How To Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) For Beginners Complete Guide-2022

How To Stand Up Paddle Board

How To Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) For Beginners Complete Guide-

Stand Up Paddle Surf is a sport that does not involve great difficulty, but if you want to do it correctly, with confidence and total security for greater enjoyment, it is highly recommended to do at least one initiation course, where we will learn about the material (characteristics, types of boards, how to choose the ideal board, types of paddle and ideal height) to know the ocean and the meteorology (analyze and choose the area well, types of waves, how the bottom acts, the wind) about safety (conditions difficult, currents, bathers and boats) and of area SUP techniques (finding the symmetry axis, playing with the center of gravity, position, paddling system, turns, how to take advantage of the waves and the breeze, etc.

There are numerous options for using the SUP, among the main ones are the following:

Video: How To Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)

What is Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)

Stand Up Paddle Surf (SUP) is an ancient form of gliding in which the surfer uses a paddle to move through the water while standing on a surfboard. SUP has its origin in the roots of the Polynesian peoples. The Hawaiian translation is Ku Hoe He’s Nalu; stand up, paddle, surf a wave. Recently it has been shown that it may also have its origin in Peru, on the beaches of northern Peru, there was already the “Caballito de Totora”, saying that in pre-Columbian Peru you could already see the indigenous people riding the rapids of the rivers in the so-called “Caballitos de Totora”, neither more nor less than canoes made with reeds.

Another event that has surprised us is that the famous “Tiki”, known as the god of waves, wind, and weather in Polynesia, has been identified as of Peruvian origin in many of the national archaeological paintings and monuments.

Coastal crossings visiting small coves and places that cannot be reached on foot, in contact with nature, enjoying the landscape offered by our coasts and its biodiversity, both its fauna and its flora. These walks in the company of friends can be relaxing and unique moments.

Initiation to waves, all those passionate about waves and surfing will see another dimension in this sport since beforehand we stand on the board and we can enjoy a unique perspective and choose the best waves, as well as being able to practice this sport both with small waves (more complicated with conventional boards) and with larger waves.

Crossings with downwind (downwind): consists of rowing and assisted by the wind following its direction and thus not fatigue so much and advance many more miles, you can even go from one island to another as it happens in Hawaii.

Crossings with a headwind: to work with more resistance, you can row against a light breeze and thus work more resistance, always taking into account our ability to return to a safe point.



Its popularity as a modern sport has its epicenter in the Hawaiian Islands.

The most current history dates back to the 1960s when the Beach Boys on Waikiki Beach used their longboards & canoe paddles to assist tourists in reading to surf. It also allowed them to have better visibility of their group of Surf instructors and to give notice of the arrival of the series in an easy way. Thanks to their vertical position they could see the waves much earlier than the surfers who are located at sea level. As time passed the designs of the boards and the fashions changed, rowing was lost in the history of surfing. Only a few surfers continued to paddle.


In the early 2000s, Hawaiian surfers like Dave Kalama, Brain Keaulana, Archie Kalepa, and Laird Hamilton began SUP as an alternative form of practice, on non-surfing days. For them, Stand Up Paddle Surfing was a training method that allowed them to stay in shape for the big days of “tow-in surfing” (a modality that allows surfing in big waves towed by a jet ski). Over the years they found themselves participating in events like the Molokai Oahu Paddleboard Race and the Makaha Board Big Surf Classic. Now many SUPers can be found at “Canoe and Paddleboard” events as participants in their own category.

In SUP you can row in the open sea, in ports, in lakes, rivers, or in any large body of water, which allows us to enjoy different landscapes and different states of the aquatic environment, with the uncertainty that this entails. One of the advantages of Stand Up Paddle Surf is the angle of visibility.

Due to the height and the bipedal position above the water you can see both the bottom and the entire surface of the water, which allows better visualization of the aquatic features that we would not be able to see otherwise. Another advantage of this sport is that by choosing the optimal conditions it can be practiced by all kinds of people from an early age to more veterans. Being an excellent way to improve our physical condition and stay healthy.

Surf or SUP Surf? Get on the wave!

How To Stand Up Paddle Board
Surf or SUP Surf? Get on the wave!

For a few years, the beaches of our coasts have only lacked a soundtrack with the hits of the Beach Boys … and it is that surfing is fashionable. Surfing used to hit hard on the islands, on the Cantabrian coast, or in Tarifa, places where the waves are so big that for a moment we can think that we are in the Pacific. In the rest of the peninsula, we were dying of envy, the calm waters of the Mediterranean did not allow you to move on them unless you did it on a windsurfing board. I still remember my despair in the course I enrolled in as a teenager: not a drop of air was blowing and instead of riding on the waves I spent all the time maintaining a precarious balance on a board that did not advance, fighting with a sail that he weighed a quintal and losing the battle with each attempt.

How To Stand Up Paddle Board
How To Stand Up Paddle Board

SUP Surf

Today windsurfing boards weigh much less and are easier to handle, but for those of us who lost interest in this sport, a more comfortable one has emerged: paddle surfing or paddleboarding, also known by its English name stand up paddle. paddle surf, stand up paddle surf, or by its initials SUP. It consists of standing on a Stand Up Paddleboard and gliding over the waters due to the momentum provided by paddle surfing.

