When you’re having a go at SUP for the first time, having a few good tips as well as the right equipment can really make the difference between getting up and staying up or not getting up at all. But one thing’s for sure; you definitely need to begin by knowing how to stand on a paddle board, right?
So first off, make sure you’re on a nice, wide, stable board for your first attempt at paddle boarding. For most people, a 32 inches wide board would be ideal. Or maybe go for a board a little bit wider in width.
If you’re larger or just less confident, then you need to find a nice, flat, calm location for your first try.
Now, remember, just because somewhere looked perfect yesterday doesn’t mean it’s going to be perfect day after day, so make sure to check your area beforehand. Check your local maps and weather forecasts to see where it’s going to be perfect flat for the day.
Since this is paddle boarding, before you start you need to adjust your paddle to the correct height. For beginners, this is approximately six inches above your head.
If your paddle is too short or too long, once you get to your feet and start paddling, you might feel a little bit more unstable because of the paddle height.
Now, in stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), you do use your toes a great deal to help you balance when standing. So going barefoot on a paddle board is always a good idea when starting off. Also, you might find you get cramped more on your feet if you’re wearing shoes, wetsuit boots, or flipflops.
A paddleboard is at its most stable when it’s moving, much like a bike. So before you attempt standing and getting to your feet, paddle forwards on your knees first. If there’s a slight breeze, having the wind coming from behind you will help you keep the board moving forward whilst you’re getting to your feet.
Now, remember, once you get to your feet, the chances are you’re not going to be wanting to move them, so it’s important to get your feet in the correct position before you stand up.
On most boards, the most stable part is around the handle, so ideally you want your feet parallel either side of the handle, hip width or wider apart. The wider your feet are, the more stable you’ll feel when standing.
Once you move from your knees to your feet, place your feet where your knees were originally on the board. Then stand up slowly and smoothly. If you stand up too fast, the board may shoot out from underneath. On the other hand, stand up too slow and you may start to feel a bit more unstable.
As soon as you’re up get your paddle back into the water and start paddling again to maintain that forward momentum (this will also give you way more stability when your paddle is in the water).
Source: Fix.com Blog
Now, when standing, it’s important to keep your knees very slightly bent to absorb any wobbles your board may have and keep your head up looking forward. It’s very tempting to look down at your paddle or your feet in the water, but if you do this, you’re way more likely to force yourself back downwards or into the water with a big splash.
Paddle with big confident strokes, ensuring that your whole paddle blade is in the water as this will keep your SUP board moving at speed and you will feel way more stable.
That’s all there is to it really.
Get that paddle in the water and get paddling.
It’s important to stand up on your own time when you’re feeling confident to do so. Now there’s always going to be somebody that’s going to do it faster or better, but if that’s not you, it’s well worth taking your time to get the hang of the basic strokes and turning around your board on your knees first.
Just don’t kneel too long. Otherwise you’re likely to get pins and needles in your feet and legs and you may ruin your chances of ever standing up.
Finally, I know it’s easier said than done, but just try and relax if that means wearing a wetsuit or going for a swim beforehand, so you haven’t got to worry about getting wet when you fall off the board, then do so.
The more relaxed you are and the less afraid you are falling in, the easier you’ll find getting up and staying up.
Remember to always wear a leash, and also, if you want to wear a boat shade or life preserver, please do so. But it’s also worth remembering that if you do fall in with a bone shade, you might then find it harder to climb back up on your paddle board.
With these basic tips for standing up on your paddle board, we can safely say that you’re going to be up in no time at all.
By the Way. Remember to have fun!