We all got a little explorer in ourselves. Who doesn’t like to go out, discover a little bit of nature, and some healthy exercise? Paddle boarding offers each of them along with a tremendous ride on the water. With an easy learning curve, you do not need to spend days to learn how to use stand up paddle board.
This is one of the growing sports now. Why wouldn’t it be? The paddling offers a full body cardio exercise. Unlike other exercises, you won’t notice how hours fly by. Your adventurous mind will also be contented while exploring what’s under the water or on the horizon.
Benefits of stand-up paddle boarding
The primary benefit of paddle boarding for a nature lover is the close-up view of underwater life. While other vehicles mostly disrupt water life, paddleboards give you a chance of watching it at its best.
Bring the Marko Polo out of yourselves, give yourself a little taste of exploring new lands, experience the view you could never see from land.
Paddleboarding is also a good exercise. Many athletes, even Olympians are known to jump on a paddle board for a complete workout. The touch of nature acts as a good stress reliever.
This is a good pastime for the whole family. After the initial investment, years of healthy and low-cost in the outdoors will be yielded.
Stand Up Paddle Board Basics
Learning paddle boarding is easy. You can learn the basics within a fine afternoon. Here are some stand-up paddle board basics which will get you right on the track. It will all be easy once you get habituated with the process.
Select the right paddle board
Many people don’t seem to be comfortable on their paddle board. They find it tough to balance and maneuver the board. Don’t let that disheartened person be you.
Start with a 30 feet wide and 11 feet long-board, go for calm water instead of high tides.
Stand and feel if you are comfortable on the paddle board. If discomfort continues for several attempts, go for wider paddle boards.
How to stand up on your paddle board
1. Float the board on the water and stand on a knee deep water alongside the board.
2. Make sure the fins do not touch the bottom.
3. Hold the board and start out on your knees. Take a few stroke to start the ride.
4. Get to the center point, ideally where the handle is located by your knees
5. Instead of standing up at a time, start by lifting your chest and bringing it to a vertical position.
6. Extend the legs one by one and slowly stand up.
Staying Balanced On A Paddle Board
After standing, you can maintain your balance with the following things-
1. Do not look at the feet all the time. Keep your vision to the horizon.
2. Stand with a straight back, keep your toes forward and knees slightly bent.
3. Keep your feet at the center, at either side of the handle. Maintain distance between the feet and keep the parallel.
How To Hold A Stand-Up Paddle
Beginners frequently do mistake in this area. Instead of working from the core, they use arm strength to drive, resulting in tiring easily.
Some hold the paddle by the shaft with both hands, using the paddle like a broomstick, which is incorrect either.
1. Make sure the teardrop-shaped blade is away from you and driven towards the nose of the paddle board.
2. Do not hold the paddle by two hands at the same place. While paddling right, place your left hand on the T-grip and the right hand a few feet down, on the shaft. Reverse the hand positions while paddling on the left.
Falling And Getting Back to the SUP
You might think it as a failure, but surprisingly, this is the fun part of paddle boarding. Even the experienced paddle board riders fall from the board sometimes and that is completely okay! After all, this is a water sport, and getting a little wet is fun.
However, here’s how you can get back to the SUP if that happens-
1. First, if you lose balance, try to aim yourself to the side of the board. Falling on the water is safer than falling on the board.
2. If you lose your paddle too, grab the board first. Then use your hands to bring your board near the paddle.
3. While on the water, position yourself near the center. Grab the handle with one hand. Float your legs and bring yourself out of the water by pulling the handle.
4. Do not rush to stand. Take a breath and follow the rules of standing.
Stand up paddle board strokes
There are mainly 3 types of strokes. Each stroke results to move the board in different directions.
1. Keep your hands straight. It might seem surprising, but the strength during paddling shouldn’t come from your arms. You’ll tire quickly is that happens. The strength should come from your core. By keeping the hands straight, you’ll make sure it’s your hip and shoulder that moves forward when paddling.
2. Push down the paddle with your top arm, think of as you’re pulling the board past the paddle. This might help.
3. Alter the strokes, this might be on every stroke or at a few stroke interval. Try to keep the paddle in a vertical angle to go straight.
The reverse stroke is the opposite of forwarding stroke. It can be used to slow down, turn or stop the board.
1. Like the forward stroke, keep your hands straight and use your hip and torso to paddle, only in opposite direction.
2. Reaching the tail of the board will slow your speed and sinking it on the water with one foot will stop it.
Sweep stokes help you to turn your board while you’re standing or moving.
1. Use your shoulder, if you are paddling at the right and wish to turn the board to the left, then bring forward your right shoulder.
2. Keep your hands straight, sink the blade of the paddle. Sweep the paddle away from the board, making a curving motion from the nose to the tail.
3. Performing weep stroke on the right side of your stand up paddle board will turn the board to the left side, and vice versa.
7 Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tips
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned rider, a bunch of tips is always helpful. Before you grab your paddle board and head up to the water, take a look at these tips.
1. If you are a beginner, always start with calm water. Your time will come, but first, you need to learn the basics.
2. Use ankle leash. This might not seem important, but it saves you from the hassle and makes it safer for the others. There are different kinds of ankle leash with different kinds of the attachment point. Use the one that comforts you.
3. If you are a beginner, pick a sunny day without stormy winds. That goes too for family outings.
4. Try paddling with your core, not your arms. Keep your hands straight and use shoulder and hip. This might sound weird if you are a newbie, but experienced riders know how quickly your energy can be drained if you rely on the arms. This will ensure a good workout too.
5. Avoid looking to your ankles continuously. Yes, we know the temptation, but like any other ride, looking at your feet will quickly destabilize you. Keep your head, back straight and legs slightly bent.
6. Watch your falls! It inevitable that you will fall from your board from time to time and say Hello to the water. That’s completely okay, but make sure you aim yourself the right way.
Try to fall far from the paddle board and in the sideways. You don’t want to injure yourself by hitting the board. Don’t worry about losing the paddle because the ankle leash will prevent that.
7. Watch the wave and the wind. We need to admire the nature and give respect where it’s due. Water sports are fun, we do not need to prove anything.
If you want to ride the waves, make sure you pick the one you can handle. That goes for winds too. Be aware of sudden and hostile wind changes. If you are caught with something like this, go to paddling prone position. Lay on your board, tuck the paddle under your body and paddle the board like a surfboard.
It might seem kind of nerdy to read a guide on how to use stand up paddle board. Well, learning at the field is always the best thing. But getting it all, step by step will get you ready even before hopping on the water.
Paddle boarding consists of four important and extremely fun activities. Exercise, swimming, riding and enjoying nature. Take it as a chance for doing core workouts in the coming summer, or having a good time with the family. Know the basics, respect them, and in no time you will be riding the ladder to become a pro.