10 Helpful Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tips for Beginners

Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Asfa Rasheed

If you are looking for a new watersport to combat the oppressive summer heat, it’s time to try paddle boarding. Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a hobby for any age. 

Though it might seem daunting, there are some tricks to get started. Keep reading to discover 10 helpful stand-up paddle-boarding tips for beginners. 

1) Find the Right Board

There are dozens of shapes and sizes of paddle boards. From the start, the key is to visualize how you plan to use it. Shape, volume, length, width, and material all play a role in finding the best stand-up paddle board. The pro shop and sites like iSupReviews can assist in your search. 

2) Wear a Leash 

Whether a beginner or a seasoned vet, you should always wear your leash. The leash is practical for retrieving your board in the fall. More importantly, a leash is a piece of safety equipment that tethers you to a flotation device. 

3) Practice in Calm Water

Beginners should practice paddle boarding in calm water. A big part of the sport is balance. The best place to get your footing is a lake or a calm day on the ocean. 

4) Falling is Expected

When starting, you are going to fall. As such, you need to learn to fall the right way. If you know you are going down, try to fall away from the board. This practice avoids an injury on the board. 

5) Heads Up

You may want to look at your feet on the board to maintain balance. However, every experienced paddle boarder will tell you the key to stability is keeping your head up.

6) Use Your Core

The paddling for SUP is done with your core. If you paddle with your arm strength, you will be exhausted before you have fun. Instead, keep your feet shoulder-length apart and let the midsection muscles do the work. 

7) Practice Paddling

Take some time to practice your paddling. Make sure the blade is fully submerged to get the most efficiency. Understand how far a stroke will send you, how your turns work, and the energy required. 

8) Give Yourself Space

All of these stand-up paddle-boarding tips require a learning curve. As such, ensure you give yourself plenty of space when starting. If you are heading out with a group, make sure you have room to paddle and fall without hitting anyone. 

9) Ease Into Waves

For many SUP enthusiasts, the ultimate goal is riding waves. If you’ve ever seen the professionals, you know how impressive they can be. Yet, before you reach that level, you have to start small. It’s important to ease into wave riding. Once you get the hang of small swells, you can scale up. 

10) Check the Weather 

The final tip to all beginner paddle boarders is to check the weather. It is not just thunderstorms that you need to be aware of. Wind direction, current, and sun exposure can all be dangerous if you aren’t informed. 


Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a fun and enjoyable activity that can be done in lakes, rivers, and oceans. Getting started with SUP can be daunting if you’re a beginner. However, with the right equipment, knowledge, and tips, you can quickly master the art of SUP and enjoy your time on the water.

Here are ten helpful stand-up paddle-boarding tips for beginners:

  • Start in calm waters: Begin your SUP journey in calm, flat waters. This will help you get accustomed to standing on and maneuvering the board.
  • Choose the right board: Pick a stable, durable board and the right size for your weight and height.
  • Get the right paddle: Select a paddle that is the right size for your height and has a comfortable grip.
  • Learn proper technique: Take the time to learn proper paddling techniques. This will help you conserve energy and prevent injury.
  • Wear appropriate gear: Wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) and appropriate clothing, such as a wetsuit, depending on the water temperature.
  • Start on your knees: Start by paddling on your knees and gradually stand up once you feel comfortable.
  • Look ahead: Keep your gaze fixed on the horizon to help you maintain balance and direction.
  • Learn to turn: Learn how to turn the board using paddle strokes and body movement.
  • Respect other water users: Respect other people on the water, including swimmers, kayakers, and boaters.
  • Have fun: Most importantly, have fun! SUP is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, exercise, and connect with nature.

Ready to Try to Stand Up Paddle Boarding?

With this guide, stand-up paddle boarding shouldn’t seem as intimidating as before. Keep these beginner tips in mind to beat the learning curve.  

If you found this article helpful, stick around the blog for more sports reads.  

Read more: The Do’s and Don’ts of Skiing for Beginners.