How To Stand (and stay) On a Paddleboard

Confidently standing up on a paddle board is a skill required to paddleboard successfully. One of the trickiest parts is getting into a standing position, second only to the challenge of maintaining that standing position without falling off.

But don’t stress – simply follow these steps to become a pro at paddleboarding with ease and style.

Pre- Paddleboarding Tips

  • You should have with you: your paddleboard, a paddle, a safety whistle, a leash, and suitable clothing for the time of year.
  • Standing up on a paddle board is easier on a wide board. It is recommended to start off with a large one, as this is easier to balance on.
  • Try find an area without too many waves – the calmer the water, the easier for standing! Choppy water is more likely to throw you off your board, so leave that until you’ve had more practice.
  • Additionally, take into account how windy the area (or day) is. Strong winds can either unbalance you and push you into the water, or steer you in directions you don’t want to go in. For a new paddleboarder, It is wise to pick a day where there are light or no winds.

:Getting Onto Your Board

  • Pull the paddleboard out onto the water so that it is no longer touching any ground – about knee-deep is usually right.
  • Hold onto the sides of the board with your hands, and put your knees on the paddleboard. They should be under your shoulders, in the middle of the board – this is almost always parallel to the handle. Make sure that they are parallel to each other also – one further forward than the other can tilt you off balance.
  • Paddle a few strokes in this position, to gain momentum and ensure you are well positioned.

Standing Up

  • Without moving your hands from the board, slowly put one foot down where your knee was. Make sure your heel is down, and your toes are pointing forward. Then move your other foot into position too, in the same way.
  • You should now be in a squatting position. Check that your feet are parallel to each other.
  • Very slowly, lift yourself upwards into a standing position. Try keep your heels flat down on the board as you do this. Put your weight onto the ball of each foot.
  • Paddle a stroke straight after standing up, to keep the momentum and prevent the board from tipping over.

How To Stay Standing

  • Leave your knees slightly bent, and stand with your upper body straight and balanced, not leaning forwards or backwards.
  • Your eyes should look towards the horizon, not down to your board.
  • If you want to shift your weight, move your hips rather than your feet or legs.

When Paddling

  • Over paddling can result in overbalancing and falling off your board. Ensure you keep your hips and body straight, and paddle using your core muscles, rather than your arm strength.
  • Keep your arms more straight than bent.
  • It is important to hold your paddle correctly to keep yourself standing up on a paddle board. The intuitive way to hold the paddle – with the round part towards you – is actually more likely to push you off your board. Hold your paddle with the bent part away from you, as this will allow you to paddle more steadily (and with less splashing!).
  • Put the paddle deep in the water on the side of your board, as far forward as you can reach. Push the water back, pulling your paddle towards the back of your board.
  • To keep a straight path, change between your left and right side every few paddles.
  • To reduce disturbances throwing you off your board, leave yourself plenty of space from other paddleboarders or boats. As well as decreasing the number of waves around your board, the panicked paddling that can result from trying not to bump into someone else is almost a surefire way to send you into the water. So if possible, prevent this from happening before it becomes a problem.

Most importantly: if you do fall off, don’t despair! It happens to everyone. Although hopefully now you’ve read these tips, you’ll be ready to get out on the water and stand up on your paddleboard with no problems at all. Good luck!

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