10 Tips & Tricks for SUP Beginners

Stand-up paddling, or SUP, is the fastest growing watersport in the world. It’s fun, easy enough for beginners and challenging enough for intermediate and advanced surfers. It provides a great entire body workout and it can be done pretty much anywhere from lakes to oceans.

Stand-up paddling was made popular in the modern world by surf legend Laird Hamilton in 2004, but the sport has deep roots that date back to the thousand-year old Hawaiian culture. If SUP is something you want to try, check out our awesome tips and tricks for SUP beginners!

1. Get the right board. For SUP beginners, your best choice of board should be as wide, thick and long as you can possibly find. It will help keep you steady and balanced. If you can’t seem to find your balance on the board, maybe you need to go larger and thicker!

2. Get the right paddle. The rule of thumb is that the paddle needs to be around 10 inches (25 cm) longer than you, for good grip and traction.

3. Get the right leash. Again, a good rule of thumb is that the leash needs to be either as long as or a bit shorter than your board. Remember to always use your leash, even if you’re an advanced SUP-er!

4. Start in calm waters. It may seem like a no-brainer bit of advice, but it needs to be said. Start in calm waters, take it slow and only start paddling once you’ve managed to find a good balance.

5. Don’t be afraid. You will fall, so you need to make peace with this piece of information. Don’t let that scare you! In the words of the immortal Batman’s Alfred Pennyworth: “Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

6. Learn to take a fall. Your instructor will most likely teach you how to take a fall, but if they don’t, go ahead and ask them to show you. The falling part is one of the most important parts of learning any type of watersport! Learning how to fall will help you avoid getting injured.

7. Don’t look at your feet. Have you ever taken dance lessons? It’s the same thing, you must not stare at your feet and look straight ahead in front of you. Looking at your feet can cause you to lose your balance or even crash into someone else.

8. Tackle the waves you know you can tackle. As a beginner, you may be eager to start riding the waves, but you may not be ready for that. Listen to your instructor and take it slowly!

9. Wear a vest. If you’re an excellent swimmer, you can skip the vest, but otherwise, it’s recommended that you wear a vest.

10. Learn how to stand, then how to paddle forward and how to change direction. It may take you a few days, but once you got these mastered, you can start truly enjoying SUP.

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