The popularity of paddle boarding has skyrocket in recent years, with more and more folks taking up the sport. Paddle boarding is fabulous exercise, and a great way to unwind and relax. The sport is surprisingly easy, and just about anyone can pick it up after just a few tries.
If you’re ready to give paddle boarding a shot for the first time, here are our sure-fire tips for getting up – and staying up for a great ride:
Wade on in:
Inflatable paddle boards make this step easy, as you can carry yours down to the water’s edge without much fuss. Simply tuck your board under one arm and carry your paddle in the other hand.
You’ll want to wade out into the water until it’s about knee-deep so that the fins don’t hit bottom. Lay your paddle lengthwise along the front of the board, with the blade facing you. Grab hold of either side of the board just above the center point, then climb aboard in a kneeling position. Position your knees near the center of the board, and balance your weight evenly.
Don’t try to stand up right away. Give yourself a little time to get the feel and balance of the board. Grab your paddle and try a few strokes, keeping your body balanced and centered on your paddle board. Most paddle boarders suggest that newbies practice for a while on their knees before moving to a standing position.
Now that you’re on your inflatable paddleboard, you’re ready to start moving. Paddle board blades are made with a slight bend just above the blade. Hold your paddle with the curve facing the back of the board, with one hand grasping the “T” grip, and the other positioned on the upper-middle portion of the shaft.
Get a comfortable grip, then slowly dip the blade into the water near the front of your board. Push forward on the handle, keeping your other hand balanced as a fulcrum. Keep your strokes right alongside the board to travel in a straight line, and make sure to switch hands when you paddle on the opposite side of the board.
Now that you’ve got a feel for the board, it’s time to stand up! Lean forward with the paddle in both hands and position your fists firmly near the edges of the board. Your fists should rest about 12 inches in front of your knees.
Move slowly into a squatting position, using your fists to maintain your balance. Gradually stand up, using the paddle to help you balance if needed. Keep your knees slightly bent, as this will help you to balance as you paddle.
Now keep your eyes on the horizon, and start paddling! It may take a few tries to get up and stay up, but soon enough, you’ll be paddling with the pros.