Stand-up paddle boarding—in a nutshell—is an awesome experience. It’s easy to learn and great exercise.

It brings you outside in nature. It can be enjoyed with friends, your kids or solo. You can even combine it with yoga.

learning to stand-up paddle

The basic idea is to stand on a board, much like a surf board, and glide across the water using a long paddle to propel and steer.

Standing Up

  • Find some calm water.
  • Climb on the board, kneeling in the center. Stretch the paddle across the board in front of your knees.
  • Take a deep breath, then relax and feel the water. Take a look at your surroundings.
  • Gently place one foot on the board, then the other. Grab the paddle while standing up.
  • Keep your core muscles engaged, your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a couple of deep breaths.
  • Relax and have fun! The more relaxed and fluid you are, the easier it is to move and sway with the water.

As the board planes (evens out on the water), it becomes more stable. If it’s more comfortable, take a few strokes while kneeling, then stand while the board is planing.

Let’s Get Moving—The Stroke

  • Stay relaxed with your knees bent. This will keep your body from getting stiff and locked, allowing for better balance and more mobility. You’ll be able to move with your board.
  • Stretch your lower arm out, and use your top hand to guide the paddle. Place the blade in the water a comfortable distance in front of you, next to the board.
  • Pull through the water, bending at the waist. Stop when the blade reaches your feet. Pull the blade out of the water and reach again.

Be patient! There’s no rush—just relax and enjoy!