By not having to load and counteract the weight of sail, it is much easier than windsurfing – practically in the first class you are already sailing through the waters – and a lot of fun. It is practiced in the sea, but also in lakes and rivers, even in swimming pools. It is also a discipline in which all muscle groups are worked, but especially the core, and which also provides an important postural improvement.


SUP surfing has its origins in the Polynesian villages, although it became popular in Hawaii: in the 1960s, surf instructors on Waikiki Beach used their longboards and rudimentary canoe paddles, to have better visibility of their group, take photos of your students and give notice of the arrival of the waves in an easy way.

In the early 2000s, some Hawaiian surfers like Dave Kalama, Brain Keaulana, and Archie Kalepa began paddleboarding as an alternative to their training. This new variant of surfing allowed them to train and go out on the water without waves or wind, but also to ride the most gigantic waves in the world.


To practice Stand Up Paddle you only need two elements: a Stand-Up Paddleboard and a SUP paddle. With these two elements, you can now go out to the water to row on your board and start enjoying the sensation of sliding on the water. However, there are a lot of accessories; To start with, the wetsuit, essential in winter or in very cold waters. There are also people who, especially in areas of rougher seas, use helmets, vests, and tie ropes for the ankle and knee, which keep you attached to the board and prevent it from moving away from us when we fall. 

How To Stand Up Paddle Board


The ideal is to start in one of the surf schools or sports centers that offer courses or individual classes in which they include the material. I started practicing it at the Espai de Mar in Barcelona, ​​a municipal facility located on Barceloneta beach where, in addition to SUP surf, they teach other “aquatic” disciplines such as surfing (from October to May), Pilates SUP (yes, Pilates on a table, in the sea, a joy), swimming in open water and others that are done in the sand such as volleyball or yoga on the beach. Throughout Spanish geography, there are places to do it, even in areas where there is no sea since it is a discipline that can be carried out in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Here you have a list of a few of them.

SUP surf or classic surf?

One difference between the modern idea of ​​surfing and SUP is that SUP does not need a wave. In this new sport, you can paddle in the open sea, in ports, in lakes, rivers, or any large body of water, and there is no need for wind. On the other hand, to do classic surfing you need waves, wind, eddies. we can only do it from October to May, and not every day.

In addition to suitable weather conditions, you need a lot of expertise, you don’t start riding the waves the first day you go out, just getting up on the board is hard enough. But if you are in a coastal area with rough seas, take advantage and try surfing, it gives a feeling of wild freedom that will raise your adrenaline and leave you exhausted, well trained, and happy.

At dawn or the light of the moon

How To Stand Up Paddle Board
Surf or SUP Surf? Get on the wave!

It has become very fashionable to go out at dawn, and on nights with the full moon. It is another way to enjoy the sea, to feel the unique energy that is felt when receiving the first rays of the sun or the light of the moon. Last Monday with Espai de Mar We went out to enjoy the full moon in the Mediterranean.

It was the first time that I “sailed” at night and the experience was very exciting. The waters were calm, you could only hear the sound of the oar plowing through the waters, and in the distance, the music that came from one of the bars in Barceloneta. The moon rose enormously on the horizon, over a very flat black sea.

We turned away from the coast and stopped to enjoy the moment. Back, I had my little adventure. A fish trapped on the keel of my board, I felt a loud bang and was thrown into the water. With the scenes from Jaws Around my head, I got on the board in less than a second, I had to row with my arms until I was able to retrieve my paddle that was floating a few meters away.

Falling into the water at night is impressive, even if you are on the coast of Barcelona and you know that the biggest thing you can find is a sardine. It’s part of the thrill of the experience, which makes you feel like Captain Ahab himself facing off with Moby Dick.

How to Stand Up Paddleboard: SUP Board Tips for Beginners

How To Stand Up Paddle Board

Jump into the water with these simple tips on how to stand up paddle boarding.

Stand-up paddleboarding (or SUP) is a great beginner rowing sport that is easy to master. But don’t be disappointed! Almost every muscle group in the body is worked on this.

It’s also a great way to explore remote rivers or local shores. And the inflatable surfboard makes it easy for you to take it on any adventure.

If you’re new to the sport, don’t worry! With our simple tips and tricks, you’ll be heading to the water’s edge in no time.

In this text:

  1. How to choose a stand up paddle board?
  2. What table should I choose?
  3. How to practice stand up paddle boarding?
  4. How to hold the oar?
  5. How to do a forward stroke ?
  6. What to wear to stand up paddle boarding?
  7. What to bring
  8. SUP board transport
  9. Security advice
  10. Stand up paddle boarding vs. kayak

How to choose a stand up paddle board?

Among all the different types of SUP out there, you might be wondering which board to buy and which board size best suits your needs. If you are a beginner, there are some simple questions to keep in mind when choosing a SUP.

Inflatable board or hardboard?

