Beginners Guide to Standup Paddle Boarding

  • Post category:Paddling
  • Post last modified:July 13, 2022
  • Reading time:11 mins read
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Standup paddle boarding is a great way to get a full-body workout while enjoying the outdoors. SUP can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels, and it’s a lot of fun!

Learning the basics of paddling is essential for a beginner. You’ll want to learn how to properly grip the paddle, how to stroke, and how to turn the board. Basic techniques will help you paddle efficiently and enjoy your time on the water.

What is standup paddle boarding and why is it a great exercise?

What is SUP? SUP is an acronym for “standup paddleboarding.” It is a sport that involves standing on a board and paddling through the water. SUP is great for people of all ages and fitness levels because it provides a full-body workout. It’s also a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by the whole family!

Why is SUP a great exercise? There are many reasons why SUP is a great exercise. First, it is a low-impact activity that is easy on the joints. Second, it is a great way to get a full-body workout. Third, it can be done in any type of water – from calm lakes to rough oceans. Fourth, it is a great way to explore new areas and experience the outdoors in a new way. Finally, SUP is a great social activity – it’s a lot of fun to paddle with friends and family!

SUP yoga by SURFit

How to choose the right board for you?

When choosing a SUP board, it is important to consider your height and weight. You’ll want to choose a board that is stable and easy to control. The length and width of the board will also affect stability, so be sure to choose a board that is appropriate for your height and weight. In general, wider boards are more stable than narrow boards.

There are three main types of SUP boards: all-purpose, racing, and surfing. All-purpose boards are the most popular type of board because they can be used for a variety of activities, from leisurely paddling to fitness training. Racing boards are designed for speed and are narrower and longer than all-purpose boards. Surfing boards are shorter and wider than all-purpose boards and are designed for waves.

Peter Steinfath, ripping Cold Hawaii

It is also important to consider the type of water you’ll be paddling in. If you’re planning on paddleboarding in rough water, you’ll want to choose a board that is durable and can handle choppy conditions. If you’re planning on paddle boarding in calm water, you can choose a lighter board that is easy to maneuver.

No matter what type of board you choose, be sure to practice in a safe area before venturing out into open water.

The basics of standup paddle boarding

Woman standup paddle boarding

Paddling is the motion of moving a boat or other craft through the water by using a paddle. In SUP, paddling is used to propel the board and rider through the water. There are two basic techniques for paddling: forward stroke and reverse stroke.

The forward stroke is the most common paddling technique. To execute a forward stroke, start by placing the paddle in the water in front of you. Then, use a consistent and smooth motion to pull the paddle through the water. As you pull the paddle through the water, be sure to keep your arms straight.

The reverse stroke is used to slow down or stop the board. To execute a reverse stroke, start by placing the paddle in the water behind you. Then, use a consistent and smooth motion to push the paddle through the water. As you push the paddle through the water, be sure to keep your arms straight.

In addition to these two basic strokes, several turning strokes can be used to change the direction of the board. These strokes include the back paddle, the draw stroke, and the sweep stroke.

The back paddle is used to turn the board around so that you are paddling in the opposite direction. To execute a back paddle, start by placing the paddle in the water behind you. Then, use a quick and forceful motion to push the paddle through the water. As you push the paddle through the water, be sure to keep your arms straight.

The draw stroke is used to turn the board to the right. To execute a draw stroke, start by placing the paddle in the water behind you and to the right of the board. Then, use a consistent and smooth motion to pull the paddle through the water. As you pull the paddle through the water, be sure to keep your arms straight.

The sweep stroke is used to turn the board to the left. To execute a sweep stroke, start by placing the paddle in the water behind you and to the left of the board. Then, use a consistent and smooth motion to sweep the paddle through the water. As you sweep the paddle through the water, be sure to keep your arms straight.

No matter what type of stroke you are using, it is important to keep your arms straight and use a smooth, consistent motion. Paddling with bent elbows will make it difficult to generate power and will cause you to tire quickly.

When paddling, be sure to keep your body centered on the board. Leaning too far to one side will make the board unstable and difficult to control.

Tips for staying safe on the water

Kid standup paddle boarding with life jacket

The best way to stay safe while paddleboarding is to be aware of your surroundings and to use common sense. Here are a few tips for staying safe on the water:

• Always wear a life jacket. Even if you are an experienced paddler, it is important to wear a life jacket in case of an emergency.

• Avoid paddling in areas with strong currents or high winds.

• Be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for other boats and obstacles.

• If you are paddleboarding in a group, be sure to stay together and keep an eye on each other.

• Never paddle alone. Make sure someone knows your plan and where you are going.

• If you are paddling in an unfamiliar area, be sure to research the area and familiarize yourself with the local conditions.

• If you are SUP’ing in cold water, be sure to wear a wet suit or other appropriate clothing to stay warm.

• Always bring a cell phone and/or a marine radio with you in case of emergency.

• Be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out on your paddleboard.

By following these simple safety tips, you can help ensure that your time on the water is safe and enjoyable.

Now that you know a little bit about Stand Up Paddle Boarding, why not give it a try? It’s a great way to get some exercise, have fun, and spend time with the family. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and paddle!