How To SUP: Explained In Less Than A Minute

Posted on October 17, 2019 by Douglas Robichaud


If you want to learn how to stand up paddle board (SUP) the fast and easy way, then you’ve come to the right place. At ISLE, we’ve been teaching people of all ages and fitness levels how to SUP for over 15 years. The best thing about learning how to paddle board is that anyone can do it. Anyone from young children to seniors can learn how to paddle board with just a day’s worth of practice.

Before we teach you how to SUP, there’s one thing you must know. Paddle boarding offers a multitude of health benefits. For instance, paddle boarding relieves stress, gets you in peak physical shape, and ultimately, allows you to spend quality time outdoors making memories with the people you care most about. In a nutshell, this is why paddle boarding has become the fastest growing water sport over the last few years.

Below, you’ll find a simple and quick lesson on how to stand up paddle board. Follow each step accordingly to quickly learn the best paddle boarding tips for beginners.


Before you can begin to learn how to paddle board, there are four crucial beginner paddle boarding tips you need to know. These tips will keep you safe in the water and help you learn the fundamentals much faster.

  1. Learn on a calm, flat water location like a lake or bay (the early morning is the best time to learn because the water is usually calmer).
  2. Always remember to wear a SUP leash and a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket
  3. Learn on a SUP for beginners (if a SUP feels too unstable after several attempts to gain your balance, try a larger, wider paddle board).
  4. Follow our guide on how to adjust your paddle correctly according to your height.
  5. Bonus: check out our common SUP mistakes to learn a thing or two about proper SUP technique.


  1. Place your beginner SUP into the water so your center fin is free from hitting the bottom. You may need to walk your board further into the water to free your center fin.
  2. Get on your stand up paddle board in a kneeling position.
  3. While you’re on your knees, take a few paddle strokes on each side of your SUP.
  4. Once you’re comfortable with paddling on your knees, get some momentum and slowly stand up with one foot at a time on your SUP. Make sure you plant your feet shoulder-width apart toward the middle of your board.
  5. If you’re having trouble keeping your balance, it’s ok to lower back down to your knees. Keep trying until you feel balanced and comfortable.
  6. Once you feel comfortable standing up on your SUP, keep a slight bend in your knees and keep your core centered over your board.

Quick tip: The easiest way to stay balanced while learning how to stand up on a paddle board is to keep your momentum by paddling. Think of it like riding a bike — staying balanced when riding a bike is only tough when you’re not moving.


With just a little practice, you will be paddle boarding like a pro in no time. Remember that practice makes perfect, and if it means falling into the water a couple of times when trying to stand up, then so be it. The sport of paddle boarding is all about fun so don’t worry about perfection — just enjoy the ride. Good luck out there!


Posted in Paddle Board Lifestyle

Douglas Robichaud -

Doug is a content writer at ISLE Surf & SUP who has been surfing and paddle boarding for over 10 years. With a degree in English/Journalism, Doug has been an outdoor adventure content writer for over four years. Since joining the ISLE team, he has become a paddle board expert in all topics ranging from products, basic tutorials, tips and tricks, SUP safety, and new trends.


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