Stand-up paddle boarding allows you to get out on the water without owning a boat. This popular outdoor activity gives paddlers the opportunity to enjoy nature, such as the majesty of the Sierra, and try something new! Here is a beginner’s guide to stand-up paddle boards if you’ve purchased your first board and want to learn more!
Gear and Equipment
You must be well-equipped with paddle-boarding necessities and safety gear. Here is a checklist of all the things you may need for your first day on the water:
- Stand-up paddleboard
- Life Jacket
Now that you have your gear and are ready to go, you must learn board techniques that will help you become an expert paddler.
It is important to have the right stance when standing on the board. You should stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your knees bent. Try to get into a power stance to balance and paddle successfully.
Maintain good posture while paddling for maximum power and movement. Keep your back straight and shoulders back. It is important not to hunch over, as you will be standing on your board for a while and don’t want to put your well-being at risk.
Getting Back Up
Even experts occasionally fall off their board, so don’t be afraid to lose your balance. Get back on the board by positioning yourself in the middle and grabbing the handle to pull yourself back up if you find yourself in the water while paddle boarding. Let your legs float up and kick to hoist your body onto the board if you’re struggling to pull yourself up.
Three main paddle movements can take you and your board wherever you want to go:
- Forward: Begin with your paddle a few feet in front of you, and then push the paddle back through the water towards your ankles. This stroke will propel you forward.
- Reverse: Used for slowing down, stopping, and turning, this motion is the opposite of the forward stroke. Put your paddle behind you in the water and push forward towards the front of the board.
- Sweep: This stroke will allow you to turn your board while standing or moving. Put your paddle in the water towards the front of the board and sweep it in a big arch towards the back. You will turn right when you do this on the left side of the board and vice versa.
Maintenance and Care
Clean your board and equipment after each trip and use caution during transport. By following a simple maintenance routine, you can keep your stand-up paddle board in good condition. Thoroughly clean off any bacteria and mildew that can build up whether you’re using your board on fresh or salt water.
Now that you are well-versed in this beginner’s guide to stand-up paddle boards, you are ready to hit the water. No matter where you choose to go—be it the many waterways of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range or elsewhere—this is the start of a great adventure!