Stand-up Paddle Boarding is a simple and unique sport of playing on the water. SUP is not only easy sport but also its fun. And people of all ages whether old or young, sizes and shape can learn stand-up paddle boarding in no time. SUP is not only a fun sport, it is also a full body workout which increases body flexibility, inner strength and is good for cardio fitness.
Unlike surfing, SUP does not need waves to keep going, just calm water with a constant flow is enough for the beginners. Standup paddle boarding first started in around 1960s in Huawei. Paddle boarding is not hard and just in following some pro tips can make you paddle boarding like a pro. Keep in mind two things while beginning to paddle board i.e.:
- If you are a beginner, then make sure to use paddle boards specially designed for beginners because they provide more stability.
- It is best for beginner to start with calm, flat water and avoid going to ocean.
Before starting SUP, every beginner needs some instructions to learn right techniques. Here Are Some of the techniques, every beginner needs to learn.
- How to Stand up
- How to balance yourself
- How to hold Paddles
- Falling and getting back on the board
- Right strokes
How to Stand Up:
Following are the technique for standing up on the SUP board:
- Stand along the board in enough water that the fins on the board do not touch the bottom. The water level should be up to your knees.
- Grab the sides of the board and in the kneeling position, work onto the SUP board
- For stability hold the edges of the board and try to position your feet, one at a time on the board, at the place where your knees where before
- Do not try stand up immediately. Rather, keep your knees bent and first rise your chest. Stand up when your chest rises to vertical position.
How to balance
Balancing on the SUP board is super easy if you follow the following techniques:
- Place your feet about hip-width distance, parallel and in center of the board.
- Keep your back straight and your knees a bit bent.
- While shifting your weight, slightly move your hips and make sure to keep your head steady. Do not move too much.
- Do not keep your gaze on your feet, keep it on horizon level.
Holding SUP Paddle Correctly
Here are two basic techniques to hold your SUP paddle correctly;
- Make sure the blade of the paddle angles towards the nose of the paddle and away from you.
- While holding the paddle in your right side, place your left hand on the T-grip and your right hand down on the shaft. reverse method will be applied, while holding on the left side.
Falling and Getting Back on the SUP Board
Do not be upset, if you fall from you board because even a pro can lose his/her balance sometimes and fall.
If you lose balance:
- If you lose your balance and are about to fall, try to fall into the water not on the board to avoid any injury.
- Try to hold your paddle tightly. But if you lose control of it then remember to first get on your board and then paddle with your hand to grab the SUP paddle.
To get back on your SUP after falling off:
- To get back on the board, position yourself near the center of the board.
- Hold the handle of the board.
- Slide yourself on the board.
There are three basic strokes you need to learn:
- Forward Stroke
- Reverse Stroke
- Sweep Stroke
Pro tips for beginners:
Here are some pro tips for beginners:
Get the right equipment:
One of the common mistakes that the beginners make, is getting the wrong gear. Before start learning SUP, make sure to get the right gear. Get the board which provide more stability and support while playing in water and also make sure that its size is appropriate to your body height, weight, and shape. According to an expert, ‘get the board whose size is 10 inches more than you.”
Also, do not forget to use other necessary gears such as:
- Emergency whistle and light
- Personal floating device and paddles.
- Leash and proper clothing
Using a leash is very vital and lifesaving. Using a leash should be a priority of every stand-up boarder because it can become a life saving if you fall into deep water. There are different types of leashes with different types of attachments depending on preferences of each individual. Try to by a leash which is strong and won’t be able to break easily but detach easily in times of severe need such as if you get stuck in seaweeds.
Direction of Wind:
Make sure your board is in right direction of wind but if the wind is too strong and the waves are bothering you, then lay on you board to avoid strong waves and wind and paddle using your arms.
Do not use your arms:
Avoid using your arm and engage your core. Right paddle boarding is done through your core not your arms. Your core is the strong muscles of your body which not only helps you to maintain balance, but it will also increase your productivity, unlike your arms which can tire out very quickly.
Direction of SUP board:
The common mistake a beginner make is not checking the direction of your board. Make sure to check the direction of your board. The fins on your SUP board should be directing backward not in front. The fins help to keep the board straight and also keep the balance.
Use the right Techniques:
Before beginning SUP boarding, first do complete search or take lessons from an expert, to learn the important techniques about stand-up paddle boarding. And make sure to follow the above-mentioned techniques to SUP board like a pro.
Keep your head upright:
One of the mistakes the beginners make is staring at their feet. Make sure to keep your head upright and your gaze at the horizon level and maintain a good body posture. It will not only help in maintaining stability but also with keeping balance.
Fall in the water:
It natural that at some point even an advance person can fall. So, do not lose hope. In any case, if you lose your balance, avoid falling on the board and aim yourself to fall in water. Because falling on the board can cause serious injury.