Inflatable table:

  • Easy to transport on a bike or public transport in a SUP backpack
  • Ease of storage at home
  • Very durable, good for newcomers to the sport who can accidentally hit sharp objects


  • Can be transported by car, truck, or SUV
  • Space is needed to store it at home.
  • There are many types of hard boards because they have the classic style; This means that you can easily find a suitable size for yourself.
  • Faster than inflatable SUP boards and more stable in rough waters.

What table should I choose?

How To Stand Up Paddle Board

From left to right: surfboard, ride, versatile surfboard, and racing board.

  • For Beginners: Beginners will want a versatile board, which is the most common type. You want something stable that helps you balance at first, but also something strong that doesn’t matter if it gets hit by a newbie.
  • For Fishing: Choose a board with a wider platform and perhaps specialized accessories for fishing equipment.
  • For walks: get along, narrow board to help you cover longer distances. A SUP board with a kayak seat could be ideal if you spend a whole day strolling.
  • For surfing: SUP surfboards are shorter and narrower at the tips. This makes them easier to control on a wave.
  • Race boards: They are longer and therefore faster, but they are also less stable, so they are not recommended for beginners.

How to practice stand up paddle boarding?

How to stand on the table?

What do you do on a stand-up paddleboard? You stand up, of course! But even this can be challenging because it takes a few tries to find the balance.

To launch the board, take it into the water by holding the carry handle in the middle. Place the oars on the board and get on, but first kneel in the center of the board. Slowly step in one foot at a time, and rise up from the squatting position. You should spread your feet at shoulder height, one on the right and one on the left of the carry handle.

Get up higher until your knees are only slightly bent, but make sure your back is straight at all times. The fingers should be facing forward and so should you. Looking ahead helps you keep your balance.

How To Stand Up Paddle Board

How to stand up on a SUP board? Make sure to look forward to keeping your balance.

How to hold the oar?:

Although it seems illogical, hold the paddle with the angle of the paddle away from you instead of towards you. Place one hand on the grip handle on the top and the other on the bottom of the shovel. If you place the shovel over your head, when bending your elbows, make sure they are at 90-degree angles. You will rotate your hand position as you switch sides.

How To Stand Up Paddle Board
When holding the paddle on the SUP board, make sure the angle of the paddle is facing away from you.

How to do a forward stroke ?:

The traditional forward stroke consists of 5 phases.

Reach: Bend at the hips, lean forward, and increase the paddle into the water as far as you can to the front of the board.

Hunt the water: submerge the paddle in the water.

Power: With the paddle in the water, move it across the board. Your arms should be exact and, together with the paddle, form a triangle.

Exit: Once the paddle is equal to your feet, come out of the water on its side and remember to turn the paddle 90 degrees so that it comes out of the water from the narrow end.

Recovery: put the paddle back on the front of the board and start over.

To make sure you are moving forward, do not move the paddle past your feet; otherwise, the table will start to rotate. You can change sides after paddling a bit.

An important aspect to remember is that you should use the muscles in your midsection and legs, not your arms. This will make it easier to paddle, put less pressure on your arms, and you can exercise your entire body.

How To Stand Up Paddle Board
From left to right, we see the rower in the scoping phase; second, making sure to look straight ahead; third, in the grip and power phase; and fourth, in the liberation phase.


How to do a reverse stroke?:

A reverse stroke helps you stop rowing or slow down. Move to the back end of the board instead of the front. Put the paddle into the water from the end and move it forward towards you.

How To Stand Up Paddle Board
When you do a reverse stroke, the paddle goes in the opposite direction to the forward stroke.

How to do a twisted stroke?:

A twist stroke allows you to turn while continuing to move. Position the paddle, just as you do in the forward stroke, away from the front of the board. Next, do a wide outward stroke in a semicircle around the board to the rear end. Doing this on the true view of the board will help you turn left and vice versa.

How To Stand Up Paddle Board
To do a twisted stroke with the SUP board, swing the paddle out to the side as far as possible.

How to stand up paddle boarding in the ocean vs. how to do this sport in a river?

Doing this sport in a river or lake will be easier than in the ocean which is susceptible to stronger waves, currents, and tides. A boardwalk is good for ocean riding because it is long and narrow and glides well in more difficult conditions.

In the case of a lake or river, most tables will work fine. But inflatables are ideal if you are traveling from one lake to another because they can be deflated and easily carried to the next place.

What to wear to stand up paddle boarding?

What should you wear when this sport really depends on the temperature and the chances of you falling into the water?

When it’s hot: on a hot summer day, don’t be afraid to row in just your bathing suit and barefoot. You can also wear sports shoes for water or nautical shoes.

When it’s cold: When it’s cold, you probably feel the need to wear a wetsuit. But these suits really only keep you warm when you are submerged in the water. If you are a beginner and you know that you will fall off the board many times in the beginning, this is the perfect outfit. But if you’re out of the water, this suit will just get sweaty and sticky.

Opt for synthetic fabrics: if you have already mastered the SUP board and do not plan to fall off it for the moment, choose a dry suit or other waterproof clothing. The trick is to layer your clothes well. Use a base layer made from synthetic fabrics like polypropylene or polyester. The insulating layer should be a woolen fabric made from thick polyester. Cover all of this with an extra waterproof jacket.

