Posted on January 27, 2020 by
We want your first paddle board experience to be a joyous and successful experience! Like any new activity, it’s going to take some time to master the basics and make the transition from beginner to intermediate participant. So make sure to be patient and kind with yourself in regards to your progress.
In order to help get your adventure off to a great start, we’ve got 5 helpful SUP tips for first-time paddlers to consider. Once you’ve mastered these paddle boarding basics, you’ll be ready to learn how to improve your paddle board technique and become a true waterman.
We recommend that first-time paddlers get a feel for standing up on solid ground before taking their new board into the water. Be sure to remove your center fin and find balance and confidence in your pop-up on dry land, but make sure to use a gentle and even surface like sand or grass. Once you feel comfortable, it is time to hit the water.
Pro Tip: Just like it’s easier to balance on a bicycle that’s moving, it’s easier to stand up on a paddle board that’s moving. Take a few strong paddles on each side of your board before your pop-up.
For your first time out, you’ll want to launch your board from a beach with soft sand and a gentle slope into the water. While intermediate paddlers will have no trouble launching from docks or rock-covered beaches, you want to make sure you’ve got a soft surface under you for your first time out.
There’s a right and a wrong way to hold your paddle, and it can be counterintuitive if you’re new to the sport. First, you’ll want to adjust your paddle length so it’s 3-4 inches taller than you. The correct way to hold your paddle is with the angle of the blade to the front of your board. If you have an ISLE SUP paddle, you’ll want the logo facing the front of the board. It’s important to get some distance between your hands for the most efficient paddle stroke as well, keeping one hand on the top of the paddle and the other hand lower on the shaft. Follow the steps below to find exactly where to place your hand on the shaft.
While it’s very likely that you’ll stay completely dry even on your first-time paddle boarding, the chance of going for a swim is always a possibility. If you do find yourself losing your balance, do your best to fall away from the board. Don’t reach for your board when you’re falling, as any hard object under you could turn into a hazard. And because you would never attempt to paddle board without your trusty SUP leash, you never have to worry about losing your board during a fall. So, if you feel yourself falling to the right, make sure to fall further toward your right than you may if you let gravity do all of the work.
Having the confidence to get back on your board in deep water will alleviate any fear you might have about falling in. If you’re worried about getting on your board in deeper water, practice in waist-deep water to build your confidence.
Posted in Paddle Boarding Tips & Tricks
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