A Beginners Guide to Paddleboarding

You’ve made the decision to hire yourself a Paddleboard for the first time, but once faced with an expanse of water, apprehension kicks in!

Fear not, Paddleboarding is a fun sport that nearly anyone can have a go at!

Begin by running through this checklist:

 Can you swim?

 Do you have your life jacket on?

 Is the board correctly inflated and the fins securely fitted? An underinflated board or missing fins will make the board wobbly once in the water.

 Is the paddle at the correct height? When standing, hold your arm out to the side and bend your elbow, so that your fingers are pointing towards the sky, your paddle should be a little higher than your fingers.

 Are you wearing suitable clothing? Swimming costume, with or without a t-shirt or rash vest, or a wetsuit. Water shoes are optional, these are a good idea if you are paddling somewhere stoney.

 Have you told someone where you are going and when?

 Have you chosen somewhere suitable to paddle? You can refer to our ‘Tide Guide’ for more information on optimum tide times. A good indication is if other people are paddling in the area.

 Finally, have you attached your leash?

If you have answered YES to all of these, you’re good to go!

The first obstacle you’ll face is entering the water! Pick up the board, holding it on whichever side you feel is most comfortable and walk straight into the water, until you are deep enough for your fins to clear the bottom. Once deep enough, carefully, climb onto the board. You can now either kneel straightway or start by lying on the board, with the paddle underneath you and head to deeper water and if necessary, switch to a kneeling position.

Standing up will always be considered the hardest part of SUPing but, whilst daunting, should be approached with a ‘Can Do’ attitude!

First of all, get a feel for the board, they are sturdier and offer more stability than you might think. Once you’ve paddled around on your knees for a bit you are ready to try standing. From kneeling, using your hands, with the paddle horizontal in front of you, push up to standing. Your feet should be shoulder width apart, either side of the handle. Keep your chin up and look forward and remember, don’t look down, this will affect you balance! Start paddling immediately as this will help you maintain stability.

Falling in is part of learning, try shifting your weight to create ripples in the water to help you understand both your capabilities and the boards. If you find yourself in the water climb back on to the board as if you were climbing out of a swimming pool, you can also use the handle to help pull yourself on.

Be careful when in shallow water as falling off here can cause injury if you land on rocks etc.. and never try to ride the board back on to the beach as this could cause damage to the fins and, also, a small wave could cause you and the board to nosedive, resulting in injury and or damage.

Above all, Paddleboarding is fun and should be an enjoyable experience. Some people take longer to master it than others, but your perseverance will pay off and don’t worry too much about it, just enjoying the freedom of being on the water.

As soon as you find your balance point you will instantly fall in love with paddleboarding. The sensation of effortlessly coasting over the water whilst standing is an incredible feeling and is why paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

Stay safe and have fun,

The Hop on Hire Team

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