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 you are a beginner or a seasoned vet, you should always wear your leash. The leash is practical for retrieving your board in a 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 out, 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 have the urge 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 are paddling with your arm strength, you will be exhausted before you have any 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, make sure you give yourself plenty of space when starting out. 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 it 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.
Ready to Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding?
With this guide, stand up paddle boarding shouldn’t seem nearly as intimidating as before. Keep these beginner tips in mind to beat the learning curve.
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Read more: The Do’s and Don’ts of Skiing for Beginners