Stand-up paddleboarding is a relaxing and fun water sport that allows you to explore different water bodies. It is a branch of surfing but performed on calm waters.
The activity involves standing on a board and propelling yourself through the water with a paddle. SUP can be done by anyone including adults and children.
If you are new to the sport and you are planning to experience the paddleboarding craze, you need to be well prepared.
There are several tips you need to know to ensure you remain safe on the water and enjoy the SUP.
Here are some of the SUP basics you need to know before you start paddleboarding.
10 Things to know before you start paddleboarding
- Pick the right gear
Just like any other sport, having the right equipment is the key to your overall safety and enjoyment. Therefore, before you get started, ensure you have picked the right gear.
For a starter, you need a wide all-around paddleboard that is beginner-friendly and perfect for all waters. Also, make sure you pick one that suits your body type.
The paddle should be of the right length to stop you from bending a lot. The recommended one should be at least 9 inches taller than your height.
You should also wear a personal floating device while paddling. The PFD will keep you safe and keep you wear during the cold season.
- Always use a leash
When engaging in SUP, the main thing you need to prioritize is safety. Hence, make sure you tether yourself to the board using a leash.
The leash is a life-saving device and ensures you do not lose your board during a stormy or windy condition.
Happily, there are several types of leashes to suit every paddler. Pick the right one and ensure are always safe.
- Ride-on waves you can handle
Even when you are a beginner, you will face wave challenges. Therefore, when you are getting started, avoid taking on big waves.
Always start with small and smooth waves until you have experience of how to ride the big waves.
- Learn the correct paddling techniques
Most beginners make the mistake of holding the paddle incorrectly or using the wrong muscles to paddle. You need to know how to get started.
For instance, you need to know how to stand, sit, or kneel on the board, how to hold the paddle, and how to start paddling.
- Engage your core muscles
Paddling is done by the core muscles. So, if you are a beginner, you should learn how to use the core muscles and not your arms.
By engaging your core muscles, you will move faster and be able to maintain balance on the paddleboard.
Moreover, using the core gives a low-impact workout. This increases the core strength and helps to build the muscles.
- Have enough space
There are many dangers of paddling side by side with other paddlers, particularly if you are all beginners. Other paddlers will create waves that can make you lose stability.
Also, they can bump into you. This will escalate the chances of you falling off the board.
Hence, ensure you have enough space to maneuver around. It will also ensure you and your paddling friends are safe. Happily, there is always enough space at the ocean, sea, or lake.
- Always check the wind direction
When you are standing on the paddleboard, the body acts like a sail. This means you need to check the direction of the wind.
So, before hitting the water, make sure you are aware of the water conditions, the wind direction, and the entire weather forecast for the day.
As a beginner, your main goal should be learning the basics without being bothered by strong winds and waves.
- Ensure you are facing the right directions
Do not make the mistake of facing the wrong direction. This will make your paddling experience hard and full of challenges. Look at the fins and ensure they are at the back.
- Always keep your head high
Most beginners always look at the board when paddling. They look down because they are afraid of falling into the ocean or sea.
To achieve maximum stability, you need to keep your head up. Even though standing up on board might be a challenge for starters, make sure you keep your head high.
Looking down will ruin your balance and stability. In addition, when your head is high, you maintain a good posture and manage to paddle faster.
- Fall away from your paddleboard
Whether you are an advanced paddler or a beginner, you will fall from the paddleboard. And since falling is inevitable, make sure you fall away from your board.
Falling is a great learning experience and helps you learn how to fall in case of strong winds and waves.
Do not worry about the paddleboard. As long you are wearing a leash, you cannot lose it.
The above paddleboarding tips will ensure you become a better paddler, ensure you are safe on the water, and allow you to have a wonderful time.
It is also important to research more about the sport, download paddleboarding apps, and carry snacks and keep your body hydrated when paddleboarding.