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Tips for Stand Up Paddle Boards

Posted by Dana Henry on May 29th 2017

Tips for Stand Up Paddle Board

SUPing offers a fun and relaxing activity that anyone can do. It is also one of the best workouts out there. Simply standing on a board will activate core muscles, combining balance, strength and endurance.

Standing on the Board

It’s important to stay low to learn the balance of a board.  Start on your knees and work your way higher as you get comfortable.  When you stand, keep your feet parallel and spread shoulder width apart for the best balance to power ratio. 

Holding the paddle and paddling properly

1) Proper paddle height is “advised” at 6’’ above your head. But recently the trend is going shorter. A shorter paddle will make you lower and your body can put more power into the stoke

2) Make sure your paddle is the right way-- the elbow (angle) of the paddle faces away from you. 

3) Make sure your grip on the paddle is shoulder width apart

4) Dip the blade fully into the water and take a long stroke, letting your large back muscles do the work

5) Your top hand should always hold the top of the handle

6) Push down on the paddle grip with your top hand.

Finally – try paddling with your core, don’t use your arms. This may sound a little weird at first but paddling is best done with your core. These are the strongest muscles of your body and provide the most effective power for your paddle stroke.

Things to have

1 - Always wear sunscreen 

2 - Personal flotation device (pfd), inflatables are great for SUPing

3 - dry bag of snacks and water

4 - a coil leash to keep the board attached

Where to paddle

Use common sense, the buddy system is a good idea. Either paddle with someone or let someone know our location and timetable.

Start in a local body of water that you’re familiar with, but as your experience and comfort levels go up, try new places with new people. Paddling further in different conditions will not only help to improve your paddling skills and fitness but it will be fun. Please make sure to always do it safely. 

"Try creeks and closed waterways for extra excitement”

OTHER HELPFUL TIPS

Even the best paddlers fall off every now and again, so it’s important to know how to fall. Try practicing or at least being aware of how to safely fall to ensure your time on the water will not be cut short by an injury. Paddle boards are big and can hurt when they hit you. When you fall, you want to fall away from your board. Don’t worry, you’re attached to it with your leash and it won’t go away, but falling well clear of the board will let you fall gracefully into water without hitting the board or the fins. This is especially important in any location with current or waves as the board will move independently of your input.

Look after your board; your paddle board is fragile and requires a unique set of skills to transport and store safely.  Today’s boards are made out of lightweight and high tech materials making them fragile and expensive.  Bumps and scratches cause friction when gliding, so take care of your board and it will deliver an endless amount of fun.

Look up and where your want to go. “If you look down then you will go down”.  When first starting, it’s a natural temptation to look down at the board and watch the water lapping at the sides.  However, for the best stability, you want to keep your head up, back straight and your body weight over your toes.  

Have fun, good luck!

-Posted by Dana Henry on May 29th 2017

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