Stand up paddling (SUP) is slowly becoming a phenomenon in the United States and Europe. The good thing about the sport is that you can engage in it even if you are not a good swimmer. Secondly, the sport helps in exercising all the major parts of the body. Unlike the normal surfing board that tends to be sleek and narrow, the board that’s used in stand up paddling is a bit wider and thick. It’s also used together with a leash and a paddling stick. However, most beginning surfers are not able to remain standing for long due to accidental falls. There are also others that try to navigate through huge waves in vain. Here are tips that can help you a smooth surf while standing on the board.
Wear a Leash
The best paddle boards for beginners come with a leash. The leash is actually designed to be tethered to your body. Wearing the leash eliminates the chances of drowning when you fall, especially when surfing on deep waters. After falling without the leash, it’s obvious that the board will float away from you. If you are not an experienced swimmer, you may not succeed in reaching it. Since the surfing board is constructed using a material that’s resistant to water (plastic or rubber), you can pull the leash to bring it to where you are and then lie on it when you can’t swim to the shore. This usually happens when you go too far from the shore or are lost. Without the leash, huge waves can wash you away into deep sea where ou may not be able to get help.
Paddle the Right Way
The paddle serves as a steering wheel. You use it to change the direction of the board and also control the surfing speed. When you want to take a left turn, you dip the paddle on the right side of the board and vice versa. Besides that, you must avoid putting the paddle deep into the water as it will cause you to strain your legs and hands when pulling it backwards. You only need to immerse the tip of the paddle stick to enjoy a smooth ride.
Be Mindful of Other People
Regardless of whether you are surfing in a river, lake or ocean, it’s important you avoid crossing paths with other people. This is because being bumped by the board or paddle is painful. If other people are swimming close to where you are, it’s advisable you move away so that you don’t end up distracting them. Surfing in crowded waters can actually trigger serious injuries, especially when falling because you might clash with other people.
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Learn to Fall Safely
Falling is inevitable when surfing with a SUP board. You usually fall when you loose your balance, especially when you face downwards to stare at your toes instead of looking at the horizon. Sometimes you might encounter huge waves that push you off the balance. Landing on the board can cause you to get hurt. The best way of avoiding getting hurt when falling is to dive away from the board. However, you can only dive on deep waters to avoid hitting rocks that are found in shallow waters.