Surely, you also want to cover your pants. Wearing synthetic leggings underneath and waterproof pants on top will keep you warm. If you think you’ll get splashed (not a pun!), Wear a waterproof pair of rowing gloves so your hands don’t get cold.

How To Stand Up Paddle Board
What should I bring to stand up paddle boarding?


  • SUP and paddle
  • Inflatable SUP board backpack
  • Pump for inflatable SUP board
  • Water bottle or hydration backpack
  • Dry bag
  • Lifejacket
  • Car luggage rack for surfboards to carry a hard SUP board

Transporting the surfboard

Carrying an Inflatable SUP Board: Simply use a SUP backpack to store your paddle, pump, and deflated SUP board. Just a warning: the SUP board backpack can be heavy if you plan to hike long distances. But, without a doubt, it is an easy way to transport the board by plane, car, public transport or bicycle.

Hard Board – The easiest way to transport a hard SUP board is on the roof of the car. There are car racks or truck racks specifically for stand-up paddleboards that easily allow you to take the board wherever you go. Some even come doubles, for surfboards and kayaks, so you can switch between the two sports easily.

Security advice:

  • Do you have to know how to swim? And it is. It is important to know how to swim in case you fall in deep water.
  • Always paddle wearing a life jacket. In some areas, it is even illegal to do without one. Check your local authorities twice, but in general, it’s always recommended to use one.
  • Remember to wear sunscreen because water reflects sunlight.
  • Never row after consuming alcohol.
  • Even on a warm day, make sure you have dressed appropriately in case you fall into the water.
  • Never row alone in a remote place if you are a beginner.
  • Only paddle in places where you would swim safely.
  • Choose a calm lake or river to practice this sport.
  • Check the wind direction while you paddle. Going against the wind can be difficult. And if the wind gets too strong, get down on your knees and row like that until it calms down.

Stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking: which is better for me?


  • An inflatable SUP board is easier to carry on the paths between bodies of water. Also, it’s easier to transport it if you don’t have a car, truck, or SUV.
  • Easier for warm days: just jump on the board in the water if you want to cool off quickly.
  • SUP allows you to work your entire body, including your midsection, legs, quads, and back.


  • It travels faster and can cover long distances.
  • Easier to maneuver in choppy waters like rapids.
  • Because you are seated, you can cover longer distances without getting as tired.
  • But just because you’re not standing still doesn’t mean your abs, back, and even legs aren’t working as well.

How to Stand Up Paddleboarding: The Complete Guide


How to paddle? Good question! Paddleboarding has been one of the most popular outdoor sports in recent times. If you live near a body of water or a river, there’s a good chance you’ve seen people paddle boarding. Stand-up paddleboarding looks really fun, but it’s also a little scary. Is it difficult to stand on a paddle?

So, how do you go paddleboarding? It’s easy to learn if you’re willing to take the time. Follow these steps to have a good time and progress in paddleboarding.

  • Wear Safety Gear: Stand-up paddleboarding is a safe sport, but it never hurts to put on a life jacket and leash to keep your board close at hand.
  • Stand up: If you can stand on dry land, you can stand on the paddleboard.
  • Start paddling: Keeping the back of the paddle back, dip the paddle into the water and pull.
  • Equip yourself: If you enjoyed trying out a rental paddle board, there are plenty of options for choosing the perfect paddleboard and accessories. These can make a big difference in the practice of paddleboarding.
    Each of these steps can be broken down into smaller steps… how to stand up, how to set up the paddle and start paddling, safety tips, and lots of details on how to choose a paddleboard and other equipment.

How to stand on a paddle board

Is it difficult to stand up on a paddle? Not that much. If you can stand on dry land, you can stand on a paddle board. SUPs, for stand-up paddleboarding, are designed to remain stable even with one person standing on them. To stand on a paddle, relax and stand up. To get the most out of your first paddleboarding experience, follow these tips:

  • Choose calm water. For your first attempt at paddle boarding, choose a small lake or a pond rarely used by boats. Early morning and late evening are good times as the water will be calm and flat.
  • Start in shallow water. Place your board, nose first, in about knee-deep water. This will allow the board to float, but will also provide you with a solid base to climb on.
  • Find the center. Paddleboards have a carrying handle in the middle of the board. This grip marks the point of balance of the board. You should stand directly over this grip for the best balance.
  • Get on the paddle. Stand next to the board in the water, grab the opposite rail (edge) and step onto the board on your knees and onto your hands.
  • Find your balance. Stand up while remaining on your knees. This will help you find the point of balance on the board and make you feel more comfortable. You can even paddle a bit on your knees to feel its movement in the water.
  • Grasp the edges. Use your hands to hold the edges of the board to stay stable.
  • Get on your feet. While holding the edges of the board, lift off one knee, bring that leg forward, and place your foot where your knee was. Do the same with the other leg.
  • Take a break. While you’re on your feet, but still holding the edges of the board, pause for a while. Make yourself comfortable with this point of balance before making up.
  • Stand up! Now that your feet are on the board, stand up carefully.
  • Stay in balance. Save your feet parallel and front the front of the board. Keep your body centered on your feet.
  • Don’t look down. Just like in the movies, you will fall if you look down. Keep your eyes fixed on the horizon to help your body maintain a sense of balance.

