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Get on Your SUP Board

A SUP board is a stable platform but there’s a learning curve for getting on, standing comfortably and moving around on the board. When starting out, choose a calm spot to practice. This video demonstrates paddling while kneeling, standing from the kneeling position and moving around on the board for the best paddling position.

Getting on and standing up on your SUP board take a bit of getting used to. Picking a calm location to start practicing lets you begin the process in the best possible conditions. Later you’ll be ready to paddle when waves and wind are strong, but for now go where it’s calm. In addition to a calm spot, pick one without underwater obstacle; because, yes, you may fall off the board while you’re learning.

Wade out into water deep enough so the board’s fin doesn’t hit the bottom and get damaged. Lay your paddle across the board, just forward of the center carry handle, and place your hands over the paddle. Place one knee on the far side of the carry handle and the other knee on the near side of the handle.

If this is your first time on a board, you’ll probably want to paddle for a while on your knees to get used to the feel of the board on the water. And later, dropping to your knees is a great safety maneuver when the water gets rough.

After you get comfortable paddling while knelling, go ahead and stand up. Place the paddle on the board in front of you, with your fingers over the shaft. Now, one at a time bring your knees up to your chest and stand up, just like recovering from a squat, with your feet flat on the board.

Trim the board by placing your feet in a balanced position so too much of the nose isn’t out of the water and too much of the tail isn’t out of the water. Pressing the paddle blade on the board helps stabilize you as you change positions. Finding that sweet spot gives you the most efficient paddling position.