Top 10 Common SUP Mistakes

Table of contents

1. Going by Yourself
2. Not Checking the Weather Before Leaving Your House
3. Forgetting to Use a Leash
4. Not Using Your Legs
5. Holding Paddle Incorrectly
6. Paddling at an Angle
7. Looking Down at Your Board When Paddling
8. Not Gripping Your Hand on Top of Your Paddle
9. SUP Surfing in a Packed Lineup
10. Forgetting to Bring Water and Snacks

10 Common SUP Mistakes That Make By Beginners 

Paddle boarding is a very unique sport. It can be complicated and tedious, or simple and laid back. When you try this sport for the first time, there is no avoiding the fact that you may often make mistakes. All we have to do is realize the mistakes and correct them. So before you start shredding the ocean, take a look at the 10 Common SUP Mistakes.

Commom SUP mistakes

Going By Yourself

It is never a good idea to go paddling alone, no matter how good you are at swimming. Many tragic stories about people getting lost, injured, or worse, drowned while paddling are things that can and should be avoided at all costs.

As a beginner paddle boarder, it is generally a good idea to always have a buddy to paddle with you so that if something happens to you or them, there is always someone with you to help. Remember, safety first!

Commom SUP mistakes

Not Checking The Weather Before Leaving Your House

When you are ready to set out for a paddle on the beach or lake, be sure to check the weather forecast for the destination you plan to paddle in advance, especially if the destination is far from your home. Weather like heavy rain or high temperatures are not very suitable for going out to avoid heat stroke or getting wet from the rain. 

Especially in typhoon weather, you will be swept away by the wind if you are not careful. If the meteorologist issues a typhoon warning, you should consider rescheduling your surfing activities.

Commom SUP mistakes

Forgetting To Use A Leash

Always use a leash on a surfboard. A leash will keep your paddleboard close to you so that when you inevitably fall into the water, you don't have to worry about your board being swept away by the wind or waves and having to work very hard to get it back.

Commom SUP mistakes

Not Using Your Legs

Paddle boarding novices tend to lean forward at the waist, trying to navigate the water with the brute force of their rippling biceps. But paddling is a total body experience, with the largest muscle groups in your core and your legs. This c is what cuts through the power of the ocean or lake. This will be the driving force to cutting up that ocean or lake.

common mistakes

Holding Paddle Incorrectly

Holding the paddle incorrectly is probably the most common mistake made by novices. Many times, you will see someone holding the paddle with the blade facing them. When in fact, when paddle surfing, your paddle should be bent away from you at an angle. This way, if you draw a 90° angle from the paddle shaft to the paddle blade, it will form a triangle.

Commom SUP mistakes

Paddling At An Angle

A good paddle stroke separates beginners from the experts. A poor stroke is not only embarrassing but will slow you down. Your paddle should always be perpendicular to your board when it enters the water, never at an angle. This technique will allow you to get considerably more power and action out of each SUP stroke.

Commom SUP mistakes

Looking Down At Your Board When Paddling

A common mistake that beginners make when rowing is to look down with their eyes. This results in a high risk of losing your balance and falling into the water. A solid tip for staying stable while paddling is to focus on something on the shore or in the water and then start paddling toward that object. In other words, your body follows where you are looking.

Commom SUP mistakes

Not Gripping Your Hand On Top of Your Paddle

Regardless of which side you are paddling on, it is important (and more comfortable) to keep your hand on the top of your paddle. If you're paddling on the right side of the board, your left hand should hold the top, and vice versa on the left side. 

But when first scholars stand on a paddleboard in the water and paddle, they often get so nervous that they forget how to paddle for fear of falling into the water. So practice this action with your paddle board paddle on land before you go out on the water.

Commom SUP mistakes

SUP Surfing In A Packed Lineup

If there’s one thing that surfers hate in the lineup, it’s a stand up paddle boarder hoarding all the waves. To avoid tongue lashings or assault from locals, go SUP surfing at spots where the lineup isn’t crowded.

It’s common sense. Don’t paddle out at popular surf breaks, instead, paddle in between those breaks where the crowd is dispersed and the waves are still fun.

Commom SUP mistakes

Forgetting To Bring Water and Snacks

Paddle boarding can be a deceptive full body workout. Since it is shipped outdoors, proper hydration is key. Also paddling or surfing on the water requires more physical exertion, so many surfers bring snacks for an extra boost of energy along the way.

There are no hard and fast rules as to what kind of snacks are best. Some surfers like cheese, others prefer sandwiches. You just need to bring your favorite snacks and you're ready to go.

Commom SUP mistakes


There are more mistakes that can be made, and there is a lot of important information to know before you become a paddle board master. The quickest way to learn paddle boarding is to get outside and practice. In the constant process of falling into the water and getting back up, you'll just keep improving your paddling.


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