Stand up paddleboard basics

Whether you’re new to water sports or an expert at..

Whether you’re new to water sports or an expert at anything with fins, you are bound to notice the growing popularity of stand-up paddle boarding. There are many ways to enjoy this fun and relaxing activity but it’s best to start out with inflatable SUP paddleboards.

Why choose inflatable?
There are plenty of different types of paddleboards for racing and the more advanced. For beginners, an inflatable SUP board is very durable. It also offers easier storage at home and in the car, so simply fill the board with hair.

Safety
It’s important to abide by the rules in order to ensure your time on the water happens with no incident. Since the Coast Guard classifies paddleboards as a vessel when you’re in open water, it is important to wear a floatation device. In cooler waters, a body-length wetsuit will keep you from getting hypothermia. In warmer waters sporting a bathing suit or attire that is comfortable for activity and when wet are necessary to wear.

Type of water
For beginners it’s important to start out on calm, flat waters that aren’t overcome with boats and other obstacles.

Picking out a paddle
It’s very important to have the right size paddle depending on your height. Make sure it is 6” – 8” taller than you. Most if not all paddles come with an adjustable clip, so when measuring, stretch arm over your head, but keep bent. It is important to NOT straighten out the arm. Secure the clip once adjusted to the correct height.

Mounting the board
For someone who is starting out, getting onto a paddleboard could be a challenge. Using the paddle as balance to get on the board, you may feel more comfortable kneeling once you get on. When you feel comfortable enough to stand, move one foot forward, have feet hip-width apart and stand up slowly to keep steady over the water. Make sure you are standing center or front of center of the board for balance and maneuverability.

Moving along the water
Once you’re up and ready to explore, make sure the bill of the paddle – the widest part at the bottom – is facing the front. Grip the top of the paddle and start stroking the water in the patter of 5-7 strokes on one side and then switch. To turn, move 1 – 2 steps towards the back, getting the nose of the board to rise a little bit higher for easier maneuverability. Paddle strokes should be back to front while turning

Falling
It happens to the best of us. Although a relatively easy sport, sometimes even the most experienced can take a fall. If you start to feel yourself lose your balance, lean towards the side. You are less likely to get injured if you fall in the water rather than on the board. It’s important to get onto the board first and get to the paddle second, once safely afloat.