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Getting Started With Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Perhaps you’ve seen the stand-up paddle boarders at the lake by your house, or maybe your physician advised you to take up the low-impact sport to get more exercise while protecting your joints. However you’ve discovered stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), you’re ready to get started, but you’re not sure what to do first. A great place to begin researching this fast-growing sport is to read about it on expert sites like iSUPreviews. Then, follow these tips to ensure you have an awesome first SUP experience.

Leash Yourself to Your Board

This is something even expert boarders do, mostly so they can keep track of their board if they fall into the water. But for beginners, a leash is also an important safety device. Until you’re sure how far you can go into the water without being too tired to paddle back, you could end up in a situation where you aren’t able to keep your balance and tumble into the lake. The board can become a floatation device that saves you from drowning, but only if it’s well within reach. Your leash will make sure it is.

Use the Proper Gear

No one is saying you have to go out and buy all the top-of-the-line SUP gear, but you do need to be aware that not all boards are novice-friendly. Typically, the boards you rent at lakes will be appropriate for beginners, but in case they offer several types of boards and paddles, you’ll want to know which one to rent. Start with a thick and wide board that will stabilize you in various water conditions. Your paddle should be about 10 inches longer than your height to make sure you’re not bending over and wasting energy. This length will also help you maintain your balance while you’re standing on the board.

Learn to Paddle Correctly

Paddling can be confusing at first because our tendency is to hold the paddle so that the bent part of the paddle blade is facing us, allowing us to scoop the water and propel us forward. But, that’s the incorrect way to hold it. The bent part of the paddle blade should face away from you and your hands should be fairly far apart on the paddle handle. This will give you more power with each stroke. 

Use Your Core

You don’t want to only use your arms as you paddle, as this is an inefficient way to move your SUP and will tire you out quickly. Instead, you want to engage your core muscles with each paddle stroke. This will allow you to move more easily through the water and participate in the activity longer since you won’t get as tired as fast. Plus, SUP can be a low-impact, full-body workout if you thoughtfully use your core muscles to propel you through the water. This is one of the reasons physicians recommend it so often.

Stay in Water You Can Handle

The last tip for SUP beginners is to never get into water conditions you can’t handle. You may think you’re ready for ocean waves or river rapids, but unless you’ve truly mastered flat water boarding, you should not try these more advanced environments. Take it slow and build your skills before you level up.


Congratulations on getting started with one of the fastest-growing sports in the world! You’re going to have a blast and get fit in the process. Just be sure to follow these beginner tips so that you have the SUP experience you deserve.

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