’ll be looking underneath your forearm. When you are kneeling on your board, your top hand should be holding the shaft of the paddle instead of the top to make it easier for you to keep the paddle vertical. Also, your body plays an important role during the paddling process. Try and keep your head and shoulders in line with your body and make sure your eyes are looking ahead at the same time. This will help keep your board going in a straight line as well.
Keep your paddle close to the rail of the board
Another rule for you to follow if you want to go straight is to keep the paddle as close to the rail of the board as possible when you take a stroke. If the paddle blade goes away from the board when you take a stroke, it will propel your board to go at a different angle. Ensure the paddle is close to your paddle board when it’s in the water unless you are taking a turn. It’s an effective way to help you go straight without having to switch sides all the time.
If you are able to go straight without any problem, you can consider taking it to the next level by learning how to accelerate. If you are going SUP surfing or racing, it’s important to know how to accelerate in the beginning to get your paddleboard to go faster. If you want to go faster, you should take short quick strokes in the beginning. Keep your strokes in the front to get a good catch and try to keep a quick pace. High cadence and short strokes are the keys to helping you accelerate at the beginning of your SUP session. After your SUP board starts to move more quickly, you can start to take longer strokes with more power to get the board going even faster. But in the beginning when you are just starting to move, stick to short, quick strokes to get the board moving faster first. It’s an efficient way to accelerate which will have less strain on your body as well as your equipment. When doing these short, quick strokes, always make sure the blade is fully planted in the water. Don’t just dip the blade in the water, otherwise the blade is just going to slip and you’d be just wasting your energy.
If you are not able to go straight at the beginning of learning how to paddleboard, note that it's a normal situation for a lot of beginners. Don't get frustrated. Just look for the right way to do it and the problem can be easily solved. Basically nothing about paddle boarding is hard, all you need is take your time to learn the necessary skills and you'll be able to enjoy your time on your stand up paddle board in no time. If you are looking for places to take a SUP trip, be sure to check out San Diego. Paddle boarding in San Diego is fun and very much enjoyable.
If you don't have your own paddleboard yet, go check out the Goosehill Rainbow R inflatable standup paddleboard. It's a top-notch choice for an all-around inflatable stand up paddle board. And it easily suits the needs of different skill-levels.