Stand-up paddle boarding is fast becoming one of the most popular water sports today. It’s easy to learn and provides a lot of physical and mental health benefits. For instance, since you have to keep your balance while paddling, you give your core a mean workout. Your time out on the open water can also have calming and meditative benefits. But since it’s a new sport, few people have heard of it.
If you’re looking at gap year programs in Australia, a great country for water sports, then you need to learn the basics. Of course, if you’re new to stand-up paddleboarding, you’re bound to make a few mistakes at first. But if you keep on making the same mistakes over and over again, something must be down.
Whether you’re a veteran of water sports or it’s your first time on the open water, the information here could help ensure a safer and more fun time. Here are a few of the most common mistakes that beginner paddleboarders make.
1. Always use a leash
Using a leash is one of the most important things in paddleboarding. They help keep you and others safe while paddling. Conditions can change quickly, and without a leash, you can easily lose control of the board.
There are many types of leashes and many attachment points, depending on the stand-up paddleboard you’re using and your style. You have to make sure you know how to choose the correct one for you.
2. Learn how to paddle
Many beginners have committed this mistake because it seemed right at the time. While trying to balance and paddle around, you want the paddle to scoop the water. However, you will soon find out that the paddle goes oppositely as it works better when used in the standing position. It also means that the paddle stroke is smoother and less stress is inflicted on the elbows and shoulders.
Since the shaft is the primary edge, you pull the paddle through the water in a somewhat dawdling position, which improves the blade’s stability. As you perform strokes on the board, the blade is set vertically, which is the optimum angle during the middle of the stroke.
3. Know which way to face
To those who are new to surfing or paddleboarding, it may not be obvious to them which end is the board’s front and nose. Most boards for beginners have a large round nose and tailboards, which offer great stability and a wide EVA foam deck so you can move around.
Before jumping on the stand-up paddleboard, you have to know where the fins are and make sure that they are positioned back when you paddle. The back fins are designed to keep the board straight while you are on the water and aid with grip when surfing over waves. If the fins are in the front, you will find it impossible to move forward even if you tried.
4. Use your core when paddling
Do not use your arms when paddling. Draw your strength from the core. The core is one of the strongest parts of the body and provides the best strength and power for your paddle strokes.
Using only your arms when paddling will tire you out fast and won’t get you much power. Educate yourself with a few basic paddle techniques before hitting the deep water.
5. Keep your eyes forward
When starting with paddle boarding, it feels natural to look down at the board, stare at the water lapping at the deck, and hope that you’re not going to fall overboard. To ensure the best stability while paddling, you have to assume the correct posture, head up, eyes ahead, back straight, and your body’s weight evenly distributed. Looking straight helps ensure that you paddle correctly and keep your balance.
6. Leave space between other people
The world is mostly water, and it often seems that the ocean never ends. However, paddleboarders have to be mindful of swimmers and surfers in the same area. Stand-up paddleboards are large vessels and can easily injure another person. Always be mindful of the people around you while you’re learning how to paddle-board safely and properly. Leave space around you so don’t injure yourself when you fall overboard.
A final word
These things will help ensure a safer and more productive time while you’re out on the open water. Whether you’re looking for a new and exciting sport, a relaxing way to spend your time, or something in between, we’re sure that stand-up paddleboarding will give you what you’re looking for.