SUP Paddling Techniques

Last Updated on September 2, 2020

SUP is a form of surfing and extremely versatile. It stands for stand up paddle. In standup paddle surfing, the surfer stands on the surfing board and paddles it to propel through the water. It is a well-recognized outdoor sports activity.

Standup paddle surfing is done for recreational purposes and racing on different water bodies as well. While surfing, a surfer gets to experience the beautiful view around the water body and can also get a close-up view of the underwater scenario.

SUP Paddling Techniques

It is a vigorous core workout and a stress buster which requires a surfing board and a paddle. A standup paddler also needs a lifejacket and leash. It is difficult in the first few attempts.

Standing on a board slightly kneeling and paddling propelling through the waves sounds tricky. However, the difficulty level increases the fun. Paddling becomes easier once a surfer learns the techniques of paddling and applies them properly.

There are a few techniques which can make standup paddle surfing easy and comfortable. Knowing these techniques is a must for any paddler.  The paddling techniques are different from kayak paddling.

In kayaking, the kayaker sits on the kayak and then paddles, whereas in SUP paddling the paddler paddles standing on the board the whole time. It requires a good balance, hence a sort of multitasking. The techniques applied in paddling ensure comfortable and safe surfing.  So, let’s discuss the paddling techniques in details.

Choosing the right equipment

For a smooth ride, the equipment used in surfing plays a vital role. SUP surfing also needs high-quality equipment for ensuring a comfortable surf. All the efficiently applied techniques go in vain due to the bad quality gears.

Those who are apprehensive about the expenses must know that the investment in good quality products will ensure durability and the level of enjoyment will be so smooth and comfortable that the cost will be covered pretty soon.

So, invest in a high-quality paddle and other gears as well. Many affordable yet high-quality SUP surfing gears are available in the market.

Paddle length

Paddle length plays the trick when it comes to SUP surfing. Make sure to choose the right length. The easiest way to buy the ideal paddle length is to depend on the height of the individual. Buy a paddle that towers you.

In other words, the perfect length of the paddle should be your height plus your handbreadth. Stand straight, put your hand, forming a five on your head and measure. You get the perfect length paddle.

Stand right

Buying the right gears, especially the right length paddle, it is time for applying the simple techniques rightly. Stand on the center of the board to keep a proper balance continuously. Stand parallel to the forward-facing surfing board. The gap between the feet should be shoulder-width apart. The knees should be a bit flexed.

Holding the paddle right

There is a specific way to hold the paddle for a good stroke. Hold the paddle in such a way that the grip and the top of your head stay at the same level. Hold the grip with one hand and the shaft with other. Do not take the grip of the paddle way too above the head or down. Hold close to your body approximately an arm’s length.

Ensure a perfect stroke

For a perfect stroke, you must have to put the correct amount of pressure on the paddle. Too much pressure might hamper the balance, and less pressure will do absolutely nothing. Make sure the hand that is on the grip and the tip of the blade stay perpendicular.

Dip the paddle, and the blade must angle away from the paddler. Plant the blade in the water straight with the right amount of force. The catch should be perfect and clean, with no water splashing. Remember to dip the blade not too deep in the water, immersing it a few feet is enough. Planting it out of comfort zone might make you off-balance.

Avoiding dragging the paddle

Dragging of the paddle should be done to a certain length. Drag the paddle till it reaches the side of the feet. Pull it back immediately. Hold the paddle parallel to the surfboard rail while pulling it back.

Dragging past the feet will slower the board and might wear you out. The pulling out should also be clean with no water splash just like the catch.

Paddle close to board rail

Keep the paddle close to the surfing board. The paddler must be very careful while paddling close to the rail as the paddle might hit the surfing board and disrupting the balance.

Change the side

Change the side of the paddling after every few strokes. Changing the side of paddle after 12-15 strokes provide fresh energy. It eliminates muscle fatigue.

Final Words

Techniques vary from person to person. As it is said, different strokes for different folks. The phrase fits well in the case of applying techniques in any task. The basic techniques remain the same for everyone, but efficiency comes with practice and application. Even the applying procedure differs from person to person. So, with the help of some of these basic techniques, construct your own SUP paddling method to ensure maximum comfort while surfing on the waves.


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