Choose the right equipment
If you choose a paddle surfboard and SUP paddle that don’t match your skill level, for example, if the board is too short or too narrow or the paddle is too long, you won’t be able to focus on improving your SUP technique. Once you have mastered the paddle surf technique (SUP) and have gained balance, you will be able to advance to a more specialised board such as a surf SUP or a crossing or route SUP.
Board and Paddle Measurements
Beginners should choose a paddle surfboard with more than 3 meters long and almost 1 meter wide. Your paddle should be approximately 25 cm longer than your height.
Position and Stand
When you are standing on the paddle surfboard, you need to place your feet in parallel with each other as close to the edge of the board as possible. Your feet should be firmly placed in the center of the board, a little farther from the distance between the hips.
Your position on the board
Share your weight evenly over your feet. Beginners often make the mistake of standing too far back or placing their feet perpendicular to the board, like a surfer.
Legs should be slightly flexed for stability.
Your stand on the board
Keep your back straight and your head facing forward. Leaning forward can cause you to lose stability and even lead to bad paddling habits.
If you find that you don’t have much stability or that you can easily lose your balance, try bending your knees more, place yourself in the middle of the board and spread your feet a little more.
There are basic steps to proper paddling. Controlling each step is the key to improve your paddle surf technique and skills. At first the paddle may seem strange but with time and practice you will see that the directions below make a lot of sense.
The first thing you want to do is to put the paddle in the water and make the paddle as efficient as possible. To make it possible, it is important that the surface of the paddle is inside the water as much as possible. Not partially. If you mastert your paddle surfing technique and make sure that each paddle is well in the water, short and fast paddles will be more effective.
Power is the part of the paddle in SUP technique that will make a big difference in how well you’re paddling. One of the most common mistakes is rowing using your arms and not your whole body. For a power paddle, you must place one arm on the handle of the paddle and the other arm in the middle of the paddle.
Both arms should be straight, with almost no flexion in the elbow as you prepare to paddle. Your lower arm should remain straight.
Once the paddle stroke reaches your feet and your chest is facing the front of the board, pull the paddle out of the water. Long strokes may seem more effective for going straight and fast in paddle surfing, but they are not.
Pull the paddle out of the water, pull your hand from the bottom to one side while holding the top hand in position. Imagine that the paddle is a pendulum with the top stationary.
For recovery, turn the oar towards the front of your body to complete the oar.
Paddleling with the wind down
Paddleling is easy if you have the wind down. You could go for miles with a strong wind. But when it’s your time to return, you’ll face a huge challenge with less energy than at the beginning.
If there is enough wind while paddleling, paddle against the wind first and take advantage of that wind for when you decide to get back.
Looking at our feet
We often tend to stare at our feet or the tip of the board when we feel unbalanced in an attempt to find a fixed point in the water. However, this actually causes us to lose balance or puts our body in a strange position where we cannot complete a paddleling correctly.
Instead, look toward the horizon. Our board tends to follow wherever our eyes look.
Holding the paddle wrongly
Most SUP paddles are shaped like a paddle and are designed to be held with the curvature of the paddle facing us.