Is paddle boarding hard? – Not if you read this article!

Paddle boarding is becoming extremely popular. And why not? It’s the perfect way to connect with nature while getting a full body workout! But there is even more good news. Paddle boarding is perfect for everybody no matter your age, size or physical activity and you can become a pro in just a few classes. 

If you are a newbie (like we all were at some point) read on to find out if paddle boarding is hard and how you can make it easier!

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Picture by https://www.outsidepursuits.com/

The basics of paddle boarding

Let’s start with the basics, step by step:

  1. 1.

    First of all make sure you have the correct board. Here you can find some of the best cheap SUP boards for all you first timers.

  2. 2.

    Before putting your SUP board in the water make sure your fins are clean (keep that pesky sand and pebbles away)

  3. 3.

    Place your paddle horizontally in front of you on the board.

  4. 4.

    Now it’s time to work those knees. With one knee on your board push for take off!

  5. 5.

    For now stay on your knees! (sounds kinky I know)

  6. 6.

    When you feel comfortable enough in this position try to stand up (and prepare for a closer look at those clean waters)

  7. 7.

    Get up putting one foot at a time in the middle of the board. Use your hands for balance and try to focus your gaze straight ahead.

  8. 8.

    Make sure to grab your paddle on the way up.

  9. 9.

    That was it! You made it! Keep practicing getting up from the knee position a couple of times to master your balance.

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Paddle boarding tips

Now that you are up it’s time to learn some tips that will make paddle boarding way easier.

Go for calm waters

When you first try to learn to SUP board calm waters are a must. Go for a lake or if you prefer the open sea make sure to check the weather forecast.

It is best to avoid the wind

Imagine your body standing tall on top of your SUP board. What does it look like? Yes, you guessed it correctly! A sail! Not only it’s more difficult to paddle when there is wind but also the wind might carry you to places you don’t want to go. Now you will ask “ isn’t the wind a good thing? Won’t it make me go faster?” Yes it will, until you have to turn back and paddle against it.

Except if you prefer to walk on the beach on your way back.

TIP: if you get caught in an unexpected wind, lay flat on your board and use your hands to paddle back to safety.

Get the correct size

Yes sometimes size matters (I am sorry guys). For beginners the bigger the better (again I am so sorry). Getting the correct size board is important. The wider the board, the better your balance will be.

Also the bigger the board (more float) the stabler it will feel. Check here for some awesome boards and find the perfect fit for you. Aim for the 32’’ which is a good size for every beginner.

Paddle position

It might seem self explanatory but the way you hold and use the paddle is of utmost importance. Do not scoop water with it! That will only make you tired faster and you probably won’t have any feeling on your upper arms the next day! Instead glide the shaft into the water.

There is a right way to take a splash

I cannot lie. It is unavoidable that you’ll fall into the water. No matter if you are a pro or not some things are certain. That’s why you have to know how to safely land in the water. Just make sure to fall as far away from the board.

Last thing you want is to get knocked out by your own board. Also try to fall as vertically as possible. We have all felt the sting of a horizontal fall! Other than that try to have fun, falling is part of the experience! For extra safety look at the Restube accessory.

TIP: If you are in shallow waters forget my advice for vertical fall. Falling with a back or belly flop will help you avoid hitting anything that’s below the surface.

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Picture by https://www.rei.com/

Leash Up

The leash is one of the most essential accessories when paddle boarding especially for all those times you might slip in the water! It will keep you and your board safe (as well as the other people that might be in your vicinity). There are multiple ways to wear a leash so you can feel both comfortable and safe!

Don’t forget to have fun!

Paddle boarding is an exciting, outdoor activity so make sure you have some fun. If you spend all the time thinking you are going to fall into the water, you guessed it, you will fall. But that’s also part of the fun. Remember that paddle boarding is not difficult. Like everything else it only takes some practice.

To sum up why paddle boarding isn’t so hard

Paddle boarding is an amazing versatile hobby. You have countless options from surfing, cruising to fishing and SUP yoga. You can paddle board in lakes, rivers or open water. You can do it alone or with friends, with family or your favorite pet.

Follow the above instructions and you will see that paddle boarding is indeed easy to learn, but harder to master. If you need more tips or tricks or advice in general, make sure to join me on Facebook or Instagram. Or just leave a comment below! I always enjoy our interactions!

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Review written by: Tom

Hi! My name is Tom. During the year I try to be on a paddle board as much as possible. By reading this blog you'll stay updated on everything I test on the water :)