Have you ever dreamed of walking on water, being able to glide effortlessly across a smooth marble surface? While we can’t exactly tell you how to literally walk on water, stand up paddle boarding could be the closest you might ever come to walking on water.
And learning how to paddleboard is as easy as taking five steps down the road. In the next few paragraphs, we’re going to give you all the instruction you need to get you up and paddling into the sunset without a worry.
1. Get The Right Gear
Whether you’re renting or buying, the right gear will make or break your first paddleboarding experience. We’ve seen some pretty crummy equipment get passed off as SUP gear, but that kind of stuff will only have you doggy paddling rather than paddleboarding.
When you’re renting you might not have much of a choice, but the best shops give you options. As a beginner, you’ll want a touring board or a yoga board. These boards will give you the most stability.
Make sure you have a paddle. Without a paddle, you’ll just be floating along without propulsion or direction. And paddle boards aren’t like surfboards, you can barely use your arms to paddle.
2. Always Wear a Lifejacket
We see a lot of people out on the water without a lifejacket. And the US Coast Guard just classified stand up paddleboards as vessels. This means that outside designated swimming areas, paddleboarders have to follow USCG regulations which include the use of a personal flotation device.
But not only is it illegal not to wear one in some places, it’s unwise. If you fall off your board unconscious, you will most likely drown if you don’t have a lifejacket. So wear a lifejacket when you paddleboard.
3. How to Paddleboard: Learn to Stand Up
This might seem intuitive, but you’re learning to stand on a completely different surface than land. The best place to start is in shallow water that’s deep enough you won’t hit bottom if you fall.
Start on flat calm water and begin by kneeling on the board just behind the center. This should be a balance point. The tip shouldn’t rise out of the water and neither should the tail dip.
Hold on to the edges of the board. Place one foot in front of you and slowly stand up placing your feet where your knees just were.
If need be, have a friend stabilize your board.
4. Paddleboard Strokes
The proper way to paddle is with one hand on the top and another on the shaft. Keep your arms straight then twist from your torso when you paddle.
It should be your core muscles working when you paddle and not your arms. You should submerge the paddle blade as you stroke to get the most power.
Paddle about 4-5 strokes on each side.
5. Turning Your Board
If you want to learn how to paddleboard, you have to learn how to turn. You’re not going to go straight forever.
The simplest way to turn is the sidestroke. Essentially, paddle on one side until you turn around.
Want to go right, paddle on the left. Want to go left, paddle on the right.
If you want to look fancy, you can paddle backward on one side of the board. This will turn your board quickly toward the side on which you’re paddling. Just don’t freak out as you’ll go back a bit as well.
When you get the right equipment and start paddling, we guarantee you’ll have a great time.
If you’re looking to rent a board, check out our rental prices.
Naples Beach Adventures
11135 GulfShore Drive
Naples, FL 34108
Parking Lot #4