Is paddle boarding hard? People of all ages and fitness levels can learn to paddle board in only a few hours. The water activity of stand-up paddle boarding is really easy to master, and you can become an excellent paddle boarder very quickly.
Paddle boarding is not only easy to learn but also enjoyable, gets you outdoors, and provides a wonderful full-body exercise. The advantages of paddle boarding are many, but today we’re going to concentrate on how to paddle board and why it’s a fantastic full-body exercise.
Is Paddle Boarding Hard? How hard is paddle boarding?
It’s simple to paddle board. Anyone who has a board and is willing to learn may quickly become proficient with a SUP. You won’t have any problem figuring it out, even if you don’t consider yourself to be very athletic. Sitting or kneeling on your paddle board, you can still have fun. Stand up paddle boarding is not that hard if you have the right equipment and know-how to use it.
Although stand up paddle boarding may appear difficult, we assure you that it is not at all difficult. Basic SUP techniques may be mastered in a short period of time. As opposed to, for instance, learning how to surf or wakeboard, which may have required many months of trial, error, and practice.
What Factors Make Sup A Easy Sport To Learn?
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is seen as simple since it is easy to learn and because you may modify the environment in which you do it to make it more difficult. SUP seems to be so easy that it must be fake, but there are several factors that contribute to it being so easy to learn.
Compared to surfboards, they are more stable and don’t need you to perfect wave timing. Because of their stability and simplicity of use, paddle boards themselves contribute to the sport’s accessibility. A more skilled paddle boarder would take his board to a turbulent lake on a windy day for a greater challenge. Or you might take your board to calm seas on a quiet day to practice beginning skills.
Read more: Best PFDs For SUP [Top 7] – SUP PFD Review
Paddle Boarding Tips To Make SUP Easier
You should kneel down for your first few paddle boarding excursions. You are less likely to fall since your center of gravity is closer to the water’s surface. Through repetition, you’ll get used to the board’s motion and develop the ability to adjust your weight as necessary.
Grab the paddle and hold on to the board’s side. Pull the paddle blade back until it is level with the body, gently yet firmly. To gain a sense of equilibrium, practice moving your weight from side to side. Use the paddle in the water to assist you steady if you feel like the board is toppling too much.
Start With The Correct Sort Of Board
Around SUPs are the greatest choice for beginners and are typically 10″–11″ long and 31″–35″ broad. The superb stability provided by All Around SUPs allows you to perfect your balance and technique without undue strain. Make sure your SUP is the proper size and that you pick the appropriate paddle board. Searching for the appropriate width, length, and weight capacity is necessary (for both you and any gear or friends).
Learn how to use the bungee system, grab grips, and fin configuration on your SUP. Beginner-friendly boards often feature a wider deck, as well as a bigger nose and tail. Look at the board before you go in the water to get acquainted with which side is the nose and which is the tail.
Pick A Location In Flatwater
Start out in an area of flat water with little breeze. Lakes are fantastic starting points, and you should keep the ocean for later, more challenging trips. Beginner SUP is like to real estate in that location. Look at the wind speeds for the day; SUP is ideal when the wind is less than 10 mph. If you find yourself in windy conditions, lay flat on the board and paddle back to shore. Start paddling against the wind so that you return with the breeze.
Recognize How To Launch Your Board
Launch your board into the water with one leg, kneel on the water’s surface and push off with the other leg while standing up. Make sure the fins of your board are not entangled in any rocks or sand that are submerged. Push off while kneeling on your SUP with one foot, and then push off while using the other foot to propel yourself towards the water.
Once you’re comfortable kneeling on your SUP, practice paddling with your hands on the board in front of you. Your legs should be shoulder-width apart when you stand. The central grab handle serves as the board’s center of mass, so position your feet around it. It’s time to learn how to stand up after you’re confident kneeling and paddling.
Work on balancing
Working on your balance will improve your technique and make paddling simpler. While using a SUP, keep your head up and never look at your feet to stay balanced. Try not to sag too far forward when you stand up straight with your knees slightly bent. If you’re having trouble, concentrate on an item in the water or on the land in front of you.
Be Energy Efficient
You’ll exhaust yourself more quickly if you paddle with your arms, rather than your center, when you’re out on the water. You’ll have more pleasure if you consume less energy with each paddle stroke. To build momentum that will easily take you forward, keep paddling at a steady but controllable rate.
To begin with, this entails understanding the proper technique for falling from your board since, at some time, you will fall. Keep an eye out for other swimmers, divers, small boats, and any other surprises that could appear in the water. Use a SUP leash to prevent the board from wandering off and drifting away from you. Above everything, be vigilant. You’ll be in excellent condition if you keep your eyes and ears alert.
Don’t Hold Back On Having Fun
You are more prone to get stressed out and trip when you are anxious. Keep in mind that everyone loses sometimes, and it’s not a huge thing. Recognize your limitations, but give yourself permission to experiment in different settings. You’ll grow a little bit better at SUP with each time you go back on the board.
With Friends Paddling
Be ready for many giggles and falls along the road since it takes time for everyone to get into a rhythm when playing the board. If you’re paddling alongside a companion, make careful to express your motions to one another clearly. Make sure there is just one person paddling since it is challenging to coordinate paddle strokes.
