TOP 7 Tips for Stand-up Paddling Beginners

Table of contents

1. Check Conditions
2. Get the Right Board
3. Use a Leash
4. Face the Right Direction
5. Look at the Horizon
6. Paddling with Your Core
7. Fall off Your Board the Right Way

Stand-up Paddling Beginners

Stand up paddleboarding can be as calm or exciting a sport as you want it to be, and it can be done pretty much on any water surface, from lakes to oceans. The best part is that it can be done by people of all ages, skill levels, and body types. However, there’s so much information you need to absorb before you even pick up a paddle and inflate your board.

To make easier for you, we’ve created tips for beginners to guide what you need to do to prepare for your trip and what should be paid attention to. These tips on paddle boarding will help you make the most out of the experience if you’re interested in trying it out.

Stand-up Paddling Beginners

Check Conditions

It’s important to find out the water conditions and weather forecast for that day before hitting the water. You never want to get to the lake for a fun day on the water while it’s bright and sunny only to find yourself in the middle of a thunderstorm a few hours later. One of the most significant but often overlooked paddle boarding tips is to mind the wind conditions. Pick a spot where the wind will be at your back on your way back in so you are not fighting against the wind when you are more tired.

Make sure that conditions are safe and fit for your ability so you can have an enjoyable time. Start in calm waters, like a lake or a bay, rather than in the ocean or on a river. Take it slow, and only start paddling once you’ve managed to find a good balance.


Get the Right Paddle and Board

Before you get started in stand up paddle boarding, make sure to get the right SUP gear for your skill level and for the environment you’ll be paddling in, which is closely to your overall enjoyment and safety.

Beginners should start with an all-around SUP board that is thick, long and wide. It will help you learn how to balance in different water conditions. And of course, make sure to choose the right thickness or volume that suits your body type. Learn more about how to choose a right paddle board When it comes to choosing the right paddle, it may vary depending on the activity you want to engage in, but the rule of thumb is to choose a paddle that is 10 inches taller than your height for good grip and traction.


Use a Leash

This actually goes for all stand up paddle boarders but the sooner you are aware how vital a leash is in any kind of condition the safer you and everyone else will be when you are paddling. Your board becomes your life-saving device when you get tired, lost, or when you find yourself a little too far from shore, and you can easily lose it in windy or stormy conditions if you’re not tethered to it

Although leashes are available in a range of sizes and types, the important thing to remember is that you need a high-quality board leash that won’t break off but can be quickly detached. If you get stuck in some underwater plants, you need to make sure that you can get out of as quickly as possible.


Face the Right Direction

It can be hard for beginners with all-around boards to know which is the front end. Hence, before you climb on the board, check where the board’s fins are. They should be at the back when you paddle. Fins at the back help keep the board straight while you paddle and help with grip while you surf waves. If you’re struggling to keep your board straight and you constantly have to switch paddle sides, it’s probably because your fins are at the front--your board is facing the wrong direction.


Look at the Horizon

When we first start paddling, it’s tempting to gaze down at your board, watch the water lapping at the sides and to pray we aren’t going to fall in! This can actually make it much harder to stay balanced. Instead, try to keep your gaze focused on a specific point in the distance. Some use the horizon, and some use a buoy or other marker. For the best stability, try your best to keep your head up and maintain good body posture by keeping your back straight, legs slightly bent, shoulders pulled back, and by bearing your body weight mainly on the balls of your feet.


Paddling with Your Core

Stand-up paddle boarding isn’t only about your arms and back muscles. It’s a full-body workout and requires a lot of core strength. Rely on your arms to do all the paddling is the quickest way to tire yourself out, and you wouldn’t get much power out of it. Paddling is best done by your core. These are the strongest muscles of your body, which provide the most effective power for your paddle stroke and allows you to maintain your balance on the board. 

Another reason why you should always use your core while paddleboarding? Over time, it can increase your core strength and you’ll start to build muscle definition in the midsection!


Fall off Your Board the Right Way

Even the pros fall off so this is always going to be a part of your stand up paddle boarding. To prevent injury, you’ll need to learn how to fall correctly. When you lose your balance on the paddle board, make sure that you fall into the water and not onto the board, as falling onto the board is more likely to cause an injury. 

Don’t dive forwards or backwards as you might hit your SUP, try to fall to the sides and keep your paddle forwards so you don’t get hurt with it. Meanwhile, keep your body shallow so you’re less likely to hit anything lurking below the surface. And you don’t have to worry about losing your board because you’re already using a leash. 

Stand-up Paddling Beginners

Are you ready to buy your first stand up paddle board and catch some glassy water and waves? We hope these paddle boarding tips will help you become a better paddler and feel more confident about getting into the water. Having a wonderful and safe time!

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