Standup paddle boarding is a refreshing water sport that has gotten very popular over the past few years due to its multiple benefits. During paddle boarding, you have to stand on the paddle board’s flat surface and keep your balance while paddling in the water. Paddling and maintaining balance can be a challenging task, especially for beginners. To help beginners have a better paddling experience, SUP trainers teach basic techniques and tricks during SUP lessons.
If you are a beginner and want to learn paddle board, then you may have been planning to take SUP lessons. You may also have confusion regarding what is taught during these lessons. In this article, we have highlighted what you need to know before starting your SUP lessons. We have also discussed why taking SUP lessons is important for you. Let’s go through each section to understand SUP lessons better.
SUP lessons can be very interesting and informative. You learn how to move paddle carefully and stand on the paddle board without falling. Upon arriving at a SUP academy or school, the first thing you will be given is your clothes. Clothes are chosen based on the weather and feasibility. If it is summer, then dry shorts and base layer tops will be given. On the contrary, if it is winter, thermal shorts with t-shirts will be provided and all the year: life jackets !!
Then your instructor will provide you with equipment like personal floatation equipment, coiled leash, etc. He will tell you what the purpose of each item is and how to use them correctly. You will be then provided with the paddle board and paddle. Your instructor may then tell you about different parts of the inflatable paddle board like fins, deck, etc. He will also tell you how to carry it properly. Then your instructor will take you to the beach where you will be practically given lessons.
A basic lesson on land
Every instructor has his own way of teaching. Some may first give you lessons on the land. They will let you stand or kneel on the paddle board. This will give you confidence and will get a better insight into what you will be dealing with on the water.
Live demonstration by the instructor
As your lesson progresses, your instructor will give a live demonstration about how to paddle in the water. He will tell you how to get attention when you are drowning, how to move the paddle in the right direction, how to stroke to gain speed or change your direction, etc. Different tricks and techniques will be taught.
Do it practically
In the next stage, you will be allowed to practice paddling on water practically. Falling face-first is totally normal when you are learning to stand on the paddleboard. So, be prepared beforehand. Standing on a moving surface is not easy, so do not worry if you have trouble initially. Practice, time, and patience will help you improve.
Learn different techniques
With time, you will gain more experience and learn different tricks. You will learn how to take turns abruptly and will be glad to show off your tricks to your friends and family. Your trainer may also let you and your peers play games so that you can have more experience with surfaces on moving water.
Take proper turns
Taking turns can be difficult at first, but the experience is a great teacher, after all. You will have to move the paddle in specific angles to make a proper turn or move the paddle backwards. You will also learn how to carefully change the position of your feet for a specific SUP condition.
Why should you take SUP lessons?
Whether you need to take SUP lessons or not depends on your interest in paddling and your experience level. If you want to learn paddling fast and excel in it, then it is better to go for SUP lessons. More lessons on why you need to take SUP lessons are given below.
Standup paddle boarding is a fun activity, and learning it does not take a lot of energy. Many people understand several basic things within the first 60 minutes of their lesson, and they also improve their ability to keep the balance on the water in a few tries and attempts. But paddle boarding can be tough initially if you do not have someone to teach from. Learning to rotate, take turns, and handle different water conditions will give you an edge and you will learn this fun activity fast and better.
Learn different water conditions
Water conditions vary from one water body to the other. You can paddle in the ocean, lake, river, or any water body that you have near your place. You will learn your SUP lessons in a water body based on which is to learn the institute. During SUP lessons, you will be guided on how to move when the tide is or when it is low. Similarly, you will be taught how to move correctly in different weather conditions. If the wind is strong, you may feel its effect on your movement. SO, you will be taught how to handle different weather conditions.
Stay safe while paddling
Safety should never be neglected when you are on the water. That is why you should know what to do if you are in difficulty or have an accident while moving on the water. Falling in water is normal for beginners, but you should know how to get back to the paddle board correctly. Self-rescue techniques will be well described, so you know how to keep yourself safe while paddling.
Purpose of equipment
Fortunately, the use of a lot of equipment is not a part of this sport. You need a few basic things like a leash, paddle, life vest, or may some whistle, etc., based on which institute you are learning. Beginners usually do not know how to wear a leash properly or which leash to use before going in a specific kind of water. Like most beginners, you may also do not know how to properly hold your paddler (beginners usually hold it backwards). Therefore, you will be taught how to hold it and what its height should be according to your own height.
Learn paddling techniques faster
Honestly, you can learn paddling techniques on your own, too. But it will take a lot of your time, effort, and energy. And you will still not be sure whether you are doing it right or not. So, taking SUP lessons is an investment that will pay you off tomorrow. Learning something from professionals gives you a better insight and understanding of the sport.
Gain speed in the water
You need to make a proper forward stroke to move ahead in the water. It can be challenging for beginners. You have to use your upper body and core muscles to make an effective stroke. Although gaining speed is usually not the purpose during paddle boarding, it is better to know how to the right strokes.
Avoid accidents and injuries.
Another reason why taking SUP lessons is important is you will learn how you can protect yourself from injuries and accidents that may happen while you are moving on water. You will learn which muscles to use and how much pressure to put where. Joint injuries can be fatal, and a little carelessness can be their cause. It is better to understand how to avoid them, too.
Have more paddling opportunities
With experience, you will start learning advanced techniques. You will find there is so much to learn and experience while you are on a paddle board. Soon you will be able to handle even the white water. All these things will enhance your paddling experience. You will come to know that there are many opportunities in this water sport, and there is something that you learn every day or during each encounter with the water.
Reduce fear of paddling or water
Doing anything for the first time can make you hesitant and fearful. But if you have basic knowledge, know tricks and techniques beforehand, you will feel much confident and motivated to move your paddle and move forward. Your SUP trainer will guide you on every step. They will be there for you so you can be more self-assured. Having a trained person beside you will also help you reduce your fear of water. And you will become more comfortable around water.
Right body position for balance
Balance is one of the initial steps that you find difficult as a beginner. Your trainer may first make you feel comfortable on a paddle board by allowing you to stand on it while you are on safe ground. Once you are comfortable on land, you will be moved to the water and taught how to position your legs, feet, and other body muscles to balance yourself on water. Learning this on your own can be tough. Having a SUP trainer to teach the basic skill will feel like a blessing.
We home wherever you go to take SUP lessons you have a great experience and learn many things. It will all make your paddling experience more fun and enjoyable.