What makes SUP an easy water sport?
Stand up paddle boarding is regarded as being “easy” because most individuals can stand up on flat water, paddle, and turn on their first outing in calm circumstances without spending much time in the water. It’s an excellent opportunity to spend time outside, get a full-body exercise, and take in the environment from a new angle.
The majority of individuals can stand on any of our paddle boards thanks to their sturdy platforms. Compared to a traditional surfboard, it is considerably more solid and easy to balance on. You may take as much time as you need to stand up rather than “jumping up” in time to catch a wave.
It’s considerably simpler to catch and ride a wave on a stand up paddle board since you don’t have to learn to read the waves and time your pop-up in a perfectly synchronized action. It just requires keeping your knees slightly bent, leaning slightly forward, and taking your initial stroke while standing.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of standing and paddling on a SUP board, it’s easy to take up the sport and get into the swing of things. Advanced riders may learn to ride the board in a variety of different ways after mastering the basics. The more you bike, the better your cardiovascular system becomes and the further you can paddle.
- Why Are Paddle Boards So Expensive? Are SUP Boards Worth It?
- What Are Paddle Boards Made Of? – SUP Construction
- Can You Sit On A Paddleboard? – Sit Down Paddle Board
- What Size Paddle Board Should I Get? – SUP Board Size
Basic of Paddleboarding
How to Stand On a Paddleboard
You must first master standing on your board before you can stand spending all day on the water or embarking on a remote river adventure. Locate the board’s center; it should be easy to do so since this is usually where the handle is on most boards. Maintaining a shoulder-width distance between your knees, align them with the front of the handle.
Go down on your hands and knees and tent your fingers around the paddle when you’re ready to stand up. This is a comfortable posture for many novices to practice a few paddle strokes in. If you need to take a break from standing or are in an undesirable situation, this is also an excellent posture to assume.
Take the initial stroke after carefully positioning your hands on the paddle, this will help you gain momentum. According to senior American Canoe Association instructor Seth Bloomgarden, SUP is similar to bicycling in that the more momentum you can gather, the more stable you will be. This will assist you in absorbing any waves or ripples produced by boats.
Get into the SUP posture after standing up on your board to keep your balance. Your feet should be parallel, hip-width apart, and positioned in the middle of the handle and rails. Keep your hips moving while maintaining an erect posture and a stable head and shoulders.
Pick your watercourse carefully
It is recommended to begin in calm, protected waters for a novice. It won’t be a challenge until you get greater self-assurance in your abilities. In general, lakes will have the calmest water you can find. Lakes often lack the powerful currents, huge waves and swift water of rivers and seas.
There is still a chance of strong winds and very low temperatures for the next few days, so make it a practice to check the weather forecast before you go paddling. Before you have your first paddle, enquire locally about the weather if you have any questions. Someone who often paddles the water will be aware of what to watch out for, and a newcomer will find this knowledge helpful.
How to Stand Up Straight on a Paddle Board
Whether you sit, lie down, kneel, or stand up to paddle, we advise starting off in a relaxed kneeling posture on your first workout. How good you are at balance will have the most impact on how fast you take up stand up paddling. You may try it standing up if you are comfortable paddling from your knees.
You’ll probably pick up this sport quickly if you’re used to standing in unstable conditions. Both novice and experienced paddlers might benefit from general workouts to improve their balance. Exercises for your core generally improve your balance the most. Squats, deadlifts, and ab workouts are all excellent exercises for improving your core stability.
How to properly grip a SUP paddle
Using and holding the paddle the incorrect way is one of the most typical, if not the most frequent, paddle boarding faux pas. Because so many novices are holding their paddles incorrectly, experienced paddlers chuckle heartily. Even our top ten tips for stand up paddle boarding beginners include it!
It would make more sense for the blade to be vertical and oriented around that way to scoop the water better. We don’t sense that the handle grip is around the wrong way since we aren’t grasping the handle yet because we are lollygagging on our knees. Now that we’ve tried to paddle far forward, which is the ideal approach, we’ve seen that the blade is at an odd angle.
The paddle shaft is angled more while using your core, which also encourages greater technique. Additionally, the paddle blade does not flutter and follows the shaft. As we move the blade through the water, flutter occurs when it vibrates from side to side. Quite bad for transferring force to the water and very taxing on the arms and shoulders.
Beginners SUP Mistakes
Holding The Paddle Reverse
Holding the paddle backward and holding the hands too close together are two mistakes you can make when paddling a kayak. Many people make this mistake because they instinctively believe they can grab more water this way. However, you end up pulling water up, which compresses you down onto the water rather than propelling you forward. Holding it in this position is what you should do since it is right and will help you go ahead by giving you some lift.
It’s hard to get enough leverage on the blade if you’re holding the paddle too high, so instead of just holding your top hands together, you should get a nice wide grip. Your hand should be about halfway down the shaft between the blade and handle so that you can get nice leverage on your strokes. As a result, it’s important to watch your height while switching sides.
