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10 Most Common SUP Mistakes Made by Beginner Paddle Boarders

Posted on August 10 2016

SUP has become a popular sport worldwide. People of varying age groups are engaging in this fun activity to enjoy the water, improve fitness, and spend quality time with friends. However, newbies who are eager to ride the waves, implement their own ideas and commit many rookie mistakes.

Understanding and correcting these common mistakes is essential to avoid scary situations while SUP paddling. What’s more, it will help you become a better surfer! Here are a few common mistakes made by beginner standup paddlers: 

#1 Dropping a board on the ground

The SUP board is made from several materials, including foam and fiberglass. You have to be careful while placing it on the ground. If you drop it hard, the board might get chipped or cracked. The shell of the board will get damaged and allow water to penetrate into the core of the board while surfing. Surfing on such a board might be potentially hazardous. Use UV board covers to reduce discoloration & over heating.

#2 Using just the arms

Most people paddle using their arms but this is not the correct technique. Paddling with arms could prove to be very tiring and won’t yield much stroke power. The entire body must be used – core, legs, back, and arms to muscle through the stroke while paddling.

#3 Looking at the board

Some people look at the board while paddling. This affects balancing. The user must feel the board with the feet and look out toward the horizon to stay balanced on top.

#4 Falling forward on the board

Never fall forward on the board, fall sideways! Also, don’t try to brace the board with your hand as you could injure your thumb!

#5 Catching a big wave

Avoid catching a wave that’s too big for you. Big waves are very powerful and can pick and slam you down. Learn to surf on small 1 to 2 foot waves first. Surf in conditions that suit your skill levels.  Also, while paddling in white water, understand its power and flow.

#6 Getting in the way of other surfers

Don’t get in the way of other paddlers. There are chances you might get hit by their boards, increasing your risk for injury. Since you are still learning the ropes, avoid going to crowded places to surf.

#7 Not reading the weather conditions

A lot of rookies don’t read the weather conditions and paddle out into areas where there are currents, winds and big waves. It could get you in trouble and returning to the beach might become challenging and tiresome. So make sure to read the weather forecast and learn the geography of the beach before heading out to surf.

#8 No leash

A leash is must-have gear for beginner surfers.  It prevents a paddler from potential hazards and keeps the board from floating away. Paddlers need to choose a leash that releases reliably and suits their board length.

#9 Using the wrong equipment

New surfers often choose the wrong size of surfboards. When learning to surf, you should select a board that is soft and bigger. Bigger boards are stable and buoyant while small and thinner boards don’t offer the buoyancy required to ride the wave right way.

#10 Holding the paddle backwards

Don’t paddle forward at all as it will slow down your momentum. The blade of the paddle should point towards the front of your board. It will generate lift in the stroke, helping you glide your board across the water effortlessly.

There are several mistakes that beginner Sup paddlers make, which can seriously undermine their ability to progress and deliver a great performance. Hope this information makes a difference to your stand up paddling sessions!

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