SUP Balance Exercises for Paddlers

Table of contents

1. Importance of Balance in SUP
2. Balance Exercises
1) Rocking from Side to Side
2) 180 and 360 Degree Jumps
3) Toes over the Nose
4) One Foot Yoga Pose
5) Single Foot Paddling
6) Headstand
7) Simple Balance Exercises to do at Home
3. Don’t Give Up!

SUP Balance Exercises for Paddlers

As land animals, our brains are not used to maintaining balance while moving under the water. Therefore, how to maintain balance on a SUP on the water is one of the biggest concerns for many paddlers, especially new paddlers. Many people say that the key to maintaining balance is choosing a board that fits you. The heavier you are and the taller you are, the bigger the board should be and the wider the board should be. 

But in addition to that, you also need to realize that humans are the most intelligent creatures and if you learn more and practice and get in the water more often, you can definitely improve your balance. And as you progress, you will be able to balance on boards that are much smaller than when you first started. Pilates, jogging, squats, ab exercises or leg presses are all good exercises for balance and SUP exercises. Here I will show you some simple balancing exercises.

1. Importance of balance in SUP

Balance is important to paddleboarding in two main ways. One is that it allows paddlers to quickly improve their paddleboarding skills. Especially for newbies, if you can balance on a SUP quickly, you can experience more of what you do on a SUP. Second, paddle boarding can prevent injuries. Through balance training, your body will naturally become more flexible, helping to reduce the risk of falls.

Building stronger muscles through training, as well as stronger bones, can reduce injuries so that you are less likely to break bones from a fall. Your reaction time can increase, which can help you react to potential threats of injury. Coordination is improved through balance training, which can help you navigate your surroundings more effectively.

SUP Balance Exercises

2. Balance exercises

Rocking from side to side

Stand in the center of the SUP with your feet spread wide and then rely on the muscle strength of your legs to rock from side to side, this helps to get comfortable with your weight on the SUP and have a good feel for the lateral stability of the SUP.

SUP Balance Exercises

180 and 360 degree Jumps

This move may sound like it's hard, but it's actually very simple. You can try doing small jumps on the SUP first and see how it feels. When you get used to the action, you may not be as afraid of falling in the water. Of course you may end up getting wet, but it will eventually develop your confidence in surfing.

SUP Balance Exercises

Toes over the nose

This move can greatly help you back up and turn around. First, go forward on the SUP and see how far you can go, then try to back up. In between these two points, find a place where you feel most comfortable and try paddling to see what happens when the nose is in the water and the tail is sunk. Not only is this great for improving your overall balance, but it makes you realize how much standing in the right spot helps you walk in a straight line.

SUP touring and hiking

One foot yoga pose

Remember, you must concentrate on doing this or you can easily fall off. This is a great overall balance exercise and confidence builder. This is an exercise that will help you understand your weight distribution in relation to the center of your SUP and how to feel stable on your SUP.

SUP Balance Exercises

Single foot paddling

The purpose of this pose is to give you a good understanding of how the paddle is used as support. It is also a good progression from the one foot yoga pose. All you need to do is place your foot on the center line of the paddle board and begin to use the paddle to support your weight.

SUP Balance Exercises


I think this is one of the hardest and most challenging. It is recommended that you attempt this movement after you have completed the exercises above. It will be especially impressive to you. A very effective technique is to put your arms very wide while mastering the headstand on the SUP so that your body weight is lowered and you will be more stable. 

SUP Balance Exercises

Simple balance exercises that you can normally do at home (only takes 10 minutes)

Use a ball - Find a stability ball and sit on it with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Lift and extend one leg at a time while raising your opposite arm to shoulder height.

Swing Legs - Start standing with your arms and feet shoulder-width apart. Raise one leg to a 45 degree angle and swing it back and forth at least 10 times, then switch. Single Leg Touchdown- Start standing on one leg with the raised leg at a 45-degree angle. Bend at the waist and lean forward, touching the ground. Then, touch the ground with one hand.

If you want to improve your balance more quickly, increase the amount of time you spend doing the exercise or add additional movements to the same pose.


3. Don’t give up!

When you start doing these exercises, you may feel that your legs are particularly tired. It can also make rowing difficult and exhausting for you. But that's the beauty of this exercise, it allows you to better exercise all parts of your body, especially your leg muscles. 

A big reason for being tired at first is that you haven't learned to balance on the SUP yet, because you need to spend extra energy to stand still because most of the time, the water under the board is uneven. Once your accessory muscles get used to this pressure, you will become more comfortable on the board.So, don't give up. As you perform more exercises, your body will surely adjust and inevitably become stronger over time. However, care needs to be taken not to practice beyond your limits to avoid hurting yourself.

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