There are more and more people playing SUP. Here are tips for beginners:
#1 Use a leash
This actually goes for all stand-up paddle boarders but the sooner you are aware how vital a leash is in any kind of condition the safer you and everyone else will be when you are paddling.
#2 Make sure your paddle is the right way
As the shaft is the leading edge you pull the blade through the water in a slightly trailing position which aids blade stability and as you perform the SUP stroke, the blade is vertical providing the best angle through the middle of the stroke for the most power.
#3 Face the right way
Before you jump on the board, check where the fins are and make sure they are in the back when you paddle! Fins at the back help keep the board straight while you paddle, this is called tracking, and help with grip while you surf waves.
#4 Paddling with your core
Don’t use your arms. This may sound a little weird at first but paddling is best done by your core. These are the strongest muscles of your body and provide the most effective power for your paddle stroke
#5 Look at the horizon
For the best stability, you want to keep your head up, back straight and your body weight over your toes.
#6 Stay out of the way
Paddle boards are big and they can hurt when they hit you. Be mindful of other water users and when you’re learning the art of SUP. Make sure you have plenty of room to practice standing, falling and paddling.
#7 Fall off your board the right way
Paddle boards are big and can hurt when they hit you, when you fall, you want to fall away from your board. Don’t worry, you’re attached to it with your leash and it won’t go away, but falling well clear of the board will let you fall gracefully into water without falling on the board or the fins.
#8 Ride waves you can handle
Mother nature is a powerful being and you need to respect that and know your limits. We do this for fun and 99% of us aren’t out there to prove anything. Be smart and ride waves in the right conditions for your skill level. That goes for white water paddle boarding too. Be sure to understand the flow of the river and the power of the water.
#9 Watch the wind
This is a follow on from #8. It’s important to know the conditions when you paddle out. Also to know the forecast so you are aware of any possible changes coming. When you’re standing on your SUP, you are like a sail in the wind. If you’re ever caught in an unfavourable wind change, lay down with your paddle tucked under you and paddle the board like a regular surfboard. This is called paddling prone.
#10 Look after your board and paddle
Paddle boards for beginners are big. To make them manageable, maneuverable and strong they need to be built out of lightweight high tech materials making them expensive. Look after your board and paddle, they are fragile when thrown around on land. Your board will thank you!