Alright, you want to start paddleboarding. So what do you need to get started? Well, obviously you need a paddleboard. But you will want a few other pieces of equipment as well. Once you get that gear, you will need to figure out exactly how to stand up paddle board. We’ve got the tips and tricks you need to get started paddleboarding!

Paddleboarding Gear

Stand Up Paddle Board

You will need one of these to become a paddleboarder. If you can, try to get one at a local sporting goods store. This way you can save on shipping as these boards tend to be big and quite heavy. REI has a great guide to help you pick the right paddle board.

Paddle
The other half of paddleboarding is the paddle. A basic rule of thumb is to get a paddle that is 6”-8” taller than you.

Leash
This will help keep you attached to your board no matter what. So if you fall, you won’t worry about your board floating away.

Personal Flotation Device
You’ll need one of these, since the Coast Guard classifies a paddle board as a vessel. A good choice is an inflatable PFD which will inflate only when you need it to.

Waterproof Chart
Our waterproof nautical charts are perfect for paddleboarders looking to cruise around the shore or back waters. These charts are waterproof and durable so you can use it on your board.

Tips for paddleboarding

Now that you have all your gear, it’s time to get out on the water.

  • Practice in flat, calm water
  • Climb onto the board in a kneeling position just near the center of the board
  • Feel for the balance of the board
  • Once you find a stable position, start standing one foot at a time
  • This may take a few times to get right, so don’t get discouraged!
  • Keep your feet parallel, hip-width apart
  • Toes should be forward, knees bent, and back straight
  • Keep your eyes level in the direction you are headed, not looking down

How to paddle

  • If you are paddling on the right side, keep your right handle lower on the paddle and the left on the top (vice versa for the left)
  • Keep the elbow of the paddle facing away from you
  • Your arms should be straight, twist from your torso
  • Push the paddle blade under the surface, pull it back towards your ankle, then out of the water
  • Shoot for short strokes close to the board as you are just beginning
  • Do about 4-5 strokes per side at a time, then switch. As you switch sides, switch hand positions.

There you have it! Although it may seem easy from reading this article, paddleboarding can take a bit of time and practice to get used to. Once you do, you’ll be looking for every chance you can to get out on the water.

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