How to Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) | Beginners Guide
Learn all about stand up paddle boarding and how it started, plus some helpful tips and SUP gear guides for beginners. Below you can find everything you need to know to get out on the water and have a safe and fun paddle.
Basic Paddle Board Equipment
Here are all the items you need to get out on the water paddling:
- Stand Up Paddle board – Paddle boards come in all shapes and sizes. The most common construction method is epoxy and fiberglass wrapped around an EPS foam core, with one or several fins to help the board track in the water. A standup paddle board is much thicker than your average surfboard.
Paddle boards typically range from 8 to 12 feet in length, 28 to 32 inches wide, and 4 to 5 inches thick. If you’re just starting out, the best thing to do is select a wider, longer, thicker board. This type will offer the greatest stability to learn the paddleboard basics on a flat body of water. As you gain experience, you can progress to a much smaller board.
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- Paddle – Stand Up Paddles come in a variety of constructions, from plastic, aluminum, wood, and carbon fiber – all with a variety of handle, blade and shaft shapes. The general rule is that a paddle used with your paddleboard should always be 6 to 10 inches above the height of the paddler. Size your paddle on the longer side for flat water use and the shorter side for use in the surf. The blade is typically bent at a slight angle to the shaft to allow for more forward reach when taking a stroke.
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- Leash – A sup leash keeps your paddle board attached to you with a Velcro strap around your ankle (or calf) that is attached to the paddleboard. Leashes come in a variety of sizes, and the general rule is to use a leash around the same size or slightly smaller than your board. In the event of a fall, currents and winds can quickly sweep your paddle board away from you – and in the ocean, your board becomes a lethal weapon when carried with the force of an ocean wave. Always remember to use your leash!
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- Board Bags – The majority of dings and blemishes happen outside of the water – usually in transportation or storage. Board bags will remove that dilemma and conveniently aid in traveling, as well as add years to your board’s life.
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- PFD (personal floatation device) – If you use your stand up paddle board beyond the limits of a swimming , surfing, or bathing area, the U.S. Coast Guard requires you to have a USCG-approved life vest. Please see the following link by the WPA (World Paddle Association) regarding the Life Vest Safety Laws.
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If you'd like to learn more, go here. See you on the Laguna!