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 thinking of 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 happen often if you don’t know how to balance on the board yet. Check it out to discover how you can learn more about stand up paddle boarding for the first time. If you are still looking for a great beginner paddleboard you should 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 because of poor balance. This is especially true for beginner paddlers. No matter how good of shape you’re in, you can still have bad balance.
What I mean by practicing off the water is consider practicing yoga in the morning or putting it in with your workout routine. Yoga and paddleboarding are 2 sports that mix well together. Doing yoga at home will get you used to your body and having more control over balancing.
Looking for examples of yoga poses that will help with balancing? Check out this short list.
- Mountain Pose
- Forward Fold
- Warrior 1
- Warrior 2
- Warrior 3
Make sure you have the right equipment
As a beginner, you need to make sure that your paddleboard is big enough for you to stand on. Having too small of a paddleboard can make it a lot harder to balance and overall will make your paddleboard experience harder. The more you weigh, the taller you are, the bigger your paddle board should be.
And the most important parameter is the width. The wider the paddleboard, the easier it is for you 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 that your paddleboard has good stability because this 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 of boards that are designed for certain specific activities like surfing or racing.
Also, keep in mind water condition can greatly impact how easily it is to stand up on your paddle board. Paddling flat on the water can be easier then padling rivers and ocean where falling into the water can heep more often! If you find the you still can’t stand up consider getting a wider board.
Keep your knees slightly bent or flexed
This tip is key 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 rolls 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 first 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. Having strong legs will allow you to stay standing on the board for longer period of time and allow you to have more control over the board. This is especially important if there are waves or wind 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 heals. 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 work on strengthening your core as well as 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 really 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 how to stand up on your paddle board. Start by getting on the board and making sure you are comfortable in the kneeling position.
When in the kneeling position on the paddleboard your next step is to slowly get up and put your feet where your knees were. Once you are standing up make sure 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 are keeping a straight line to help maintain balance and avoid falling off in either direction.
One of the most important things to remember is that learning how to stand up on a paddle board is not an overnight learning process. It takes time, practice and patience but once mastered it will open many more doors for different activities. If you are still struggling you want want to considering looking into if you need paddle board lessons.