Stand up paddling, also known as SUP, is one of the most popular water sports. Aside from people who already know how to surf, a lot of newcomers also get attracted to this new sport. According to them, SUP is not as hard as it looks like and even beginners like them can easily get the hang of it. It is addictive and fun as long as you know the basics. If you’re new to stand up paddling, here are the basics you need to learn before you take the waters.

 

Basic Gear

Stand up paddling basically has 5 necessary types of equipment. Here’s what you will need:

  • Paddleboard – This is the main equipment where you will stand. Paddleboards vary in shapes and sizes depending on their purpose. It is similar to a surfboard but much thicker to give you stability over water. It is usually made with EPS foam core wrapped with epoxy and fibreglass but there are also inflatable ones for more portability. For beginners, choose a thicker, wider and longer board to be safe. You can move on to smaller sizes if you’ve already mastered it.
  • Paddle – Also an important gear next to the board. It is used to navigate you around the water’s surface. Paddles come in different sizes, designs and Hold your paddle near the handle when paddling in flat waters and near its blade for surf.
  • Personal floatation device (PFD) – If you’re seeking for more adventure and want to go beyond the recreational limits of SUP, you are required to wear a PFD which is mainly a life vest to keep you safe. For beginners, master your SUP skills first before going beyond the limits.

Standing up on your Paddle Board

The first thing to learn is how to balance on your paddleboard. Choose flat waters if you’re still learning. Bring your board somewhere into the water that when you release it, its fins won’t hit the bottom. Mount the board on your knees and try making some strokes on the sides to keep your balance. Stand up slowly, only one foot at a time and slowly stand up with your knees bent a little. Your feet should be apart, about shoulder width, to keep you balanced in the middle of the board.

Basic Strokes

  • Forward Stroke – You use this when you’re aiming to navigate your board forward. Bury your paddle into the water and start strokes on the water. Alternate paddling on each side of the board to keep a straight direction.
  • Turning Stroke – When turning, always place your paddle opposite to the direction you want to go. For example, if you’re turning left, put your paddle at the right side of the board and make a sweeping stroke while turning your torso to the left. Reverse this if you’re turning right.

Stand up paddling can be done on almost all types of water. One of the most popular go-to destinations for paddlers is Jervis Bay. This area is known for its safety on both flat and surf waters which made it a popular choice among new paddlers. Book your Jervis Bay accommodation in advance if you’re planning to stay longer.

SUP is easy, safe and convenient to learn plus a little bit addictive. Learn and experience one of the world’s fastest growing water sports. Grab your gears and start heading the waters now.

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