How to Get into Paddleboarding – Part 1
If you are thinking of getting into one of the fastest growing water sports in the world, then this blog is for you. In this blog will give you great tips in how to avoid the common mistakes most new paddle boarders make and the information could be crucial if you take to the sport or not.
Use a Leash
Firstly, throw any ideas of initially looking cool and acting like a professional. Go somewhere quiet if you easily get embarrassed but you must learn the basics. Learn to use a leash, and the sooner you accept this as a vital part of the sport the better. There are different types of paddleboard leashes on the market and different attachment points on the board depending on how and where you are paddling. The leash not only keeps the board attached to you so that you do not lose it, but it is also a key safety feature and could actually save your life.
Ensure Your Paddle Is the Right Way
At first it may seem crazy that you may have the paddle the wrong way around, but it is a common mistake, as your first reaction is to scoop out the water as you try and get your balance, but the paddle goes the other way. It is designed to be used in the standing position and to give a smoother stroke, resulting in less stress in the elbows and shoulders. The blade is pulled through the water in a rather trailing manner which will give you more stability.
Face the Correct Way
Another quite crazy assumption made by beginners, comes because they do not know which the front part of the board is, not only does this look laughable but it is immensely important. Some of the learner boards have big round noses and rounded tailboards for stability. Some feature large EVA deck areas so you can move around quite comfortably and not slip. Before you leap on the board, just double check where the fins are, they should be at the rear if you are not certain! The fins help the board to be stable in the water and keep the craft going straight, in paddle board terminology this is called tracking.
Paddle with Your Body
Unlike some rowing techniques, paddling a board standing up you should not make your arms and shoulders do the work. The power should come from your body core, your torso has the most powerful muscles and are the best for your strokes. If you stand up for a period of time just using your arms, it will be a very energy sapping experience.
Fix Your Eyes on the Horizon
When you get on a board for the first time your natural reaction is to look down at your feet on the board. But for the best buoyancy and stability, keep your head up and your back straight, try to keep your body weight over your feet. If you look down at your feet, the body naturally rocks back towards your heels and that is an excellent recipe for going swimming.