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10 Newbie mistakes made by paddleboarders

Anyone who has ever admired the stamina of paddle boarders (or stand up paddle boarders to be more precise) has usually thought that it looks so easy – so why don’t I give it a go?

Well, paddle boarding is a really fun sport and it won’t take you very long to get the hang of it. There are, however, a few mistakes that all newbies make, so if you want to look like a professional on your board, make sure to avoid these 10 mistakes. 

Forgetting to use your leash:

Anyone who surfs will already know that if you become separated from your board, it can be a heck of a long swim back. So always leach yourself to your board and keep yourself safe.

funky stand up paddleboard

Paddling backwards:

This is one of the most common mistakes made by newbies because they hold the paddle back to front. The angle of the paddle needs to veer away from you and towards the front of your board.

stand up paddleboard funkys up

Using the paddle as a push pole:

Don’t be tempted to use your paddle as a push pole to propel yourself forward in shallow water by pushing off the bottom. This will damage or even break your paddle.

stand up paddleboard bamboo aqua

Not taking care of the fin:

Just like surfers who are always careful not to damage their fin in shallow water, you need to do the same.

stand up paddleboard funky sup swirly

Where’s the front end?

Believe it or not, some newbies can’t tell the front from the back end of their paddle board. The easiest solution is to look for the fin, which is always located at the back end of the board.

cmp sup crossover bamboo

Looking down:

It’s so easy to look down at your feet or where you are paddling when you are a newbie, but this tends to make you unstable on the board, overbalancing and away you go! Instead, focus on the horizon or something ahead and just relax into it.

stand up paddleboard cmp boards

Using your arms too much:

When you watch paddle boarders it looks as if they are just using their arms to propel themselves along. If you do this however, you will quickly tire yourself out. Instead, use your core muscles, as well as your legs, back and arms to move yourself along. This gives you a smoother, less tiresome and more efficient ride.

crowding others paddle boarding

Crowding others:

This includes other paddleboarders, swimmers and surfers. Don’t crowd people and give everyone, including yourself, enough space to have a great time on the water.

taking on too much

Taking on too much:

If you are a newbie, don’t take on waves that you know won’t only challenge you but throw you off your board. Stay within your skill level and slowly increase the wave heights as you become more experienced or you might even try your hand at sup yoga.

stand up paddle boarding basics

Not looking after your board:

Your board wasn’t cheap, so make sure that you don’t leave it lying around in the sun as this can delaminate your board very quickly. With these 10 tips, you should be paddle boarding like a pro in no time at all.


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