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Moving Around and Balancing on Your SUP Board

How and where you stand on the SUP board makes a real difference in your paddling efficiency. This video covers moving around and balancing on your SUP board, and the different ways to stand to keep your balance. Whether you’re taking forward or draw strokes, making pivot turns or surfing waves, these demonstrated stances and movements will help make you a better paddler.

We’ll start out with the neutral stance. Both feet are pointed forward and each are equidistant from their side of the board. This a great position in that it lets you paddle efficiently from both sides of the board.

If you turn one foot toward the outside of the board, and move it slightly back, you’ve assumed the staggered stance. This allows you to rotate your hips and shoulders to that side of the board. This stance is particularly useful for draw strokes and if you plan to paddle on that side for an extended period.

In the hybrid stance you keep one foot pointed forward, as in the neutral stance, and move the other one well back and point the toe at a 45-degree angle to the side. The heel on that foot is near the centerline of the board. This stance lets you rotate the board side-to-side and balance your weight forward or back.

In the surf stance, both feet are widespread, with toes pointed toward one side of the board. This is great for surfing waves but doesn’t work at all on flatwater.

There are an almost unlimited number of variations on how you use these stances and how you move around on the board. All of them involve keeping and shifting your balance. You’ll always keep your knees slightly bent and your back straight. Keeping your head centered over the board as you move around helps maintain good balance.

There are various ways of moving around on the board while maintaining your balance. You can use your paddle as a point of contact. You can hop and shuffle your feet and cross step by crossing one foot over the other.

As your balance improves, play with the various stances and ways of moving around the board. The more relaxed and comfortable you are on the board the more your paddling will improve and the more fun you’ll have.