You are water-fun enthusiasts. You have seen them and possibly have already tried them on your previous sailing holidays: Paddleboards, also known as Stand Up Paddles or SUPs, is one of the hottest trends for having fun on water, referring to the act of standing on a long board and using a paddle to move through the water.
This strange -at first sight- sport that has become very popular around the world for some reasons and they all revolve around easy access to the water: Stand up boards are more convenient to carry, more resistant, less complicated to operate and far easier to rig than a windsurfer.
In keeping with that easy access theme, one only needs a few basic skills to start. So whether you just want to set off from you sailboat for a quick relaxing exploration around the mooring or you are into to exercising or competing with other paddlers, here are some tips to get you started:
1. Adjustable paddle length
If your have requested a SUP with your boat charter, ask if it comes with an adjustable paddle or the size of the paddle. The suggested paddle length is 10 inches longer than your height. Some paddles have a clamp that can be set at any length; others have pins for prescribed lengths, which will make sharing a paddle easier.
2. Train with the lest possible wind
Prefer days with very light wind to start your training. The small skeg below your paddleboard combined with your body weight, will create windage. So, the less wind, the easier and more fun for first timers to float atop the board and understand how it works.
3. Paddle forward
When you the paddle reaches the water, the tip of the blade should point forward, to give you the most powerful stroke.
4. Find the balance spot
Your feet should be centered about shoulder width. With that in mind, just move around with small adjustments to find the best speed and stability.
5. How to Switch hands
As paddling to one side of the board, you have to switch sides every 6-8 strokes (unless you want to paddle in a circle). To change sides, bring the paddle forward after a stroke, lift it over the centre of the board and let go with your top hand. Grab the shaft just below your bottom hand, place your new top hand back on the hand grip, and reach forward on the opposite side of the board for your next stroke.
6. How to make a turn
When you want to turn around, put your paddle behind your board and pull it forward. Then, the bow of the board will spin towards the paddle. For a quicker turn, step back on the board towards the skep to pop the bow out of the water.
7. Safety equipment
Even if SUPS are not considered actually boats, they are floating vessels and wearing a buoyancy aid is always a good idea, especially if you paddle alone. Wearing something bright-colored will help other boats see you. Additionally, if you fall from your board, it may be blown away from you and be difficult to approach it. For your convenience and safety, we recommend to attach a paddleboard leash.
Whether you crave relieving, soul soothing moments on the water, exploring nearby areas or the heart-thumping challenge of competition, paddleboarding is a great thing to do while boating. It is probably the easiest way to enjoy the water, giving a great muscles workout and fun. Kids love it!