How to Safely Fall Off a SUP Board

VideoMay 03, 2013

Learning how to safely fall off a SUP board and how to get back aboard are important skills to master. This video shows the best way to land in the water and different techniques for climbing back on the board, rescuing your paddle and standing back up on the board.

At some point, especially as you push the edge of your skills envelope, you may fall off your board. When you do lose your balance, fall away from the board and don’t land on your paddle. Never fall head first, you might strike an underwater object; either fall flat or land feet first.

When you’re in the water, you’ll want to stay with your board; you can use the board to go for your paddle, but not the other way around. The best practice is to wear a leash, making it easy to retrieve the board.

To get back on the board from the side, use the carry handle to assist in pulling your chest onto the board. When climbing up on the board from the tail, push the board down and slide your chest onboard. Be aware that when wearing a foam life jacket, or an inflatable waist PFD in the front, they can snag on the board as you climb on. Once you’re back on the board you can hand paddle your way to gather up your paddle.

To stand back up on the board, start by laying the paddle across the board in front of you. While hanging onto the paddle, get up on your knees and one-at-a-time, bring your feet up onto the board and lift yourself up with your legs, like recovering from a squat.

At this point it’s important to get your paddle in the water. An active paddle provides a stabilizing point for keeping your balance.