Stand Up Paddle Boarding Guide: How To Get Started With S.U.P

Discover the benefits of stand up paddle boarding. Learn how to paddle, balance and master standing up and riding a SUP. Find out what’s involved in getting going with this beautiful sport. 

So, you may have heard the term SUP or SUPing and wondered what’s that? SUP stands for stand up paddleboarding, the sport where you ride an oversized surfboard by standing on it. You propel yourself forwards using a single-bladed paddle. SUPing allows you to explore lakes, travel along estuaries and even ride waves on the beach. We’ve even seen Yoga classes in the ocean taking place on stand up paddle boards!

full day stand up paddle boarding

What Are The Benefits Of Stand Up Paddle Boarding?

Other than the fact that riding a SUP is cool in itself, there are numerous benefits of SUPing. You can improve your balance, strengthen your core, tone your arms shoulders, legs and back. It’s also an excellent sport for the mind as you take in amazing surroundings while serenely paddling along. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that it is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK.
sup riding waves in croyde

How Can I Get Started SUPing?

If you’re considering getting into stand up paddle boarding then you’re about to embark on a beautiful journey. This guide is here to help you get involved in this brilliant sport and make the pathway to understanding clear. Here are our top tips for SUP beginners.

  • Get a lesson. Before rushing out to buy a brand new paddle board book an experince with an SUP lesson provider. There’s no point spending hundreds of pounds on a paddle board, a paddle, wetsuit, buoyancy aid unless you enjoy the sport. The most accessible way of testing the water is to get a taster lesson – it should only cost about £45 and you’ll also get feedback on the best equipment for your needs. 
 
  • Decide if you want a hard or inflatable SUP board. If you have a trailer, van or live near the water, a hardboard may suit you best. They are bulky and hard to store but have the benefit of being easy to get into the water with, and you won’t run the risk of a puncture. If you are short of space, or need to pack your SUP in the car you’ll probably want an inflatable SUP. They are much easier to store and move, but you’ll need to inflate it each time you use it.

 

  • Be safe! Always let someone know where you will be going on your SUP. Make sure you agree a time you’ll be back. If the water is cold wear a wetsuit and always wear a buoyancy aid. Watch for weather conditions and tides as wind and currents can be hazardous.

 

  • Try handling your SUP before you buy it. Carrying a SUP is difficult as they are cumbersome, large and heavy. Most boards have a carry handle. Check your arm reaches the handle, and you can cope with the weight. Sometimes it can be a long walk to the water. 
 
carrying a stand up paddle board
  • Start by kneeling on your SUP. Try paddling on your SUP first of all by kneeling. Your centre of balance will be lower, and you’ll find that you have more stability.
  • Practice paddling and steering. You will use your single-bladed paddle to propel yourself forward. You’ll also use it to slow down, stop and turn right and left. When you use the paddle, you’ll want to hold the top of the paddle and draw the paddle across your body. The most efficient way to paddle is with steady, consistent strokes without reaching too far forward in front of you or back.
  • Balance on the board on your feet. When you are confident on your knees, try to stand up and balance on the board. Keep your feet apart and look ahead not down at the board. It is essential to keep your weight over the centre of the board to not loose balance. 
 
  • Getting back on the board after falling off. It’s going to happen. You’ll fall off. So it is important to practice getting back onto your SUP. To get on your board, place your hands flat down on the surface of the SUP. Then lever yourself onto the board. Once aboard slowly stand up centring your weight over the middle of the stand up paddle board.
 

That’s it; now you are ready to start SUPing. So what are you waiting for, there’s a whole world of adventure waiting for you!

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