Paddle Boarding Techniques and Safety Tips

Table of contents

  1. Preparations before heading out

  2. Tips for launching a SUP

  3. How to stand up on a SUP

  4. How to balance on a SUP

  5. How to paddle on a SUP

  6. Tips for falling off yourboard

  7. How to get back on your board after falling

Sports is further understanding of limbs or body movement which contains basic techniques and necessary protections. Whether you are a complete paddle boarding beginner or more experienced, it's always useful to know a few skills of this sports and to aware how to stay safe.

SUP Techniques and Safety Tips

Before Paddling

Location is your first question mark when starting paddling. While SUP as a water sport can be practiced in many bodies of water, the ideal body of water is one with minimal waves. Therefore, lakes, ponds, harbors, and calm bays would agreeably provide calm and flat conditions that suit first-timers best.

SUP Techniques and Safety Tips

Secondly, there are some safety gears you are under the demand by the Coast Guard to carry about, that is, a life jacket or PFD and a whistle. These are the two important accessories but easily neglected by a few paddlers at the same time. You can use a safety whistle to call for help when something terrible happens while a suitable personal flotation device will keep you afloat in case you falling off by accidence.

Last but not least, go check the weather forecast before you set out. Heavy weather such as offshore winds and thunderstorm would certainly destroy your paddling exercise on the open water.

It’s Time to Launch Your SUP Board

When getting ready to head out to the shore on a pleasant day, you are on the next stage to start the unforgettable experience on your SUP board. Now I am here to give you a helping hand for spreading the knowledge to launch your board.

Step 1: Wade into knee-deep water for preventing the fins on the board from getting damage and stand next to the board on your comfortable side at the meantime.

Step 2: Lift one knee out of the water, and pull the board toward you. Shift your weight so your body is directly above the board, and bring your other knee to rest on the traction pad.

Step 3: Place your paddle horizontally across the board.

How to Stand Up on a SUP

It's a big step for a novice to get on the board successfully by himself. Now you are going to learn how to stand up on a board.

SUP Techniques and Safety Tips

Step 1: In the kneeling position, lean forward and place the paddle horizontally across the deck of the board. Grip the sides of the board with both hands.

Step 2: Put your hands on the sides of the board to stabilize it and move one foot at a time to place your feet where your knees are.

Step 3: When moving from kneeling to standing, put the majority of your weight onto your hands so you'll feel more stable as you move your feet.

Step 4: With your feet on the board, start by raising your chest up while keeping your knees bent. Once your chest is vertical, extend your legs to stand up and keep your core centered over the board.

Step 5: Try to loose in your hips and then your whole body. It will help you absorb that little ripples and waves from around.

How to Balance on a SUP

Once you're standing on your board, there are some tips for you to stay balanced.

Tip 1: Parallel your feet at a hip-width distance apart and keep your knees slightly bent and your toes pointed forward. Be aware, focus on keeping your feet relaxed and not pressing them down into the board.

Tip 2: Keep your head and shoulders steady and upright, but not too stiff. Don't hunch your back or your shoulders.

Tip 3: Your gaze should be level at the horizon.

Tip 4: Keep your paddle in the water as much as possible to act like an outrigger on a canoe to add stability.

To Grip Your Paddle Correctly

Most beginners would make a wrong holding on the paddle for their first time. If you get a incorrect way to use the paddle, it will take you more strength and time on a paddling tour. So, do you know how to deal with your paddle in a scientific fashion? Let’s go check! 

SUP Techniques and Safety Tips
  • When you hold the paddle, the opposite hand of the side you are paddling on should be on the top paddle handle, and your inside hand will grip the shaft about half way down. It will make more efficiency to set at least a shoulder width apart for your two hands.
  • There is the confusing step that causes most first-timers to make mistakes: the blade should slope away from you! Because the C-curve facing forward with vertical stance in the water would present a larger surface area, it provides more efficient transfer of power during the portion of the stroke.
  • What’s more, as you pull the paddle back, the power would come from your core but not your legs and you should keep your arms straight with a slight bend in the elbow.

Paddling Forward

As you get more comfortable with your balance, you can begin to practice to make your first stroke.

SUP Techniques and Safety Tips
  • First, place the paddle in the water toward the tip of the SUP and then reach as far forward as you can before darting the paddle into the water. Make sure the paddle close to the board because it will minimize the rotation when you catching the stroke.
  • Second, pull the paddle back towards your feet after the blade is full submerged. Then stop the stroke once the blade reaches the point where your ankle is. Besides, there is one trick you should follow: the more straight up the paddle is the more straight it will propel you.
  • Third, switch your grips every time you switch paddling sides, then start again.

Learn to fall before you learn to run

Every person would fall off the board when they start practicing their stroke whether they are new or experienced paddlers. How to fall off a paddle board and how to get back on after falling off is two main techniques you should know.

SUP Techniques and Safety Tips
  • With wearing a leash to avoid getting separated from your board, you should fall away from your board without diving your head first and landing on your paddle.
  • Don’t be panic. You can either climb back on your board from side and then grab the carry handle with making your feet float to the surface behind you.
  • With a strong kick of the legs and pull of the arms, you can drag yourself onto the board in a face-down lying position.
  • Once you're back on your board and you have retrieved your paddle, you'll pull yourself up on to your knees.

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