10 Tips For Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddle

Whether it’s your first time in the water at Capitola Beach, or anywhere in Santa Cruz, avoid the most common mistakes by following our list of 10 tips for the beginner stand up paddle boarder (SUP). Knowing the basics will help ensure a good time for all in the water.

We offer rentals & lessons. To learn the basics, please book a lesson with one of our instructors.

1. Safety First : Use a leash

This actually goes for all stand up paddle boarders, but the sooner you are aware how vital a leash is in any kind of condition the safer you and everyone else will be when you are paddling.

2. Make sure your paddle is facing the right way

The shaft is the leading edge of your paddle. As you perform your SUP stroke, you pull the blade through the water in a slightly trailing position which aids blade stability. Holding the blade vertical in the water provides the best angle through the middle of the stroke for the most power.

3. Face your body the right way

Before you jump on the board, check where the fins are and make sure they are in the back when you paddle! Fins at the back help keep the board straight, this is called tracking, and help with grip while you surf waves. Fins up front make for a very twitchy paddle board that just won’t go straight no matter how hard you try!

4. Paddling with your core

Don’t use your arms. This may sound a little weird at first, but paddling is best done by your core. These are the strongest muscles of your body and provide the most effective power for your paddle stroke. Standing up tall, and using just your arms to paddle, will be very tiring and you won’t get much power.

5. Look ahead at the horizon

For the best stability you want to keep your head up, back straight and your body weight over your toes. It sounds silly, but with your head down watching you’re toes, you are likely to rock back on your heals and loose your balance.

6. Stay out of the way

Paddle boards are big and they can hurt when they hit you. Be mindful of other water users when you’re learning the art of SUP. Make sure you have plenty of room to practice standing, falling and paddling.

7. Fall off your board the right way

When you fall, you want to fall away from your board. Falling well clear of the board will let you fall gracefully into water without hitting yourself on the board or the fins. This is especially important in any location with current or waves, as the board will move independently of your input.

8. Ride waves you can handle

Be smart and ride waves in the right conditions for your skill level.

9. Watch the wind

It’s important to know the conditions when you paddle out. Also check the forecast so you are aware of any possible changes coming. When you’re standing on your SUP, you are like a sail in the wind. If you’re ever caught in an unfavorable wind change, lay down with your paddle tucked under you and paddle the board like a regular surfboard into safety.

10. Look after your board and paddle

Look after your board and paddle, they are fragile when thrown around on land. Your board will thank you!

We hope you find these tips helpful. If you have any other questions please let us know!

by Admin