Updated on 02/09/23
Is paddleboarding hard for you? Don’t Worry!! Learning how to balance on a stand up paddle board can be challenging, but it is easier than you think! If you’re considering getting into SUP boarding and want some quick balancing tips to help you achieve your first balancing stand-up moment, this post is for you. Losing your balance can often happen if you need to learn how to balance on the board. Check it out to discover how you can learn more about stand-up paddle boarding for the first time. Suppose you are still looking for a great beginner paddleboard. In that case, consider reading our bluefin cruise paddle board review blog!
Practice balancing off the water
One of the biggest reasons people fall off their paddleboard is poor balance. This is especially true for beginner paddlers. No matter how good of shape you’re in, you can still have an insufficient balance.
Practicing off the water is considered practicing yoga in the morning or putting it in with your workout routine. Yoga and paddleboarding are two sports that mix well together. Doing yoga at home will get you used to your body and have more control over balancing.
Looking for examples of yoga poses that will help with balancing? Check out this shortlist.
- Mountain Pose
- Forward Fold
- Warrior 1
- Warrior 2
- Warrior 3
Make sure you have the right equipment
As a beginner, you need to ensure that your paddleboard is big enough to stand on. Having too small of a paddleboard can make it much harder to balance and, overall, will make your paddleboard experience harder. The more you weigh, the taller you are, and the bigger your paddle board should be.
And the most critical parameter is the width. The wider the paddleboard, the easier it is to balance on it. As time goes by, your skills will advance, and you will be able to balance nicely on a smaller board.
Make sure your paddleboard has good stability because it will make it easier for you to stand up on it and start paddling. There are different types of boards, but generally speaking, all-around boards are more stable than other types designed for specific activities like surfing or racing.
Also, please remember that water conditions can significantly impact how easy it is to stand up on your paddle board. Paddling flat on the water can be easier than paddling rivers and oceans, where falling into the water can happen more often! If you still can’t stand up, consider getting a wider board.
Keep your knees slightly bent or flexed
This tip is critical to mastering the art of balance. Remember to keep your knees flexed, like springs in a car, while you paddle. Your knees should be bent slightly at all times—even as you’re paddling—to absorb any bumps and swell that roll under your board. Also, the closer your center of gravity (CG) is to the board, the easier it will be for you to balance.
You don’t need to spend hours on end practicing this skill. Try it for 10 or 15 minutes next time you’re paddling around. You can even do it on land with a soft surface below you (like grass).
Then try it on your SUP and see how much easier and more comfortable it feels. With this tip, you should see an almost immediate improvement in your balance.
Exercise your legs
Even though stand-up paddleboarding is a low-impact activity, it does still take upper and lower body strength and balance to ensure you can stay standing. Strong legs will allow you to stay standing on the board for a more extended period and have more control over the board. This is especially important if waves or wind are causing the board to move around more.
A great way to improve leg strength before starting SUP is with squats. A proper squat is done by bending at the knees, feet shoulder-width apart, with your weight on your heels. Make sure your body is staying in an upright position and that your knees don’t pass over your toes.
You can vary this with a wide squat or a sumo squat by changing the placement of your feet. Try doing these squats with a medicine ball held at chest level to strengthen your core and your legs.
If you have access to a gym, you can also do lunges or step-ups holding weights in each hand. Or try using a treadmill at an incline of 8% or higher to get those legs working!
Learn how to stand up easiest
Learning how to stand up on your paddle board is one of the most challenging tasks to master. The kneeling position is the best way to start learning to stand up on your paddle board. Start by getting on the board and ensuring you are comfortable kneeling.
When kneeling on the paddleboard, your next step is slowly getting up and putting your feet where your knees were. Once you stand up, ensure your knees stay active and place your paddle in the water. Overall, the paddle will help you maintain balance and make sure to properly use your upper body to control the motions of the paddle.
Once you feel comfortable standing up on your paddle board, you can start paddling around. Make sure that when paddling forward, you keep a straight line to help maintain balance and avoid falling off in either direction.
One of the most important things to remember is that standing on a paddleboard is challenging. It takes time, practice, and patience, but mastering it will open many more doors for different activities. If you still need help, consider looking into if you need paddle board lessons.