So you’ve been paddling for a few months or years and got the basics down pat. Your paddling is effortless, trying balance is a distant memory, and standing up is natural. However, you still feel that there’s room for improvement, so here are the 8 SUP tips for intermediate-level standup paddle boarding.
Hold Paddle Vertical To The Water
For many months starting out, including the first SUP video we did, I didn’t hold my paddle completely verticle. Holding it verticle allows a more efficient row for greater speed and helps keep the boat straight without the need to switch sides as often.
For some odd reason, tensing your feet is a natural reaction for many people when standing on a paddle board. However, tensing the feet isn’t only uncomfortable which reduces the trip’s enjoyment, but it also tires your legs out quicker.
Try to make it a conscious effort to relax your feet while on the board. You might have never even known you had that issue all this time.
Angle Paddles Power Face Slightly Towards You
As an intermediate, you should know that the power face is the part of the paddle that’s curved out which is the part facing you while paddling.
If you angle the paddle’s power face slightly towards you rather than straight back, it helps keep the board straight while rowing. This little trick will help reduce how often you need to change sides.
Wide Turn While Moving Forward
A trick to turn quickly while moving forward is by bending and making a wide stroke while the blade is angled away from you. Be sure that the paddle isn’t too shallow on the water and deep enough to make the most out of your stroke.
Quick Turns In Place
Making a large turn while you’re in a place like a clock is an easy trick that I actually need to do often.
To turn left, bring the paddle to your left side and stroke the paddle in a forward motion. Then switch to the right side and stroke in the standard backward motion. Keep repeating until you’re SUP is facing where you want it to be.
To turn to the right and vice versa. Especially if you haven’t tried that before, I recommend staying away from the shore or areas where it’s not safe to fall as it might be a little tricky starting out.
While on the subject of turning, the SUP pivot turn is a really cool technique that turns your board at a rapid speed without changing your paddling side.
Basically, while rowing at high moderate to high speed, you bring your feet to the back of the board at the perfect point where it elevates the front of the board’s pitch. When the front of the board is elevated, it allows a sharp turn of the board when stroking. Once your board is turned where you want it, bring your feet back to the center. Expect to fall the first several times trying the pivot turn but once mastered, you can show off to your friends or date.
Utilizing The Board’s Pitch
On the topic of changing your paddle board’s pitch, the next tip is to utilize it in creative ways. One cool trick is to dock it on land without getting into the water. You do this by getting towards the back to lift the front which brings the board closer to shore than it usually would. Then once stopped walk to the front which docks the board and generally allows you to walk from the board directly on land.
Briefly touched on the last tip but another cool trick for utilizing pitch is quick turns and stops. You can come up with some of your own moves after practicing or watch the creativity of the pros. Also, if you’re in shallow water, you can get to the front of the board to lift the rear up which reduces the chance of your fin getting caught.
Keep Your Back Straight While Paddling
Lastly, this one that I’m still working on, but keep your back straight while paddling. Not only is it better for your back, but it helps engage your core and enhances proper rowing technique. Straightening your back also helps keep the paddle verticle for a more efficient stroke.
Summary | SUP Tips For Intermediate Riders
So those are the tip. I really hope at least 1 of the 8 SUP tips for intermediate riders helped. But in case you want to go over the basics, see the 12 Paddle Boarding Tips For Beginners!
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