Beginner Stand-up Paddle Boarding Tips

The beauty of stand-up paddle boarding is that it’s a sport that requires no experience and can be done just about anywhere. So if you’ve got a body of water (or an ocean) nearby and are looking for the perfect summer activity, give this sport a try!

As with any sporting activity, trying out different techniques may lead you to better understand how your board moves through the water and which is more comfortable for your style.

When you’re out on the water, it’s important to have good safety gear. Keep in mind that your main safety device is you! The paddle helps make sure you stay on track by creating a small wave that guides your board around.

This watercraft also has many unique advantages: for instance, the board allows you to stand up straight, which is great for catching waves better and making turns easier. Stand up paddle boarders should steer clear of bridges and other obstacles.

You can easily see over objects like these and know where you are in relation to the shoreline, watercraft, and other people who may be on the water with you.

Due to the lightweight nature of this particular board, you can take it on vacations or, its easy to transport if you have a lake near home. The stand-up paddle board is unique because you’re able to use it as a type of surfboard or even simply as a family activity for those days when fishing isn’t quite successful.

Generally, there is no limit to how long someone can stand up paddle board because your fitness level doesn’t really change much with continued use.

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15 must-know tips for starting beginner Stand-up Paddle Boarding

  1. Get out on the water and practice standing up without using your paddle. Learn the motion of your feet on the board and how they move through waves. Once you master this, it will be easier to use the board without paddling.
  2. Once you’ve got that down, move on to using only your paddle for a short time (maximum 30 seconds).
  3. Once you’ve mastered paddling, add more time to your usual paddle time until you become comfortable enough to get used to riding faster with just using a paddle.
  4. Try varying your speeds while only using a paddle as well: slow, fast… even jog.
  5. Be sure to use both sides equally when you’re paddling.
  6. Keep in mind that it’s hard to ride sideways. If you keep doing this, try to figure out how to move your board into a diagonal position so that you can ride sideways more easily too.
  7. Just like with surfing, it’s vital to master edging while paddle boarding . Using both sides the same is one way of doing this. If you’re not sure how far your board should be from the water at any point, try using an app (such as McMoon) or have a friend count the distance between the shoreline and your board.
  8. Be sure that your paddle board is strong and steady enough for you. It can be hard to use a board with holes on the bottom if you’re only able to paddle slowly. Always make sure that you’re using a board meant for stand up paddle boarding, not one meant for lying down on like a surfboard.
  9. Always test out your paddle board on smoother waters before going into rough waves in case it breaks or damages it badly (this can happen since it’s not meant for large amounts of water).
  10. When using a paddle board, and especially when riding a wave, never assume that your board is stable and balanced. Test out how your board moves on different parts of the wave, and practice edging to make sure that you can maintain the balance on your board.
  11. You want to try speed when you’re first able to stand up paddle board but don’t go too fast immediately. Make sure that you’re ready for it before trying to ride this fast.
  12. Be sure to always have safety gear, including a life jacket (if it’s warm enough) and a personal flotation device (if it’s not). You also want to make sure that your board is equipped with a leash or some kind of tether so that it’s hard for you to lose it if you fall off.
  13. Be careful if you’re surfing while paddle boarding; this can make your board break if you drop in on the wrong way. Standing up paddle boarding is best done when the waves come and get picked up by the paddle, rather than when they hit directly into it while you’re standing on top of the watercraft.
  14. In a pinch, use your hands to stabilize the board so that you can get back on it safely while standing up paddle boarding. If you’re not sure how to get back on your board, try it out in a safe environment first.
  15. If you’re falling off of your paddle board and into the water, keep your hands close so that you can put them on the board before it falls. You can try this out with friends first or by yourself if you have a life vest on so that you can ensure that you’re able to get back onto the craft without much trouble.

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Getting started with paddle boarding

To get into the sport of stand up paddle boarding, you can visit a local surf shop, your local sporting goods store, and any other stores that specialize in water sports equipment.

You can also check out websites such as to find people who are interested in selling their boards; they may be willing to reduce the price for you if you agree to buy theirs.

Paddle boarding is a growing industry, so finding both used and new boards shouldn’t be too difficult if you look around online a little bit more.

In conclusion

Stand up paddle boarding is a wonderful sport that is fun to learn, and you can become proficient at it in just a short amount of time. It’s also an excellent and low-impact way for people that don’t like the idea of going on a jet skis, waterslides, or other watercraft they have to pay for but don’t want to go out and buy their own stand-up paddle board.

About the Author

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.