Failure To Use The Entire Paddle Blade
The ninth typical paddle handling error is, first and foremost, not utilizing the whole blade. Many beginners only use the tip of the blade, which results in them not really gaining any traction in the water. To do it right, you want to plant the entire blade into the water so that you are throwing water behind you. Pulling yourself to your feet after that entails just pulling the paddle out again and moving ahead.
Paddling Excessively Off the Board
Holding the paddle vertically, straight up and down, instead of diagonally, will cause your board to zigzag left and right. Reach with the top hand over the rail, and then pull the paddle back in a straight line, keeping it close to the rail. By doing so, you may travel quicker and straighter while getting more strokes per side.
Falling Upon The Board
When someone falls, they usually try to catch themselves by landing on their hands or knees, but doing so puts them at risk of injury. Therefore, the seventh typical error is to fall onto the board rather than into the water. People have harmed their knees, broken their wrists, destroyed their boards, and fractured their ribs even though it is considerably safer. If you’re going to fall, simply avoid the board and land in the water instead.
Finding Balance by Looking Down
Looking down instead of ahead is a common error number six. The idea is to stand up, look straight ahead, look at the horizon, or look at something stable, and then start paddling. Many people struggle to find their balance when they first stand up and get into this position and look down and raise the paddle up here.
Failure To Reapply For The Board
Many individuals have trouble getting back on the board since they aren’t kicking their feet properly. The best way to kick your legs behind you so that you’re kind of flat in the water. It’s easy to slide your chest back onto the board, spin your legs around, get back on your knees, and start paddling again.
Being distracted from the board
People often have their feet slightly out of alignment when they initially go on the board, so if one foot is closer to the rail than the other. This is known as trimming the board in surfing, and it simply involves locating the location where the board will glide the best over flat water.
The handle is a good place to start, as it is the center of the board’s weight and volume. If you are way up here on the board, close to the nose, you will have the tail sticking out and the nose kind of low in the water. This is not a very efficient way to paddle because you are sort of pushing through the water with the scoop of the nose.
If you are too far back on a skateboard, the tail will sink and the board will turn very readily as you paddle. I want to be roughly where the handle is because that is where the board glide and tracks the best because it is flat to the surface and parallel to the water. The board won’t track well if you don’t have a good glide because you’ll drag through the water at high speed.
Not Having Control Over Their Board
Newcomers often let the wind carry them downwind so it’s difficult to set out in calm, pleasant circumstances when you first begin paddling. If it’s windy, try to paddle upwind initially because if you start drifting with the wind, it may be challenging to turn around and paddle back upwind.
Going out in inappropriate weather
The water is incredibly calm and smooth here at the Hilton Hawaiian Lagoon, which makes it very easy to find your balance. There are no waves, no chop, and since it’s a confined space, there are no rocks or other obstructions of the kind. For stability, you need a broad board with a lot of volumes, particularly if you’re a novice who is still working on their balance.
If you are looking for a good board and paddle for cruising and paddling out on the water, then you need to make sure you have the right equipment. A decent length for the paddle is six to ten inches above your head, or, as we like to say, approximately a Shaka sign over your head. The board should have the appropriate width, stability, and volume for your needs.
Leash Is Not Worn
Failing to use a leash is the most common and potentially fatal error made by beginners. Leashes are crucial because they serve as your lifeline in the event that you fall off the board. They also hold the board near to you and let you float on it. If it’s windy, you might not be able to catch up to the board if it’s flying away.
If you fall off your surfboard and windsurf board, or if you’re far out to sea and wind is blowing you out, that can be very dangerous, or in cold water where you can quickly develop hypothermia. The worst combination is having a PFD tied to your board and no leash because it makes you feel like you’re doing the right thing and you.
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Where Should I Stand on a Paddle Board, and How?
Using the proper stance and posture is among the most crucial skills to learn. This will concentrate your weight on the board, making you more stable and able to obtain the smoothest ride. Place your feet shoulder-width apart or a bit farther apart from the board’s sides. Avoid stooping or bending forward; keep your spine straight.
The Benefits Of Paddleboarding As Exercise
Paddle boarding combines all the essential components of a full-body workout. You will undoubtedly get a good workout whether you paddle for paddling, SUP surfing, SUP racing, SUP touring, or SUP yoga. Everyone may work out via paddle boarding, regardless of fitness level, from novice to expert. It burns more calories per hour than other sports.
When paddle boarding, your arms, back, and shoulders must be actively engaged. Your back, core, and leg muscles must continually maintain balance. Increase your paddling speed and time if you want to intensify the natural exercise even further. For individuals who like a good break in their paddle board routine, we came up with five entertaining methods to become fit on a paddle board.
Paddle Boarding Difficulty
Stand up paddle boarding is a sport that calls for some level of physical fitness and strength. People who are strong and healthy will find it simpler than those who are really overweight and unfit. If you have the right tools and instruction, stand-up paddle boarding isn’t hard – but if you’re not in the right physical condition, you won’t get very far.
Once you have mastered getting on and off your board in both shallow and deep water, practice as often as you can. You will spend a lot of pleasurable hours on the water once you learn how. No matter how physically fit you are, you need to get the ideal paddle and board for your size, height, and degree of expertise.