Paddle Boarding Tips for Beginners
Stand up Paddle Boarding (SUP), an offshoot of surfing, has quickly become a popular activity among water sport enthusiasts that longed to try something new.
Paddle Boarding is a mix of both worlds actually; that of surfing and that of paddling.
It involves standing on what appears to be a conventional surfboard and propelling yourself through the water with something that resembles a canoe paddle, only longer. It’s one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world and has been adapted to incorporate other enjoyable activities such as SUP Fishing, SUP Yoga, and SUP Racing – but those are tales for other stories.
This article is forged particularly for beginners to the paddleboard. It will take you through a few tips and tricks to have in mind when stepping on the board for the first time, so you ultimately can make the most out of your experience and make it a habit.
Learn the Correct Paddling Technique
If you’re just starting out and you’ve had no comprehensive training on stand up paddleboarding, chances are that your instinct probably would steer you to hold it in a way so that the bent part of the blade is facing towards you, so you can “scoop” yourself forward. That’s actually not the right way to use your paddle though, as doing that can cause unwanted splashing and make you lose your balance easily. Instead, make it a habit and flip it over so that the bent part is facing away from you. Also, you should consider your hand placement. Having your hands too close together on the paddle can limit the power of your strokes and may even tire you out faster.
Engage Your Core
Speaking of techniques, another important paddle boarding tip every beginner should remember is that the actual paddling should be done by your core, not your arms. Your arm muscles will provide much less power than you might think, and will easily tire out compared to your more powerful core muscles. Engaging your core helps ensure greater efficiency in paddling and allows you to maintain your balance on the board.
Keep Your Head Up
Particularly as a beginner, it can at times be difficult to keep your head up and look straight in front of you as it’s more natural to look downwards. The thing is, however, standing straight is extremely important when paddleboarding. Why? Simply because it enables you to achieve maximum stability.
Standing straight on the board is already a pretty difficult task—but the next challenge is actually staying on it. Stability is key, so avoid looking down as this can ruin your balance. Try your best to keep your head up and maintain good body posture by keeping your back straight, legs slightly bent, shoulders pulled back, and by bearing your body weight mainly on the back of your feet.
Only Ride Waves You Can Handle
When you’re just starting out with paddle boarding, it’s definitely a bad idea to take on big waves too early. Save it for later. Meanwhile, start with smooth, smaller waves until you get more experience and gain a better understanding of the flow and power of the water.
We hope these paddle boarding tips will help you become a better paddler and allow you to have a wonderful and safe time in the water.
For a more comprehensive guide to Stand up Paddle Boarding, come visit our surf school located right at the shores of Kata Beach.
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