Learn to fall

Now that you have mastered the standing position on the board, it’s time to learn how to fall (the video is in English, my easy to understand). Even the most experienced paddlers fall down from time to time.

Falling from a paddle board is no more dangerous than jumping into a swimming pool. When you fall, make sure it is in the water and not on the board. The water is soft, the paddles are not.

Keep your paddle in hand if you can. You won’t have to swim to get it back.

Better, if you lose the paddle, don’t worry. You can pick it up once you get back on the paddle. Just use your hands to propel the board towards the paddle.

Once in the water, return to the board. Grab the carrying handle and let your legs float behind you. Pull-on the handle and kick your feet to get your body back on the board. You can grab the opposite rail with the other hand to help you. Once you are back on the paddle, you can get down on your knees and stand up again.

To get back on the paddle, do not put your legs under the board. If you grab the board, and leave your legs under the board, you’ll just flip it over when trying to climb up. Your legs should be behind you to facilitate the climb.

If you have a life jacket equipped, you don’t have to be able to swim to paddleboard , although I recommend knowing the basics of swimming before venturing into slightly deeper water.

Most paddle paddles (Amazon) are adjustable.

To adjust the paddle to the correct height, hold one arm above your head. Adjust the paddle so that the T-handle is at your wrist.

Hold the paddle with one hand on top of the T-handle and with the other hand in the middle of the shaft. Turn it so that the logo on the blade, or recess, is facing forward. Yes, the back of the paddle should face back.

Hold your upper arm with your elbow slightly bent. Tilt your lower arm and dip the paddle blade into the water. Pull back with the lower arm and push forward and down with the upper arm. Alternate sides every now and then to follow a straight line.

To spin the paddle, immerse the paddle in the water and reverse the paddle motion, back to front. It’ll make you turn this way. Continue until the paddle is aligned with the desired direction.

You can turn more slowly by paddling on one side only. The paddleboard will veer in the opposite direction to the side of the paddle strokes.

Paddle safety

Well done, paddle boarding is fun and safe. This is why before you go out on the water, make sure you have the right safety equipment. Everything you need can be found at a local store or on the Amazon links below. Safety gear becomes essential if you plan to paddleboard but can’t swim.

  • Personal buoyancy equipment. If you are wearing a life jacket, falling into the water is not a problem. If you are not wearing one, it can be difficult to get back to your board safely. Paddleboard life jackets should offer a bit more freedom of movement than standard life jackets. Here is an excellent vest that you will find on Amazon.
  • Attach a leash. The paddles are equipped with what is called a “leash”. It is a real leash which once attached to your ankle binds you to your paddle. When you fall, the board does not leave you by more than a meter or 2. Returning to the board is quick and easy using the leash.
  • Cover up well. The water reflects sunlight, so you get a double dose when paddling. Make sure you wear adequate clothing and use sunscreen to avoid frying while you paddle.
  • Duo paddle boarding. It is much easier to learn to paddleboard if you are going out with a friend who already knows how. However, even if your friend is also a novice, it is safer to have someone with you to help you with any issues.
  • Still water. In the learning phase, choose bodies of water without eddies and with little traffic. Avoid strong winds, big waves, and places with heavy boat traffic.

Watch the wind

The wind is a big factor in paddleboarding, especially for beginners. When you are standing on a paddle, your body acts like a sail. It is easy to follow the wind, but difficult to oppose it. If the wind is pushing you away from shore, don’t go too far. Save energy for the return trip against the wind.

If paddling against the wind is too hard for you, you need to reduce the wind resistance area. Kneeling is then recommended. You can still paddle, but the wind will slow you down less. If the kneeling position doesn’t help, lie on your stomach and paddle with your hands. It’s slow, but it’s faster than fighting the wind.

Try before you buy

If you are interested in stand-up paddleboarding but are not sure if you will actually like it, you can try it before you buy. And for that nothing better than the rental. Many nautical centers rent a paddle. You can rent a board, spend an afternoon on the water, and find out if you like it or not, without having to break the bank in buying abroad.

And it is even possible that the nautical center offers paddle lessons, which I recommend even if you can get started without taking a lesson.

You can also buy a cheap paddleboard to get started.

Types of paddle

Once you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a stand-up paddleboard, you’ll find a wide selection of boards to choose from.

Do not be intimidated, there are 4 important criteria to take into account when buying a paddle: type of hull, construction, weight capacity, and dimensions. Think about how you want to use your paddle and the choice will be easy.


Do you want to paddle far or just take short trips? Will you go in rough waters, at sea, or in white water? Are you planning to stick to calm waters? Are you planning to engage in additional activities such as running, fishing, or yoga?

Hull type

There are two types of paddle hulls, planing hulls, and displacement hulls. Planing hulls are made to sail above water. These shells are flat and wide with a round nose and a flat bottom. The planing hulls are very stable but turn easily. They are a good compromise for touring, surfing, whitewater, and yoga.

