Stand-up paddle boarding is a fantastic way to enjoy the water while also getting a great workout. While this activity may appear simple at first, there is actually a lot of information to consider once you're out on the water. From proper body positioning to important safety measures, there are a number of key factors to keep in mind in order to make the most of your experience. Read on for a step-by-step guide to mastering the art of stand-up paddle boarding.
If stand-up paddle boarding is a new activity for you, it's recommended that you choose a longer, wider, and thicker board to ensure better stability. SUP is a fun activity for all skill levels, but there are still some tips to keep in mind when gearing up pr buying new gear.
There are different types of paddle boards available: the epoxy board, made from fibreglass, is hard and rigid, while the inflatable paddle board offers a bit more flexibility and is easy to transport and store. The latter paddle board is an excellent option for travel and for practicing on bodies of water that are less accessible. Additionally, the paddle board can be stored in its own compact bag, making it an ideal solution for optimizing your storage space!
The choice ultimately depends on your preferences and needs. All that's left to do is grab your paddle board and put the proper techniques into practice to stand up (and stay up!) on your paddle board.
The stand-up paddle board, also known as a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP), is a floating board that allows an individual to move on water by using a paddle to propel themselves forward. It is commonly used for navigating calm bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, or oceans.
Compared to a traditional surfboard, the paddle board is typically longer, wider, and thicker, which makes it easier to float and provides greater stability for the paddler. There are various types of paddle boards available, including inflatable and rigid boards.
A few safety tips to remember before you head out:
○ Bring a personal flotation device (PFD) and consider bringing a whistle as well.
○ Always wear a leash. Strap it to your ankle or lower leg, so your board won’t float away from you if you fall off.
○ Be aware of safety hazards in the water. Look out for rocks or shallow reefs that could be harmful if you fall off your board.
○ Start facing the wind. You don’t want to paddle out too far with the wind behind you, and then discover it is too difficult to paddle back when you’re going against the wind.
○ As a beginner, always go with a friend, or make sure there are lifeguards nearby.
○ Enter the water until the surface reaches knee level so that your fin doesn't touch the ground.
○ Get on your paddle board at the center, on your knees.
○ Find your balance and paddle a few sweep strokes while remaining on your knees.
○ When you're ready to stand up, place your hands on the board in front of you.
○ Slowly move one foot at a time and place it exactly where your knee was.
○ Take a moment in a crouched position to regain your balance.
○ Keep your back straight and stand up slowly while looking forward (not down!).
○ Make sure to stabilize yourself on the board before starting to paddle. It's important to have good paddle board techniques
○ Make sure the paddle is oriented in the opposite direction to yours, not turned towards you, to get the best possible traction in the water.
○ Remember that the power of your paddle sweep stroke should come from your core muscles also known as your abdominal muscles, not your arms.
○ Keep the paddle close to your board, not too far to the side.
○ Reach your arms forward, then bring your paddle into the water, stopping near where your feet are to avoid wasting energy by propelling water behind you.
○ With one hand, grab the handle located in the middle of the board and with the other hand, grab the other side of the board.
○ Let your legs float on the surface of the water.
○ Place your elbows on the board to stabilize yourself, bring your legs onto the board, and return to a kneeling position in the center of the board.
○ Repeat the steps you took at the beginning to get back to standing position on your board.
Many schools offer courses to get familiar with stand-up paddle boarding, and it's highly recommended for beginners to take a few lessons. Once you master the technique, this low-impact activity is incredibly enjoyable to practice all summer long.
SUP is suitable for people of all ages and can even be combined with other activities once you feel more comfortable on your board (such as yoga on a board!). Whatever type of practice you choose, you'll be working on your abdominal muscles, balance, and concentration. Additionally, you'll benefit from a healthy dose of vitamin D and the refreshing feeling of being in the water.