Paddleboarding Tips for Beginners
Paddleboarding lets you have some fun in the sun while experiencing the beauty of nature up close and personal. If you haven’t tried paddleboarding yet, don’t worry! Regardless of your skill level or age, you can learn how to explore your favorite lake, river, ocean or bay by paddleboard. To help you get started, we put together a few tips to make your first paddleboarding experience a success.
What to Consider Before Your First Paddleboarding Adventure
Before you load up your paddleboard and head out on the water, there are three important factors to keep in mind.
If it’s your first time paddleboarding, make sure you go to a beginner-friendly spot that is protected from rough waves and rapids. Your first experience should be fun and focused on learning the basics and perfecting your form instead of struggling to stay on in rough waters.
Even if you choose a calm body of water, the weather can play a huge role in how easy or difficult your first paddleboard experience will be. Windy weather, for example, will make it much harder to paddle and steer.
Having the right equipment based on your size and skill level is essential. There are many different types and styles of paddleboards ranging from hard to inflatable, but the most common is the epoxy or hard paddleboard. Beginners should go with an all-around paddleboard with a long, wide and thick board. This design will make it much easier for you to keep your balance and learn the basics of paddleboarding.
You’ll also need a paddle, which ideally should be 6-10 inches above your height. Don’t forget your personal flotation device (PFD) and leash to help keep you safe while you’re learning.
Padding Boarding Basics
Make sure you maintain good posture so you stay stable and secure. Try to keep the weight on the balls of your feet and look forward instead of down. When you look down, you tip your weight forward and it’s harder to stay balanced. Keep your core engaged and your knees slightly bent for additional stability.
How to Stand
When you are learning how to stand, try to keep your movements slow and steady. It’s easier to stand if you start off in a kneeling position. From this position, stand up one foot at a time so you can maintain balance on the board. For maximum stability, keep your legs shoulder-width apart.
How to Paddle
The proper paddling technique will help you navigate the water easier. Once you are standing, keep one hand at the top of your paddle and your other hand halfway down it. While keeping the paddle facing away from you and your arms straight, make 4-5 small strokes on each side. When you alternate sides, be sure to change your hand position as well.
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