Displacement hulls sink lower into the water. They have a pointed nose, or in the shape of an arc, like a canoe or a kayak. These hulls glide easily in the water and go faster than planing hulls. Displacement hulls are also straighter. They are ideal for running, touring, multi-day hikes, and other long-distance activities.

Plank construction

There are two types of paddle constructions: rigid paddles and inflatable paddles. Rigid paddles are made with a foam core wrapped in a hard shell. Inflatable paddles use a vinyl shell that is inflated with air to make them float.

Rigid paddles

Rigid paddles are typically made with fiberglass and epoxy, although carbon fiber and wood hulls are also available. They reach higher speeds, and more easily than inflatable paddles. They are also available in many different sizes, so you can tailor the board to your style. It is also the most stable type of paddle.

The downside of rigid paddle boards is the bulk. Since they are long and stiff, they can be difficult to transport and store. If you do not have a large garage and a vehicle that can carry such a board, you can turn to an inflatable paddle board.

Inflatable paddles

Inflatable paddles are great if you have limited storage space or transport options. They can be deflated and stored in a bag when not in use.

Inflatable paddles are also a good choice if you need to cover some distance between your vehicle and the water.

Inflatable paddles are the best choice for whitewater practice. They will handle shocks and jolts against submerged rocks much better than solid planks.

Inflatable boards are also good for yoga. They are much more comfortable than rigid paddles.

Volume and weight capacity

The volume of the paddle, usually expressed in liters, tells you how much weight it can support. Choose a board that can support not only your weight but also the weight of any equipment you intend to bring.

Planing hull paddles have a weight limit below which you can do anything. On the other hand, if you exceed this limit, they become difficult to control.

Displacement hull paddles are designed to travel to a certain depth in the water. Too little weight and the board floats too high making it difficult to control. Too much weight and the board will sink into the water, making it difficult to glide.

Paddle length

Paddles are classified as short, medium, and long. Shortboards (short paddles) measure less than 3 meters. Medium boards are 3 meters to 3.60 meters long, while longboards are over 3.80 meters.

Shortboards are very maneuverable and are perfect for surfing the waves or going whitewater. They are also the best for children; most boards designed for children are 2.5 meters.

Medium boards are the choice of versatility. These boards are ideal for sport paddle boarding, fishing, and even yoga. Mid-sized boards offer a good compromise between speed and handling.

Longboards are best for speed and long-distance paddling. Most long paddleboards have displacement hulls. A large size and displacement hull mean the paddle will move easily on the water, especially in a straight line and over long distances.

The length of the board also correlates with the size of the paddler. Taller paddlers generally feel comfortable on a longer board, while smaller riders prefer shorter boards. However, adapting the length of the board to its size is not the most important criterion.

Paddle width

Width is not as important as length and type. But that does not mean that you should not take a minimum of interest in it. The width of the paddles ranges from 65 to 90 centimeters. Wider boards are more stable and can take more weight. They are great for fishing, touring, and yoga. Narrow boards are faster and more maneuverable. Choose a narrow board for surfing, whitewater, or running.

You should also adapt the width of the board to your body and level. Paddlers with wide or tall shoulders need a wide board, while smaller paddlers need a narrower board.

Beginners often feel more comfortable on a wide, stable board. Experienced paddlers may opt for a narrower, easier-to-handle board.

Stand up paddle boarding with a passenger

The paddleboard has enough space on the deck to accommodate passengers. You can take a child or your dog on board.

If you want to take a passenger, be sure to take their weight into account when deciding how much weight capacity you need. You should also provide him with his own ‘safety gear, including a personal flotation device (Amazon even sells dog vests ). And be sure to bring snacks and drinks.

Dress for paddle boarding

If you are going out for a short session on a lake or pond, a simple swimsuit and t-shirt will do the trick. Don’t forget a hat or cap and sunscreen.

If you are making longer journeys, it may be preferable to wear suitable clothing. Many wear surf clothes. You can wear a long-sleeved polyester top to protect you from the sun, special paddle shoes that will dry quickly if you fall in the water.

For long outings, you can wear light fishing pants. These types of pants dry quickly and withstand the rigors of a day on the water, and they also protect your legs from the sun.

If you live in a cooler climate or want to stand up paddleboarding in the fall or at sea, invest in a wetsuit. A wetsuit will keep you nice and warm in cool water and in cold weather. You can even imagine paddle boarding in the winter if you are dressed properly.

Other Accessories

In addition to your board, paddle, and safety gear, you may want to consider purchasing other accessories.

For example, you can install a leash on your paddle. In my experience, a paddle never pulls away from you as fast as the paddle itself. A leash connecting you to your paddle is essential, a leash for your paddle is a practical accessory.

If you’re carrying camping gear or fishing on your paddle, consider nets and other straps to keep the gear in place.

If you choose a hard shell paddleboard, you need a way to transport it. You can buy adaptable supports on car roof racks and protect your paddle during transport with a house.

Fishing on a paddle

If you are a fishing enthusiast, take a look at a paddle board suitable for fishing. These boards are generally wider than most paddles for more stability when casting and spooling fish.

Fishing paddles also have additional attachments for equipment, and many come equipped with built-in rod holders. They also have a high weight capacity to accommodate all your gear and even a cooler.

