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.
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.
Now to get moving. The Stroke:
1. Stay relaxed. Knees bent. The knees are bent to keep the body from becoming rigid and locked, allowing for better balance and and more mobility. Use the bent knees to feel the board moving with the water.
2. Stretch the lower arm out and use the top hand to guide the paddle. Place the blade in the water a comfortable distance out in front, next to the board.
3. Pull through the water, bending at the waste. Stop when the blade reaches your feet. Pull the blade out of the water and reach again. Be patient - no rush - just relax and enjoy cruising across the water.
Check out our other articles under SUP Basics to learn more!