Want to Learn How to Stand Up Paddle Board? Follow These 5 Pro Tips
Blue Crush may have inspired a new generation of surfer chicks, but fans of the cult-favorite movie know that shredding waves is no small feat (especially when it comes to Pipe). For those who may not be physically equipped to handle extreme sports, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is an easy, beginner-friendly alternative that'll still make you feel as badass as Anne Marie Chadwick when you hit the water. In case you don't know where to start, we tapped Gina Bradley, founder of Paddle Diva, a SUP company based in East Hampton, N.Y., for her best practices. All you need is a surf-style board and a paddle—oh, and the cutest rashguard you can find. Read on for her expert tips.
1. Practice, practice, practice.
"Practice going from a kneel to a stand, get into a table top position (all fours), and practice standing up from that position (that's how we get 'up' on the board—it's that easy!)."
2. Arrive prepared.
"Make sure you are nourished, hydrated, and have plenty of sun protection like a hat and a sunshirt. Get a 'croakie,' which is a strap for your sunglasses to keep them on your head. Plan on wearing a bathing suit or whatever can get wet if you fall in. Leave your cell phone behind—it's time to forget the world and enjoy the ride!"
3. Always wear a leash that attaches you to the board.
"If the winds pick up unexpectedly and you are separated from your board in a fall, you could be stranded and watch as your board drifts quickly downward."
4. Plant your paddle firmly in the water.
"Good paddle stroke ensure you're able to paddle in any condition or any wind direction. Paddle with extended arms and use your core to pull it along the rail of the board and take the paddle out at your feet. Make sure not to pull the paddle all the way to the tail of the board, that will actually slow you down."
5. Focus on where you want to go.
"The best way to keep your balance is to look at the horizon. This will keep you paddling straight and give you the best perspective."