How To: Start Standup Paddle Boarding

A very quick summary to get you started Stand Up Paddle Boarding! First, you’re going to need a board. A beginner board should range anywhere from 10-12’6, with the width being at least 30 inches. The longer the board, the more stable it is, but less maneuverable in the surf. Next you need your paddle. There are numerous paddles on the market and your purchase will depend on your price range, preference, and use. For cruising or surfing, a paddle six to eight inches over your head is a good fit. If you plan on racing, make it eight to twelve.

Try not to have your first session in the ocean. The swell, current, and shore break will make the learning process a lot more difficult, and potentially dangerous if you wipe out in the surf zone. Carry your board down to the flat water location of choice by the handle slot built into your board. To launch, place your board down on the water, and start off by kneeling. Position yourself in the center of the board so the nose and the tail are flat on the water. Knee paddle out of the shallow area to prevent hitting the bottom if you wipe out your first time standing.

Now stand up! The first thing you want to do is get your momentum going. It’s like a bike, you stand still, and you fall over. Your feet should be parallel and shoulder width apart. Keep your body straight with your shoulders back and your knees slightly bent. The correct way to hold the paddle is with the blade angle facing forward; otherwise you will be lifting water instead of propelling yourself through it. Get one hand on top of the T-Top, and the other about mid way down. Now you’re ready to paddle!