Tip: How to hold your paddle

It was a hot day in August and I was gliding along with a group of SUP 101 students, when the faint echo of a couple yelling something from shore caught my attention.  When I was close enough to hear, they repeated themselves, “Turn your paddles the other way!!”  Since correct blade position is one of the first things I teach in my beginner class, I didn’t want my students to get confused.  I turned back toward my group and with a smile I reassured them, “Don't worry.  We’re doing it correctly.”

It’s a common enough mistake. If you’re picking up a SUP paddle for the first time, or watching someone from afar like our spectators, it may appear more natural to hold the paddle so that the angle of the blade is pointing toward you to “scoop” the water.  When used this way, however, it pushes water up rather than behind you, creates drag and slows you down.  Always hold the paddle so the blade is angled away from you (toward the nose of the board).  In this position, the angle is designed to improve the "catch" – the entry of the paddle into the water at the very beginning of the stroke – grab the water, and provide lift and speed to the SUP as you paddle through the stroke.  Also, most handles are designed to feel more comfortable when the blade is positioned correctly.  Give it a try!

Want to know more?  Join our popular SUP 101 classes and learn how to SUP properly the first time! 

Always hold the paddle so the blade is angled away from you (toward the nose of the board). 

Always hold the paddle so the blade is angled away from you (toward the nose of the board). 

Getting your SUP from point A to point B

“We come into this world head first and go out feet first; in between it is all a matter of balance.“ ~ Paul Boese

I spend a lot of time talking about proper technique while on the water.  But when it comes to SUP, our posture out of the water is just as important as when we're up and paddling - and a recent injury has me more body conscious than ever.  So, I thought I'd spend a little time helping you safely get your SUP from point A (land) to point B (water)! 

Learning how to correctly lift your board is essential if you want to protect your investment and your body (your greatest investment of all)!  Because most Stand-up Paddleboards are heavier and larger than your average surfboards, it's smart to practice proper lifting techniques when getting your gear to the water.  When you're lifting your board, stagger your feet for stability. By moving your feet apart you can increase or decrease the area of your base of support. The larger the base, the easier it is to keep center of gravity above it and stay in balance.  Bend your knees and engage your quads and hamstrings.  Reach your hips back and keep your center of gravity low.  Keep your spine relatively straight and engage core muscles so that arms don't do all the heavy lifting. MOST important, take your time. You're going holoholo (my new favorite Hawaiian word 😊), so relax.  Then, get out there and have fun. 🌺🌊

Learn more in our SUP 101 classes offered every Saturday morning.  Or become a SUP Pro (see classes tab)!

Never drag the board or lift with your back or just your arms!

Never drag the board or lift with your back or just your arms!