SUP Basics

Talk the Talk

Can you “talk the talk”?

When traveling to a foreign country (or even different part of the same country), it's valuable to be able to speak the language- at least the basics.

Being stuck in a place where they do not speak your language and needing to find a bathroom without knowing how to properly ask where the nearest restroom is...well….could leave you relying on a not too amusing game of charades in hopes your partner can guess your question before it’s too late!

Yes, it’s true that knowing and speaking the language not only helps you avoid such touchy situations but gives you some credibility as well. If you’ve taken the time to learn some of the language, you’re likely to find that those on the receiving end are usually more receptive and more willing to help you get around or get what you need.

In the world of SUP, while you’re not likely to end up in the same predicament as mentioned above, the credibility factor definitely comes into play. It also helps you improve your overall skill set if you know what to reference and what these specific terms mean.


Learning to Stand Up Paddle

SUP Basics Learning to SUP

Stand-Up paddle boarding in it's entirety - is an awesome experience. It's easy to learn, great exercise, involves nature, can be enjoyed with friends, kids, solo - or even try some yoga on the board.

The basic concept is to stand on a board, similar to a surf board, and glide across the water while using a long paddle to steer and propel.

While paddling, stay engaged through the core, keep knees slightly bent, shoulder width stance, and most importantly, relax and enjoy! The more relaxed and fluid, the easier it is to move and sway with the water.

Standing Up:

1. Find some calm water.
2. Climb on the board, kneeling in the center - paddle streched across the board in front of knees.
3. Take a deep breathe, relax, feel the water - take a look around at your surroundings.
4. Gently place one foot on the board and then the other. Grab the paddle while standing up. Keep knees bent, feet shoulder width apart, stay relaxed, take a couple more deep breaths and have fun!

Hint: As the board planes, it becomes more stable. One option is to take a few strokes while kneeling then stand while the board is planing.


Choosing A SUP Paddle

There are three main considerations when looking for and selecting the right paddle to accompany your board.

1. First, you must decide on a material for your paddle. Which is another way of saying "Decide what you want to spend!" What your paddle is made of affects not only weight and durability (which directly impacts swing weight and paddle life), but dramatically impacts the price point as well.

Normally, the shaft and blade are where you’ll focus when researching the materials used. Our most economical SUP paddle, the Spark has an aluminum shaft and fiberglass reinforced resin blade. It’s a great choice for the beginner who is also looking for a lower price point. From there you can go to up to a carbon shaft and fiberglass-reinforced resin blade found in our Freedom paddle which offers a slightly lower swing weight while providing great durability.


Choosing a SUP Board

While the internet can be a great tool for researching something new, the amount of information can also be a bit over whelming. So, I'm going to break this down to a simple form - then if you want to continue researching - give you a link to continue your quest for more knowledge.

First answer these questions:

1. Where are you paddling? Flatwater or Surf?

2. How much do you want to spend? A trend, the more you spend, the lighter the board and easier to haul.

3. What type of paddling do you plan on doing? Here is a quick categorization of boards based on type of paddling courtesy of EMS:

Surf: shorter boards that turn well and are naturally at home in the waves
Family Recreation: durable boards with width for stability
Cruise: long boards, often with room for cargo; at home on flat water
Fitness and Race: long, narrow boards built for speed in any water conditions
Yoga: wide, stable boards; often made with full deck pads for better grip in various postures


Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga for Beginners

SUP yoga is basically doing yoga while standing, sitting, etc on a SUP board.

For many, SUP yoga combines the peace, centeredness and full body engagement with the fresh air and natural elements only to be found on the water. It takes the art to a whole new level and provides a refreshing challenge for many looking for the next step in their yoga journey.

A couple tips:
Try to use a longer, wider board to maximize stability. If doing SUP yoga in deeper water, the ability to swim is important. Also, an anchor is nice to maintain location on the water so focus can stay on breathing, balancing, and enjoying the moment. If you do not use a anchor, be sure you are practicing in a safe area or very calm water so you won't drift into an unsafe area.

Please contact us if you have any questions or if you want to share your experience! We always enjoy a good SUP story.

Enjoy your SUP yoga experience!

Here is a video courtesy of StandUpPaddlingTV. Julie Roach walks us through a great beginner, SUP, yoga sequence.


Letting Go and Having Fun on the Water.

Stand Up Paddling with friends

Whether you are just starting the adventure of stand-up paddle boarding or you are an experienced paddler, the most important piece is to enjoy the ride. Be safe but not scared. If you are trying yoga poses, embrace the water if and when you fall in! Yoga, at it's core, is not about perfect poses; it's about accepting and loving self… without judgement. And laughter truly is the best medicine. So, enjoy today… and life. Have fun!


Stand-Up Paddle Boarding with the Family

sup-basics stand-up-paddle-boarding-with-your-family

As much as I love cruising across the water surrounded by nature and enjoying a moment alone, I equally enjoy hanging out with my kiddos and listening to them discover this beautiful world… and giggle. So, if you haven't tried it, I highly recommend paddle boarding with the family. Be sure everyone has a life jacket. Maybe your family is older and can venture out on their own board, just as fun, stand-up paddle boarding is a great way to hang out, exercise, and explore with friends and family of all ages - or maybe you can catch a ride with them! :)

We love to hear good stand-up paddling stories, so please share your adventure with us!


The J-Stroke - Stand Up Paddling

SUP Basics the J Stroke

For those now standing up on the paddle board and getting the hang of the balance and motion involved in stand-up paddling, the J-stroke is a great addition! The J-stroke propels the board in a forward motion without having to switch the paddle from one side of the board to the other. Nice, right?

(If you are not at this point, don't fret. Check out our Intro to SUP article and you will be paddling in no time!)

As with stand-up paddling, the J-stroke does take a little practice, but is absolutely worth the extra effort in the beginning and will become a very fluid stroke once practiced.