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Getting out on the water on your paddleboard is a great for you mentally and physically, but staying out on your paddleboard depends on if you can comfortably stand or kneel on your board!
Where do you stand on a paddleboard?
You want to position yourself in the centre of your board lengthways so it doesn’t tip, and at the widest part of the board too for most stability. This is generally where the handle for your board is and a great benchmark on where to stand to reduce your likelihood of falling in!
When standing on your paddleboard, you want to be able to look down and have the handle of the board (whether inflatable or hard) in between you feet, you want to stand shoulder-width apart evenly around the handle for most stability. You want to have your feet facing forwards or slightly angled outwards if comfortable, you don’t want to have your feet turning far to the side and near the edges as creates more movement sideways on the board!
A great tip to continue standing up is to always have your knees braced and slightly bent when standing on the board. This is so that you have more movement in your legs and can react to any movement on the water and waves on the board. We find if you stand with your knees locked back, with any movement you tend to run off the board and lose your balance!
Once feeling comfortable on the board, look ahead of you and start to paddle – remember it is easier to balance if you are moving, the hardest part is going from the board being still to moving!
Poole Harbour Watersports Tip: If once you get up on the board you want to move but are felling unsteady to move, we recommend using your paddle as an anchor, hold it at the top and put the blade on the board in front of you and use it to stabilize you so you can move your feet position comfortably.
Why would I stand at the back of the paddleboard?
When you move back on your paddleboard, your weight is put more on the fins, and as such the board is more reactive when turning etc. The classic progressive move of the step-back turn, in which one foot is at the back of the board and the other slightly forward as you turn, allows the nose of the board to lift and the board to turn a lot more quickly.
Check out this video on moving down the board and step- back turns:
Can I stand further forward on my paddleboard?
When you want to go faster or want to accelerate more going into a headwind, moving your position closer to the nose can help this. It tucks the nose of your board into the water more and can help you move through the water better in strong winds, we don’t recommend moving away off the deck pad though, so not much movement forward is needed as can compromise steering and balance.
If you want any more advice on standing on your paddleboard, we offer paddleboard lessons so give us a call on 01202 700503 or checkout our SUP Lesson page here.