Beginner’s Guide to Paddle Boarding
6 Paddle Boarding Tips
You’ve just learned about this whole stand-up paddle board thing and you think it sounds pretty awesome, so you’ve gone out and gotten yourself a beginner paddle board. Now all that’s left to do is get out on the water, right?
Well, not quite. You see, there’s a bit of a learning curve. It’s not too difficult to get the hang of the basics, but you’re probably not going to master it right away. So we’ve decided to put together this list of pro tips for people like you, who are new to SUP. These pro SUP board tips will help you start enjoying your board even faster.
Tip #1: You’re Going to Fall Off
If you’re new to SUP, you’re going to fall off a lot, at first. So, unless you fancy a lot of long swims and looking around for your paddle board, make sure that you’re tethered to your board. That way, it won’t get far and you can get right back up on it when you fall.
Tip #2: Hold the Paddle the Right Way
Most rookie SUP boarders make the mistake of holding the paddle the wrong way, making them have to work a lot harder at paddling. However weird it looks, though, you should hold the paddle so that the edge of the blade it pointing at the front of your paddle board. That’s because there’s a bit of a curve worked into the surface of the blade that makes it work best when used that way. You’ll have an easier time paddling and a smoother, more stable ride.
Tip #3: The Paddle Is not a Push Pole
Do not use the paddle as a push pole. Pushing against the lake, ocean, or river bottom may get you moving along quickly, but it can warp or even break the paddle. Your paddle is a carefully crafted piece of equipment. Treat it with respect or you’ll soon find yourself out on the water without a paddle.
Tip #4: Store Your Board in a Dry, Shady Place
You probably know that the sun’s UV rays can do a lot of damage to your skin, but did you know they can also do a lot of damage to your SUP board? In time, they’ll not only cause discoloration but also cracking and splitting. Your board gets enough sunlight when you use it. Store it in a dry, shady place when you’re not using it.
Tip #5: Beware the Shallows
The fastest way to ruin your board is letting the fin scrape bottom. The fin keeps your board stable, so getting it warped or broken from scraping it along the bottom will impair or destroy your board’s performance. Oh, and it’s a good idea to keep the fin up when you lay your board down, too.
Tip #6: Don’t Look Down
Most beginners make the mistake of looking down, thinking it will help them balance better. Well, it doesn’t. Quite the opposite, in fact. Looking down is a sure way to end up in the water. Instead, keep your eyes on the horizon. This will help you balance more naturally and easily.