The Basics Of Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a sport inspired by surfing, but instead of sitting on the board waiting for a wave to arrive as surfers do, paddle boarders move themselves forward with the help of their trusty paddles and ride any wave they like. Paddleboarding in the UK has been increasingly popular over time as a means of exploring the magnificent seas that surround the country.
It’s helpful to know the basics of paddleboarding like how to paddleboard and what gear to bring before going out on the water for the first time.
Table of Contents
Getting Geared Up For SUP
Stand Up Paddleboard
The weight and ability of the paddler, as well as the intended use and local conditions, all influence board selection. Different boards are ideal for different types of paddling, whether it’s recreational paddling, surfing, touring, racing, or SUP yoga.
SUP paddles resemble stretched-out canoe paddles and also have a tear-drop-shaped blade that angles forward for best paddling efficiency. When you raise your arm over your head and stand the paddle up in front of you, the correct length paddle will reach up to your wrist.
Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
Since stand up paddleboards are classified as boats by the Coast Guard, you must wear a PFD when paddling outside of the surf or swimming area. The PFD is not required for adults, but it is required for children.
According to the Coast Guard, you must carry a safety whistle to alert other boaters if there are any issues. If you plan on being out after sunset, make sure you have a light with you.
A leash attaches your SUP to you, allowing you to keep it nearby if you fall off. Being attached to your SUP is vital for your safety because it is a large flotation device.
Most people prefer to wear a swimsuit, board shorts, and a short- or long-sleeved rash guard for sun protection during the summer and wear a wetsuit or drysuit in cold weather if hypothermia is a concern.
Basic SUP Paddling Techniques
Standing Up On Your SUP
- Stand alongside the board in knee-deep water, just deep enough to keep the board’s fins from hitting the bottom.
- In a kneeling position, hold the board by the edges and work your way onto the board immediately behind the centre point.
- To stabilise the board, keep your hands on the sides and move one foot at a time to place your feet where your knees were.
- Start by raising your chest while keeping your knees bent, rather than standing up all at once. Extend your legs to stand up once your chest is vertical.
Staying Balanced On SUP
There are a few things you can do while you’re standing to keep your balance on the board:
- Place your feet parallel to the board’s edges, about hip-width apart, and centred between the board’s edges.
- Maintain a straight back, toes pointed forward, and knees slightly bent.
- Maintain a steady and upright head and shoulders, and shift your weight by shifting your hips.
- The horizon should be at the centre of your vision. Keep your gaze away from your feet.
Holding A SUP Paddle
- The blade should point forward from the shaft and toward the board’s nose.
- Your left hand will be on the T-grip and your right hand will be a few feet down on the shaft when paddling on the right side of your board. Reverse your hand locations when switching sides.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to how much fun you can have once you’ve chosen a board, learned the basics, and gotten out on the water. Browse the different experiences on Beyonk to find the best paddleboarding activities near you. The most difficult aspect of learning to paddleboard is simply going out there, so all you have to do now is take the first step.