If you are interested in paddle fishing, you should look to buy a longboard with a displacement hull. These boards are easy to move quickly, and you can get to where the fish bite without getting exhausted.

Both types of paddle construction, rigid or inflatable, are suitable for fishing. Rigid boards are fast and tough. Inflatable boards can handle rocks and submerged trees which are good cover for fish.

Do yoga on a paddle board

Another popular paddleboarding activity is yoga. It can be fun to learn about yoga on a paddleboard. Yoga fans often say, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga”. Paddlers swear that if you can stand on a paddle, you can paddle. If you can stand, stay relaxed, and breathe at the same time, you can do yoga on your paddle board.

You will then need a medium-length board with a planning hull. Medium-length boards provide a good balance between handling and stability. Inflatable boards have a softer and more comfortable surface for yoga.

Where to paddle

You can stand up paddle boarding on just about anybody of water. If you are just starting out, you will need calm, soft water. Once you’re comfortable on the board, the sky (or maybe the horizon) is the limit! Although if your paddle is less than 3.50 meters long, you are limited to a distance of 300 meters from the shore at sea.

As for rivers, you are only limited by any prefectural or municipal decrees prohibiting navigation on certain sections.

If you plan to paddle in rough waters, white water or sea (surf), you need a short paddle with a planing hull. These boards allow you maximum agility to keep the paddle facing the right way. Surfers prefer a solid construction for a faster ride, while whitewater paddles are inflatable to handle the inevitable rocks.

If you go on large lakes or on the high seas (be careful of the 300-meter limit), turn to a long paddle with a displacement hull. These boards allow you to travel for miles and miles. It’s easier to stay on course. Be sure to include the weight of a cooler with snacks and drinks to calculate the board’s weight capacity.

If you ever have the opportunity to paddle all over the place, in different waters, you need a versatile board. Medium and planing hull paddles are the best compromises. These boards have a balance of speed, stability, and maneuverability that makes them suitable for just about any location.

Transport of your paddle

Since the rigid paddles are 3-3.60 meters long, you will need a roof rack to transport them. If your car does not yet have a roof rack, purchase a special paddle rack that you attach to the roof rack. It will protect both your board and your car from scratches.

If you buy an inflatable board, it will be much easier to transport it. Most inflatable paddles come with a bag for storage and transport. If your paddle doesn’t have a bag (I don’t doubt your ability to negotiate one with the seller), here’s a nice one on Amazon. You will also need an air pump to inflate the paddle. Near your car, I recommend an electric pump. A 12v pump can be plugged into your cigar lighter. If you have to walk a bit to get your board in the water, you need a hand pump. Take a look at a manual air pump on Amazon.

Paddle storage

If you have an inflatable board, simply deflate it and store it in its bag (make sure it’s completely dry first). If you have a rigid board, you will need a long space to store the board. There are suitable supports to install in a garage, so as not to damage the paddle. You can even install a special hoist on the ceiling so that the paddle does not take up space.

Prepare physically for paddleboarding

Stand-up paddleboarding is a great workout for the whole body and a great way to get in shape. But if you want to practice a little more sportily, it is better to be prepared a minimum:

  • Basic strength. Paddling requires a lot of strength in your torso and arms in order to paddle properly. You can do sit-ups and sit-ups.
  • Push and pull. One arm pushes the top of the paddle forward while the other pulls it back, then you switch hands and start again. Paddling requires a lot of pushing and pulling force to keep going. Nothing like push-ups and dumbbells to strengthen your arms and chest.
  • Strengthen the legs. Your legs should support you and connect to the board as you paddle. Squats are a great way to build leg strength for paddling. Simple bodyweight can work wonders in strengthening your legs
  • Balance and back strength. Paddleboarding requires good balance and back strength. The leg deadlift is a weird exercise, but nothing builds balance and power in your back faster.

Paddle history

Canoeing has been around for millennia. Paddleboarding was simply born in the 1960s in Hawaii. Surfers stood on their surfboards and paddled for a better view of the waves. On days when the waves were too short, these surfers would just paddle their surfboards.

The idea caught on and arrived in California. In the early 2000s, stand-up paddleboarding had become a sport in its own right, and manufacturers began to build specially designed boards designed for stand-up paddleboarding.

Eventually, the sport diversified into the branches we see today like surfing, long-distance paddle boarding, fishing, and yoga.

How to get on a paddle step by step


Top 9 Tips: Can we paddle in winter?

Who said paddleboarding in the winter was a bad idea? Many of us leave our paddleboards in the garage as soon as the temperatures drop, they don’t know what they are missing.

Yes, you can paddle in the winter. You enjoy the water all to yourself. It is a moment of cool and peace. And depending on where you are, you can enjoy breathtaking snowy landscapes.

That being said, you don’t get in the water in winter as you do in summer. So if you’re really motivated, here are some tips for paddleboarding in winter with peace of mind.

Stay close to the shore. Very close. If the air is cool or cold, so is the water. Hypothermia should be avoided at all costs in the event of an incident. Do not stray more than 4 or 5 meters from the shore. Remember that the distance you can swim in cold water is much shorter than in warm water. So don’t stray from the shore, keep a distance you can easily swim if needed.

