Whether you’re looking for a new activity for the family or a relaxing hobby for you alone, paddle boarding is a serene activity that has been attractive enough to collect many new followers. If you’re new to the fun, here are a few tips to help you learn the ropes.
Start on Your Knees
Try to get on facing the front on your knees and take a few strokes like that. Once you get comfortable enough, try to stand up with one foot at a time staying in the middle of the board aiming to keep your feet shoulder-width apart. This step may take a few (or more than a few) tries, but regardless, you can definitely get the hang of it.
It’s All in The Knees
When still learning how to balance, it’s essential that through the mini-waves you’ll experience, you have a method to make sure you don’t wipeout too easily. This is why most paddle board instructors usually tell their new pupils to bend their knees slightly.
Holding the Paddle
Many immediately revert to holding the paddle with both hands at the middle like a broomstick when the correct way is to have one hand at the very top and one in the middle. Even with this, many tend to keep the top hand stationary while they paddle with the other while it is the opposite. Pull the top handle towards your chest when you want to bring the paddle forward. The easy way to remember this is to know the purpose of the handle: so you can have a firm grip while that hand rotates from paddling.
Just like learning to ride a skateboard, there’s some leaning involved. The first step in making a left turn is to put the paddle in the water on the right to slow the board down right after a left forward stroke and to simultaneously lean to the left twisting your body in that direction as well. Keeping the paddle on the right side, pull it through the water towards the tail of the board. You’ll feel the board make a sharp left. You’ve done it!
Feet Firmly Planted
Most beginners usually try to ride it like a surfboard but that stance couldn’t be more wrong for this kind of board. Make sure your feet are always parallel and pointed towards the front of the board. Always remember to keep them shoulder width apart as well because keeping them tied together will make you ten times more likely to be knocked down by a mini-wave.
So now that you’ve learned the basics of paddle boarding, grab your paddle and get in the water! Try to find a wetsuit as falling in flat water can be a little painful if the fall is too hard. Always remember to start on your knees and face forward. Pretty much every tip aims to make you less prone to falling. If it takes you more than a few times to get the hang of standing, don’t get discouraged. After all, the most important thing you need to do is have fun!