Paddle Boarding Tips
Do you want to try stand up paddle boarding? If so, follow these paddle boarding tips.
Paddle boards look like surfboards, but paddle boarding is very different from surfing. When surfing the primary objective is to catch a wave and ride it to shore. When paddle boarding the primary objective is to move from place to place in the water. As a result, paddle boards are generally larger than surfboards so as to be more stable.
How To Paddle Board
The only equipment you need to paddle board is a board and a paddle. Paddle boards are on the expensive side so it is best to rent equipment in the beginning.
The first thing you will want to master is standing up and maintaining your balance on the board. To do this, start in a kneeling position in the center of the board. Then stand up, while staying in the center, keeping your feet wide and your weight equally distributed. Keep your feet flat and try not to grip the board with your toes as this can get uncomfortable. Your toes may even cramp. Like riding a bike, it is easier to maintain your balance on a paddle board when it is moving than when it is stationary.
Once you’re standing, it’s time to practice paddling. If you have previous paddling experience, paddling a paddleboard isn’t much different. Basic strokes include propelling the board through the water and turning. Most people will scrape the side of the paddle board when they first start paddling. To avoid this, use extra wide strokes while you’re learning.
There are a number of different techniques (strokes) you can use to propel and turn your board. My advice is to take a beginners class to learn the basics, experiment with different strokes to find the stroke that’s most comfortable for you, and practice. Before you know it, you’ll be a paddle boarding enthusiast.
The accompanying video reviews basic paddle boarding techniques.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin
Photo courtesy of Lisa Dworkin