Stand-Up Paddleboarding Basics
Stand-up paddleboarding in it's entirety, is an awesome experience. It's easy to learn, great for exercise, involves nature, can be very therapeutic and enjoyed with friends, kids, or alone. Many have found the board to be a great platform for yoga, making the sport as intense or relaxed as you like. The basic concept is to stand on a paddle board, similar to a surfboard, and glide across the water while using a long stand-up paddle (SUP) to steer and propel. SUP Tip 1: While paddling, stay engaged through the core, keep knees slightly bent, shoulder width stance, and most importantly, stay relaxed! Take deep breathes and remain calm. The calmer you are, the easier it is to keep the board stable, and the easier it is to move and sway with the water.
Standing Up on Your Paddle Board:
1. Find some calm water for starting out. 2. Climb on the board, facing the nose, kneeling in the center. Keep your knees about shoulder width apart. Place the paddle across the board in front of your knees (far enough in front of your knees so you can easily/comfortably grab or rest your hands on the paddle). 3. Take a deep breathe, relax, feel the water - take a look around at the surroundings. Feel free to paddle around on your knees for a while or even sitting. 4. From kneeling, gently roll your toes under, place one foot on the board and then the other. Grab the paddle while standing up. SUP Tip 2: Rest your hands on the paddle while rolling your toes and planting your feet. Keep your knees bent, feet shoulder width apart, stay relaxed, take a couple more deep breaths and have fun! SUP Tip 3: As the board planes, it becomes more stable. One option is to take a few strokes while kneeling then stand while the board is planing.
Now to get moving. The Forward SUP Stroke:
1. Stay relaxed and keep the knees bent. This will keep the body from becoming rigid and locked, allowing for better balance and and more mobility on your paddle board. Use the bent knees to feel the board moving with the water. 2. Stretch the lower arm out and use the top hand to guide the paddle. Place the blade in the water a comfortable distance out in front, next to the board. SUP Tip 4: The bend in the paddle blade should be away from you, extending the reach of the paddle further in front of you. Here's an example of this, as sometimes this can seem counter-intuitive: https://aquabound.com/stand-up-paddles/sizing-guide. 3. Pull through the water, bending at the waste. Stop when the blade reaches your feet. Pull the blade out of the water and reach again. Be patient - no rush - just relax and enjoy cruising across the water.