5 Mistakes To Avoid When SUPing For The First Time | SUP Beginner Tips

Imagine being able to have the relaxing vibe of riding a kayak, but with the increased vision and flexibility of surfing? This is exactly what paddle boarding offers you. A paddle board is a larger surfboard that has enough buoyancy to allow riders to stand on the board while the board is not moving. These are also known as SUP paddle boards, meaning "stand up paddle boards." The board has enough buoyancy that you can stand on it without having your feet submerged underwater. Waves are not necessary to have when riding (but can be fun for more advanced riders), due to the fact that you use a paddle to propel the board when riding. Paddle boarding is a sport that will be fun for all skill levels. Some riders use paddle boards to have a nice relaxing journey on the water, the view into clear water is spectacular when standing on your board.

People who have never tried paddle boarding often ask: is paddleboarding hard? Learning how to paddle board may not be as easy as you’d think to start with. But by knowing some useful paddle boarding tips, you can make the learning process easier than you'd think. There are several mistakes that are commonly seen in beginners. Learn what they are and try to avoid them and it could help you conquer the learning curve faster:

SUP beginner tips - 5 common rookie mistakes to avoid

Mistake 1. Getting the Wrong Equipment

This is a common, but easily avoidable mistake. Keep in mind that the lowest priced SUP paddle board may be attractive for beginners, but can hinder the experience for the rider. There are mainly two kinds of paddle boards: hard/rigid boards or inflatables. Whether to get an inflatable SUP or a hardboard really depends on what kind of experience you want. For recreational purpose, inflatalbes are more suitable. And hardboards typically have better performance on the water. After deciding what kind of board to get, remember to choose one from the right brand. A high-quality board from brands like Redpaddle or Goosehill can ensure the proper size, buoyancy and durability. Getting the correct paddle is also an important decision as well. Make sure you get the proper help at the store or through online chats from companies selling boards and paddles. The paddle is also important. You DO NOT want to use a kayak paddle(double-sided) for your paddle board. The proper size and length of a paddle will be key to your experience, this will ensure that you are getting the proper thrust with each stroke of the paddle.

Goosehill has one of the best paddle boards for beginners under $400, the Goosehill Sailor inflatable SUP board. It's an ultra-lightweight inflatable stand up paddle board and a great choice for beginners to learn how to paddle board quickly.

SUP beginner tips

Mistake 2. Paddling with No Company  

As you were always told by your parents, there is safety in numbers. For beginners, it is important to paddle with company. Paddling alone can be dangerous for beginners and will make the experience less enjoyable when you are worried about your safety. Make sure to bring a friend, or a few, along for your day out. This will result in a safer and more enjoyable experience. As you become more advanced, riding alone is still not recommended, but if this is done make sure to let someone on shore know about your ride route/plan and what time you should be expected back. This is always a good safety net to have just in case something does happen along the way.

SUP beginner tips

Mistake 3. Going without Checking the Weather  

Make sure to get a nice weather check in before riding. With today’s technology, this could be as simple as pushing the home button on your smartphone. However you check your weather does not matter, but it will save you from a potentially dangerous day out on the water. Paddle boarding is much more fun with nice sunny weather. Riding in a storm is not recommended and extremely dangerous when holding a paddle in your hands. Take the smart route and check the weather before each ride.

SUP beginner tips

Mistake 4. Using the Paddle Wrong  

Using the paddle properly allows for riders to have a nice, smooth and straight-line riding experience on the water. To ensure you use the paddle correctly, make sure to keep a few things in mind:     

SUP beginner tips

-Use the side of the paddle that scoops the water (think about the side of the spoon that you use when scooping ice cream)     

-Have the paddle at a slight angle away from you and the board when stroking. This will create a smoother paddling experience and cause less stress on your arms and elbows     

- Proper paddle holding technique will allow an easier stroke. When paddling on the right, make sure that your right hand is on the shaft(closer to the larger part of the paddle) and your left hand is on the top of the shaft(smaller side of the paddle). This is the opposite when paddling on the left side of the paddle board.

Mistake 5. Paddling in Choppy Water as a Beginner  

Avoid learning how to ride a paddle board in choppy waters. When learning in choppy water you highly increase your chances of falling off the SUP paddle board, which can create a stressful learning environment. Smooth waters are recommended at first, then take on the challenge of choppy waters as you progress your skill level.

SUP beginner tips

Now that you are aware of the 5 common mistakes to avoid, it is time to grab your board and get out onto the water!(after checking the weather of course!) Is paddleboarding hard? Maybe. But what's important is the fun you will get after learning how to paddle board. Get your own SUP board today and join the thousands of paddle boarders who are already a part of the paddle boarding community. The world is full of great paddle boarding spots. If you live in America, then you should be so lucky. You have the best places to paddleboard in Michigan, California, Florida, Hawaii, etc. Whenever you are in the mood for paddleboarding, you can always find a nice place for it.

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