stand up paddle board tips for beginners

7 Key actions for stand up paddle beginners

The essential advice to help you get started with SUP in seven simple steps. SUP basics from the experts. We make it fun, easy, and accessible to everyone.

You have the board, the paddle, and the right attire. You’ve also found the perfect spot for your first stand-up paddle board outing. Except for that... feet in the water, you start asking yourself: “How do I put my SUP in the water?” “How do I get on it?” And especially: “How do I stand up on the board with my paddle in hand?” Don't panic: Itiwit offers you 7 key actions to a calm start!

SUP beginners paddle

#1 How to adjust the paddle size

If you can adjust your paddle size,  open the latch, pull the handle to the desired length (use your arm above your head, the the handle should reach the wirst), then close the latch. Now you are ready to go on water !

SUP beginners carry board

#2 Take your sup board and put it in the water

Whether from the car or from the shed at the beach, you will have to carry your board. To help you, use the handle located in the middle of the majority of both rigid and inflatable boards. Then you can just carry your SUP under your arm, as you would a surfboard.   ~The wind is a problem? Carry your board forward to it.  ~You have a long walk ahead? Put your board on your head! Use your SUP’s slip cover as a hat and put your head in the centre of the board for balance.  ~Once close to the water, place your board gently on the sand, the nose facing the water and the fin to land. Attach your leash, raise the tail at the level of the keel and push your board into the water until it no longer touches the bottom.  ~Here we go!~ 

SUP beginners tips

#3 Tame your sup board with your knees

Take advantage of being on your knees on your board to get the balance under control. Put your paddle in front of you, perpendicular to the board to stabilize it.  ~Do you feel confident of your support? So then grab your paddle and start rowing on your knees. This will give you a chance to practice your paddle action while having more stability than when standing up.   

Try to reach far ahead with your paddle and lift it up as soon as it reaches your knee level.~ 

stand up paddle beginners foot

#4 Rowing on your feet on your stand up paddle board

To paddle efficiently on an SUP, place your feet in the middle of the board: one next to the other, along an axis perpendicular to the board’s axis. ~Plunge your paddle into the water, well forward to optimize your stroke. Bend your body slightly forward and stretch your arms out for leverage. The top arm pushes, while the lower arm pulls!  ~When the paddle reaches the level of your feet, stop the movement and do it over again. Switch sides every three or four movements.  ~That’s it, you’re doing stand up paddle!!!~ 

stand up paddle beginners position

#5 Position your body properly in stand-up paddle boarding

Much more than your arms, it is your whole body that provides the connection between the paddle and the board. Thus it is your body that transmits the energy you need to advance. As long as it is properly placed!  

~Once standing, plant yourself firmly and then begin by flexing your knees slightly to adopt an effective paddling position. Stable legs will guarantee good balance.  

~Even when you’re digging ahead to optimize your paddle stroke, keep your back straight. It’s not your back that curves, but your pelvic area, which transmits the forward motion to your back.  

Note: If you are new to SUP or if you have back problems, do not reach too far ahead of you or you’ll risk hurting your lower back. 

stand up paddle beginners paddle

#6 First paddle stroke

You should paddle on both sides to go straight. If you start paddling on the right, your right hand is lower and on the paddle shaft. Your top hand is on the top of the grip. The angle of the paddle faces away from you. Try to keep your arms straight.

Push down on the paddle grip with your top hand. Plant the paddle by pushing the blade all the way under the surface, pull it back to your ankle, then out of the water.

At first, keep your strokes short and close alongside the board.

To go in a reasonably straight line, paddle about 4 or 5 strokes on one side, then switch to the other.

When you switch sides, you’ll reverse hand positions.

SUP fall begginer

#7 Falling and getting back up in sup—the right way

Falling off your SUP is not a big deal. Still, you have to know how to fall without getting hurt!  

Don’t dive forwards or backwards as you might hit your SUP. Try to fall to the sides and keep your paddle forwards so you don’t get hurt with it.  

Also, keep a hold on the handle of your paddle so as not to lose it.~ ~And to get back up on the SUP? Position yourself in the middle of the board, place your paddle on it and climb onto it. Then place the paddle perpendicular to the board and get up.   

Here we go again!~ 

7 key actions for stand up paddle beginners

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