Learning how to paddle correctly will help you paddle longer, faster, stronger and may even prevent injury. This video will help you perfect your stand up paddling technique. In it the instructor demonstrates how to perform a basic paddle stroke and how to turn.
The video covers
- the basic turn
- the crossbow turn and
- the step back turn.
Here are some additional tips to familiarize you with the basics of SUP paddling technique.
Don’t pull the water. The idea is to hold your paddle firmly in the water and then pull your board (and yourself) to your paddle.
Reach as far as you can comfortably, but remember that if you reach too far you will be out of balance, which is counter-productive.
Try not to splash when your stroke enters the water. Allow the blade of the paddle to enter the water fully before you begin to pull yourself forward.
Use your entire body for the power phase, which is when you are applying the power to your stroke. Use the rotation of your body, hips and shoulders to drive your paddle. Don’t pull too far back or it will slow your power phase down.
Try not to splash when you pull your board out of the water, the same as when you place the paddle into the water. “Feathering” is one technique you can use to create a smooth release. Feathering can be accomplished by dropping your top shoulder or breaking your wrist inward or a combination of both techniques.
Relax your body during the recovery phase of the stroke. This will help to create a rhythm that you will be comfortable with. Use the recovery phase to focus on your breathing and technique.
Paddling technique is extremely important as it will build a foundation for efficiency and enjoyment. The more efficient your paddle stroke, the longer and faster you can paddle with less fatigue, thus maximizing the pleasure of your experience.
What was the most difficult aspect of learning paddle technique for you? What tips would you share with a SUP beginner? We want to hear your thoughts!