Adventure Travel

Stand Up Paddleboarding Tips & Common Beginner Mistakes

There are a few common mistakes that beginners make when first trying out a stand up paddleboard.  We are here to help with our SUP tips and tricks, and common mistakes to avoid when first trying out the sport.

How to get on the board safely & easily:

First things first: when you first enter the water make sure you are deep enough so the paddleboard is not touching the ground, but not too deep so you can’t get on the board.  When you get on the board for the first time, always start on your knees, and then stand up when you are stable. You can kneel on your knees or sit on your ankles while you paddle initially.  When you stand up, make sure you are on the middle of the board. It can help to place your paddle horizontally across the board and hold onto it as you start to stand up to help you balance. Don’t look down at your feet when you stand up, look forward.  You will go where you look, so if you look down you will go down.

 Which direction to go:

Always paddle into the wind first. If you paddle with the wind first, the wind can carry you and then you may struggle on the way back.  As you paddle back, having the wind assist you on the way back is always better.

Paddle angle:

Hold the paddle with the blade angle forward, so you can carve into the water.  This is a common mistake for beginners, who tend to hold the paddle backwards which causes the board to be pushed down and water pushed up.  


Holding the paddle correctly:

Hold the paddle with one hand on the top, and the other hand halfway down the paddle.  If you put the paddle above your head, your hands should be positioned at a 90 degree angle with your elbows.  This positioning will help you propel the paddle with more power. Beginners tend to hold the paddle too high up, or with their hands too close together, which doesn’t provide as much power.


Where to stand on the board:

Make sure you stand in the middle of the board.  If you stand too far back, the board will be at an angle and less stable, and it will be hard to get your board moving.   If you stand in the middle you will be flat in the water and have better glide with the board.


Paddling Correctly:

If you want to move straight forward, hold the paddle straight up and down and paddle in a straight line, paddling as close to your board as possible.  To turn the board, hold the paddle out to the side and farther away from the board to turn in the opposite direction. Lower your body closer to the water and the paddle will be angled toward the water and paddling water farther from your board, which will turn you.  The more you paddle on the sides away from the board, the more is your board is going to turn.


Rent a board first

As a beginner renting a board is always a good idea to get a feel for the sport and decide which type of board you like. makes it easy to rent a paddleboard online in a ton of top destinations.  Happy paddling!

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