So you think you’ll enjoy paddle boarding but you just don’t know where to start? Never fear because this short introduction was written just for you. Here you will find the basics of paddle boarding condensed into a short and informative article for your convenience.
To start with, you need to know what equipment is needed if you take up the sport. Once you’re familiar with that, you should also read up a bit on paddle boarding techniques so you can go into the water with more confidence.
So, without further ado, here they are: the paddle boarding basics!
Paddle Boarding Gear
Here’s a list of mandatory and optional gear that you’ll need to thoroughly enjoy paddle boarding:
- First, you need a stand-up paddle board. Make sure you invest in one that is fit for the type of paddle boarding you’ll engage in (racing, fitness, surfing) and that it is compatible with your skill level. The more experience you have, the narrower your board can be. So for beginners, choose the wider ones for stability.
- And of course, your paddle! If you know your height, then your paddle should be six to eight inches taller.
- A PFD or a personal flotation device for your safety.
- The right clothing. If you’ll be on the beach, then bathing suits are generally the norm. But when conditions call for more protection, there’s always wetsuits or dry suits to lessen the risk of hypothermia.
- Protection from the sun! Wearing sunscreen is highly recommended while sunglasses optional!
Some Basic Paddle Boarding Techniques
- Your stance. Beginners are encourages to start off with the kneeling position. Once you’re comfortable with that, then try standing up. Keep feet parallel to each other at hip-width. Always bend your knees and try to keep your back and straight.
- Your stroke. The basic hand position for paddle boarding is this: if you’re paddling on your left side, then your left hand should rest lower on the paddle. Reverse for the other side. Don’t forget to switch hand positions when you switch sides!
- Turning. The simplest way to go about turning when paddle boarding is to just stroke your paddle consistently on one side until your board turns the direction opposite the side where you’re paddling.
Remember to always star off under the supervision of someone who has more experience than you do. Don’t try to go off paddle boarding on your own when you know zilch about the sport. The more you learn, the more you’ll enjoy paddle boarding. It’s always good to seek the advice of those who have been into the sport far longer. Don’t be over-excited and attempt paddle boarding techniques that are too advanced for you. And always remember the golden rule of paddle boarding: have fun!