Far too many people mistakenly think that in the flat water they don’t need a leash, the sort of leash that connects you to the board. Even the most experienced among us should not be exempt from wearing our leash to our ankles. And this is even more true in cold weather. Your paddleboard is a huge buoy, nothing can sink it. So if you do fall into the water, it is better to have it nearby to hold onto. Because the risk without a leash is that the paddle will move away from you and that you cannot swim to it. Especially if it moves away from the side opposite the shore. So PUT ON YOUR LEASH!

Personally, in the colder months, I only go out in calm conditions on flat water, I have very little risk of falling into the water. So I dress like I would if I were hiking in cold weather, with the 3-layer system: a base layer that wicks away moisture, then additional layers for warmth and wind protection.

For your legs, you can wear long underpants or running pants. If the air is really cold, also protect your feet, with waterproof shoes, and your hands with gloves (take gloves that will not slip on the paddle). A lot of heat is lost through my head, so I wear a beanie. Avoid anything made of cotton, cotton won’t wick sweat or moisture, and won’t dry out if it gets wet.

4. When to wear a drysuit
For surfing, whitewater or if you are sure you have to get into the water, you must wear special protection: the famous wetsuit. A suit is designed to heat the water trapped between your body and the suit, while a dry suit usually gives you more protection and is completely waterproof.

For cold weather paddleboarding, a wetsuit is a good idea if you are going to be spending time in the water. If you are paddling in flat or calm water you are likely going to stay dry in which case you may decide you don’t need a wetsuit. It mainly depends on your level of experience. If you are sure you won’t fall into the water, the wetsuit is not necessary. But if you fall in the water without a wetsuit, you might as well say your outing is over, it’s time to get back to your car to dry off and change.

In cold weather, I always prefer to go out when there is no wind and when it is not raining. If there is a little wind or current, you can go against it at the start when you are cool. But don’t fight if you are already a little tired, this is the best way to burn yourself out.

Rain or snow can make it difficult to see when you’re on the water, and you can easily walk away without notice.

The best thing to do is not to go out if you have any doubts about the conditions.

Because you can paddle elsewhere than in the water? By that I mean you have to avoid the ice. Ice can be thick, protruding, and is always unpredictable. Do not step on the ice to get in the water and do not stand on the paddle when there are large chunks of ice floating nearby, kneel down.

During the cooler months, remember that the sun sets much earlier in the day and the temperature quickly cools before the sun even sets. Plan to return before sunset, at least 30 minutes before. This means you need to know what time the sun is setting, by checking the forecast before you go out.

This is an important rule, which applies all the time. But not many people apply it, especially in summer. In winter, it is even more important not to paddle alone. If despite everything you decide to paddle solo, tell a loved one. Tell him where you are going and how long you will be gone. Don’t forget to call him as soon as you get back.

Take a change of clothes with you. You can change after your session, or if you fall into the water. So take at least a t-shirt, sweater, pants, socks, and a towel.

Also, take a thermos with something hot to eat or drink. This will warm you up quickly and allow you to recover easily!

Last word
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy paddleboarding, on the contrary. Winter is a great time to sail away from the daily hustle and bustle of the summer vacation crowds.

Despite everything, if you are not very experienced, I cannot advise you enough to wait a bit, to wait for more favorable conditions to strengthen your qualities in paddleboarding.



We see that it is an excellent way to improve our physical condition, develop strength, endurance, coordination, balance and enjoying nature, friends, and always respect our environment.

Last word
Like many water sports, paddle boarding is an activity that requires you to be equipped. But you can also start slow and get better at it. Renting is a good idea at the start.

Once you are comfortable you can imagine surfing waves on the Atlantic Ocean or hiking for a few days on the Dordogne.

Paddleboarding is fun, don’t hesitate any longer!

Author: Thomas A MillerHi, I am Thomas A. Miller... The name of our blog is Kayak Like which means we discuss the correct information and tips about all kinds of people’s favorite kayak, fishing kayak, canoeing, paddling, or boating. Kayaking is one of my favorite hobbies. That’s why I love kayaking. So I’m building a team, and we always add new information to our blog. We have been kayaking for the last 7 years and we own 6 kayaks (one touring, two tandem, and three fishing kayaks) and from different companies, especially Intex. We love kayaking with my kids and dogs and can’t wait to go kayaking if the weather feels perfect. We also have a team that always loves to blog about kayaks.

Thomas A Miller

Hi, I am Thomas A. Miller... The name of our blog is Kayak Like which means we discuss the correct information and tips about all kinds of people’s favorite kayak, fishing kayak, canoeing, paddling, or boating. Kayaking is one of my favorite hobbies. That’s why I love kayaking. So I’m building a team, and we always add new information to our blog. We have been kayaking for the last 7 years and we own 6 kayaks (one touring, two tandem, and three fishing kayaks) and from different companies, especially Intex. We love kayaking with my kids and dogs and can’t wait to go kayaking if the weather feels perfect. We also have a team that always loves to blog about kayaks.

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *