13 Common Paddle Boarding Mistakes

You’re doing it all wrong

We all make mistakes. Whether it’s spending an excessive amount of time binge watching a show on Netflix, or simply realizing you forgot your wallet once you arrive at the grocery store. Mistakes are inevitable in our daily lives. The best part about our mistakes is that we learn from them, and in return, become better humans.

There are many common paddle boarding mistakes that newbies and even veterans make before, during and after paddle adventures. Below, we list some of the most common ones. Have you been holding your paddle the wrong way? We sure hope not, but see for yourself below.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

1. Your paddle is facing the wrong way

One of the most common SUP mistakes is facing your paddle’s blade the wrong way when paddling. When paddling, your paddle’s blade should to be bent away from you. Holding your paddle this way will provide you with optimal tracking and speed. An easy way to remember this on ISLE paddles, is that the logo should always be facing forward.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

2. Keeping your board in direct sunlight

Never keep your paddle board (hard or inflatable) in the direct sunlight on land for an extended period of time. The heat could delaminate your hard paddle board and could potentially damage the seals of your inflatable paddle board. In addition, the sun can fade the color on your paddle board. Learn about all the places you should never store your paddle board.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

3. Paddling at an angle

A good paddle stroke separates the beginners from the experts.  While a paddle stroke may seem straightforward, most people don’t realize they’re doing it wrong. Your paddle should always be perpendicular to your board  when it enters the water, never at an angle. This technique will allow you to get more power out of each stroke.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

4. Not doing your homework before going to a new paddle spot

Don’t go racing downstream if you don’t know what lies ahead. Know the tides. Check the weather. Just be smart and do your research before you head out. Also, if you have a hard paddle board, it’s important to figure out if you can park near your paddle destination. No one wants to walk a mile from their car to a water access point.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

5. Not inflating your board to the suggested 12 PSI

If you don’t inflate your board to 12 PSI, your board will lose its rigidity and performance. You want your inflatable paddle board to be inflated to its suggested PSI so it floats and paddles to its full capabilities. See how to properly inflate and deflate your paddle board.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

6. Forgetting to use a leash

Always use a leash when you’re paddle boarding. A leash will keep your paddle board close to you, say if you fall overboard, and you won’t have to wear yourself out swimming after your paddle board. If you fall in and there is wind, a current or even a breeze on a lake, river or in the ocean, your board will catch the wind and literally sail away from you. Also, if you’re SUP surfing, a leash will protect your SUP from potentially hitting other surfers in the lineup.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

7. Strapping your board to your car’s roof the wrong way

The last thing you want is for your board to fly off your roof while you’re driving to an epic paddle destination. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to properly strap a paddle board to the roof of your car.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

8. Not gripping your hand on top of your paddle

Whichever side you may be paddling on, it’s important (and more comfortable) to have your hand gripping the top of your paddle. If you’re paddling on the right side of your board, your left hand should grip the top and vice-versa for paddling on the left side.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

9. SUP Surfing in a packed lineup

If there’s one thing that surfers hate in the lineup, it’s a stand up paddle boarder hording all the waves. To avoid stink eyes and bantering from locals, go SUP surfing at spots where the lineup isn’t crowded. It’s common sense. Don’t paddle out at popular surf breaks, instead, paddle in between those breaks where the crowd is fickle and the waves are still fun.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

10. Standing too far forward on your board

One of the most common SUP mistakes that first-timers make is standing too far forward on their board. The further you stand towards the nose of your board, the harder it will be to control your board. Most paddle boards have carry handles at the center of the deck pad. This carry handle can act as a marker for where you should stand on your board. Also, standing too far back on your board will make it hard to control.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

11. Not checking the weather before you leave your house

Always be sure to check the weather forecast of the destination you plan to paddle, especially if this destination is over an hour away. The last thing you want is to arrive at your paddle destination and a storm begins to rains down on your paddle parade. In addition, it’s important to monitor the winds. No one likes paddling on choppy waters.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

12. Looking down at your board when paddling

Never look down while you’re paddling. If you do, there’s a good chance you will lose your balance and fall off your board. A solid tip to maintain stability while paddling is to focus on something on shore or in the water and then begin to paddle towards that object.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

13. Forgetting to bring water and snacks

Paddle boarding is an amazing full body workout. See for yourself. You will need to stay hydrated to help maintain every running system in your body while you paddle board. A healthy snack will be an extra bonus after your session is over. We are sure you will be hungry.

13 Common SUP Mistakes

Posted in Paddle Board Lifestyle, Paddle Boarding Tips & Tricks
Doug Robichaud - Marketing Coordinator at ISLE Surf and SUP. Originally from New England, secondarily from Encinitas, CA. I enjoy surfing, shooting film photos and driving my Volvo wagon on the weekends.

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