Stand Up Paddle Boarding is one of the most adaptable activities. Whether you enjoy the adrenaline of SUP surfing or the serenity of exploring flatwater and even doing yoga, SUP is truly for everyone. And once you start, there’s no turning back. Meg, our passionate in-house SUP boarder, brings her board to the beach at every opportunity, whether it’s fighting for space in the line-up during the summer’s busy heatwaves or through the winter’s cold, dismal days. As a result, we’ve summoned her to assist you in improving your SUP talents.
Meg’s Best Advice
Don’t be frightened to plunge!
You’re not trying hard enough if you’re not falling in. That’s all there is to it. The more at ease you are with falling in, the less likely you are to worry yourself out over it. Being calm and focused on the water is one of the simplest and quickest methods to improve your SUP performance. Keep an eye out for other swimmers or surfers (or SUP surfers! ), but don’t be scared to dip your toes in the water every now and then. To become a jockey, one must fall off a horse 21 times. And, thanks, I’d like the softer landing of water.
Make sure your feet are constantly hip-width apart and that you’re comfortably positioned on the board. Maintain a tiny bend in your knees; locking them straight will send you flying if the surge catches you! Suspension is achieved by bending your knees. My best advice is to always keep your head up and look where you’re going. Avoid gazing down at your board because it causes you to wobble and lose your balance.
It all comes down to the paddle.
Paddle length is critical! Stand your paddle next to you, out of the water, and make it about a hand’s height taller than you. It’s also a good idea to make sure your adjustable paddle is snug and secure on the clasps, as loose ones can interfere with your performance.
Improve your technique.
Always enter the paddle as close to the front as possible; don’t be scared to lean forward and put your weight into it! Pull the paddle back with your weight, keeping it close to the board. Do this in as straight a line as possible to avoid frequently switching sides in an attempt to maintain the board straight. Keeping the paddle close to the board also increases the number of strokes you can take – a longer and narrower SUP board (such as the Red Paddle Co Elite series) will also help if you’re a serious long length straight-aiming surfer!
Pump up that board properly.
If you own an inflatable SUP board, be sure you’ve inflated it to the proper pressure. On all counts, this is a necessity. Don’t be a slacker; a slightly underinflated board will not help you progress, believe me!
Examine your leash
Check to see if your leash is dragging in the water. If you’re not careful, this can accumulate a lot of seaweed (hopefully not plastic)!
Make sure you understand all of the surfing regulations because they apply even more to a large old SUP board – you don’t want to get in the way! You should be aware that not all conditions suit a supper the same way they do a surfer, and this is even more true depending on the sort of SUP board you use – so check the weather and swell forecast before venturing out. It would be prudent not to venture out in rogue waves with unpredictable break points. It’s a good idea to hunt for flat places to make your way out, but keep your knees bent more than before! Also, stay mindful of your surroundings and keep an eye on where you’re going. Instead of the static, steady-hip distance you’ll be standing in on your flat-water SUP, your stance should resemble that of a surfer on the waves. But most importantly, have fun! It’s a terrific technique to improve your balancing skills and is ideal for tiny wave days. A great advice is to purchase a paddle leash because it is quite easy to loose your paddle if you get a wild knock out!