You’ve seen your friends stand up gracefully on their paddleboards.
They carve through the water, paddle in hand, and make it look easy.
So you toss on your Fin-Atic performance paddle tee. Then, you grab your paddleboard and paddle, rush for the open water, and expect to do the same. Adrenaline pumps through your veins as you say to yourself, “This is it. THIS is the time I’m going to stand up on this darned paddleboard!”
Just then, you fall and trip into the water as you hear your friends laughing in the background. You try again but see the same result.
Finally, you manage to stand up, but only for a few seconds at a time. It feels like you’re just not getting it.
Most paddle boarders have experienced this at some point. But you don’t have to writhe on in agony, always falling into the cold water like a clumsy polar bear.
Today, we’ll lay out some tips to help you stand up on your paddleboard the right way – so you can finally get the real experience of being out there on the water!
So grab you paddleboard and get ready to go!
1. Get the Right Gear
Paddleboards and paddles come in different shapes, weights, and sizes. Before you can stand on your board, you need to make sure you choose the right board and paddle that fit your body type and goals. This will make it much easier to stand up on your board and have an enjoyable experience.
Here are some general guidelines to help you choose the right board and paddle:
· Ask yourself, “What kind of paddle boarding do I want to do?” If you’re paddle boarding for fun and fitness, you’ll want to choose a wider board with a planing hull, while if you’re looking to race, you should go with a more narrow board with a displacement hull.
· The wider the board, the easier it is to balance. So, if you’re an absolute beginner, you may want to choose a wider board to start with.
· Longer paddles allow you to stroke harder in flat water, while shorter paddles help you to navigate more challenging moving water.
· In general, the bigger you are, the wider and longer your board and paddle should be.
2. Face the Right Direction
Seems simple, right? Well, you’d be surprised how many beginners face the wrong way when trying to stand up on their paddleboards!
Luckily, it’s quite easy to face the right direction. Just remember that the fins are located on the back of the board. This is important because they act as a straightener for your board.
3. Use Your Core
A majority of athletes and coaches preach how important your core is in their respective sports and athletics overall. The same idea applies to paddle boarding…specifically with being able to stand up and not falling over when you do. Core strength not only provides balance but gives you the ability to generate more strength when you paddle.
So instead of using arm strength to paddle, focus on your core. Here’s how you can do this:
· Once the paddle is in the water, keep your bottom arm straight. Rotate your hips and then your shoulders to bring the paddle through the water.
· Make sure the paddle stays vertical. If it starts going horizontal, take it out and switch sides to make it vertical again. This will make sure that your core is putting in the work.
4. Learn to Fall
You’re bound to fall at some point, so you should know how to fall the right way to ensure your safety (because the last thing you want is for you paddle boarding session to get cut short by injury!).
When you fall off, fall AWAY from your board and into open water. In doing so, you avoid falling on your board and potentially hurting yourself.
(Don’t worry - you won’t lose your board because you will have your leash strapped to you.)
Everyone falls over at some point… from beginners to professionals. Failure is part of learning. Rocky once said, “It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” The same principle can be applied to falling off your paddleboard.
But if you follow these tips, you’ll be standing on your paddleboard in no time, and flowing through the water with ease!