Beginners Guide to Standup Paddling
Stand up paddle boarding is one of the easiest water sports for beginners to learn, as you can learn basic skills on calm, flat water and move on to ocean waves when you’re ready. Because SUP boards are made for stability and maneuverability, they’re easy to use for people of all ages and sizes.
One of the first basic skills to learn is carrying your board to the water. Don’t carry the inflatable kayak on your head like a surfboard, as they’re designed to be carried under your arm while holding the attached handle.
To balance on your board you must first find the center and get on all fours, with your hands and knees sitting on the board for balance. As you feel the balance of the board on the water, slowing stand up and keep your feet shoulder width apart. You must find the right spot to stand that prevents either the front or back of the board from dipping into the water. Your knees should be bent slightly and you must keep your eyes on the horizon.
As you paddle, keep your eyes on the horizon and extend your arms completely to dip the paddle into the water at your side. Your arms should be fairly straight with a bit of a bend in the elbow. Your stroke should end at your feet, at which point you bring the paddle find out of the water completely for a new stroke.
Alternate sides after a few strokes to keep going straight. To turn, use sweeping motions on the opposite side you want to move in. Turn carefully, as this effects your balance. After a few hours of practice, you’ll find using an inflatable stand up paddle board is easy to get the hang of and you’ll be ready to start your new adventures on the water.