How to Paddleboard - Falling Off and Getting Back on the Board

During the process of learning how to paddleboard, one of the most common situations for a beginner is falling off the paddleboard and getting back on. Unless you are a very talented SUP rider, you, as a beginner, are likely to fall off the board into the water multiple times and even hurt yourself when that happens. So it’s important to learn how to fall without hurting yourself and get back on the board. It doesn’t sound that hard, right? But the fact is it’s difficult to do if you don’t know the right way to do it. It’s a skill that you will need on multiple occasions and if you don’t pay enough attention to it, you are going to risk putting yourself in danger under certain circumstances. So here are a few tips to help you learn how to get back on your paddle board when you fall off it.

 paddle boarding fall

  1. How to fall off your board without hurting yourself

The first thing to learn about getting back on your paddle board is how to properly fall into the water. It may sound a bit weird but you actually need to know how to fall into the water because you could end up hurting yourself if you don’t know how to fall to protect yourself from injury. There have been examples of people falling off their board and breaking their ribs or hips, and it’s mostly the result of ignoring the importance of knowing how to fall. Rule number one for falling off is trying to fall into the water directly and avoid falling onto your board. There are mainly two different kinds of paddle boards, hardboard, and inflatable SUP boards. Hardboards, as is shown by the name, is hard. If you fall directly on the board, it’s not going to end well for you, you could end up breaking your ribs, hips, or head. Inflatable paddle boards have a softer surface which significantly lowers the odds of you getting hurt, but there’s still a possibility. So the best way to avoid injury is to fall into the water and away from your SUP board.

And rule number two for falling off your paddleboard is fall flat. Don’t fall in feet first. If you fall flat, the body can absorb most of the impact. It might hurt a little but at least you can make sure your feet won’t be hurt by whatever things that’s underneath the water like glass or coral, especially when you can’t see through the water. In a word, fall flat to avoid any potential danger underwater.

paddle boarding fall flat

Rule number three is to pick a safe place with crystal clear water for your SUP trip if you can. It’s better if you can find a body of water that allows you to see underwater clearly. But if you can’t, make sure you stick to the first two rules to ensure your own safety when you fall off your SUP board.

  1. How to get back on your board after falling

The most important skill for getting back on the board is to kick the feet behind you when you try to hop on the board. A common mistake for beginners, when they try to get back on their board, is that they kick down and try to lift themselves up, but they might end up flipping the board over. The right way to do it is to kick back to push yourself forward and slide your chest onto the board. And then you’ll be able to get back to your kneeling position and start over.

And be sure to have the leash attached to your leg so that your paddleboard won't flow away from you when you actually fall into the water. Use the leash to drag the board back to you and apply the previously tips to get back on the board quickly.

Most beginners aren’t able to think when they fall. So you need to take time and practice it and keep calm when you actually fall and stick to the rules introduces before. For most beginners, the most recommended choice is an inflatable SUP board. Inflatable paddle boards are softer, lighter, easier to transport and safer when you fall on them. It's the better option compared to hardboards for recreational activities like SUP fishing, SUP yoga or cruising. If you are not participating in a SUP racing game, just go for an inflatable stand up paddle board, it's the best choice for you.