Stand Up Ppaddle Boarding Tips
The Loco Asylum inmates (team riders) give us some of their top SUP tips for successful stand up paddling; some serious, some tongue in cheek but all offer insight – check out what they had to say.
- Don’t drive two hours to the beach before remembering that your paddle is in your flat.
- 5mm steamer is a summer suit (if you live in Scotland).
- Don’t drink a shit load of Jaeger Bombs (with Joe) if you want to be any good at anything the next day.
- DOUBLE check your SUP partner has put the paddles in the van!
OK real tips – things I noticed I was doing wrong when I started…
- Stand up straight! Good posture and a nice strong core make it much easier to maintain good balance.
- Don’t look at your feet, keep looking at the horizon.
- Make sure the paddle is facing the right way!
Neil Jules Craig
- Time on the water is the only way to progress.
- I’m always struggling for time with family and work – days for trailing up and down the coast looking for the best set up are over. Invest in kit that gives you options in all conditions.
- Flask for winter sessions on the east coast.
- When racing always focus on getting the longest reach possible in your stroke – almost to the point of falling in. If you keep focus on your stroke length as you get more tired it won’t shorten as much as someone who isn’t paying attention. You will therefore cover more distance per stroke than the people you are racing.
- When training spend plenty of time if you can going across wind. Your board will react differently in cross chop and across the wind than it does head or tails to wind. It isn’t easy or fun but it is worth it! Sounds obvious but so many people get caught out by side winds when they aren’t used to them.
- Whatever board you paddle don’t forget to play. Sometimes I have learnt the most about my board by having fun and pushing it to its limits. Don’t be scared of falling in. Take your board out in the flat and try and balance on the nose and on the tail. Try putting 10 toes on each rail. Yes you may look foolish and you may get wet but you’ll learn quickly where the volume is and the balance points of your board are. This then becomes invaluable when surfing or downwinding or even during races when things get hairy.
- Punching out through white water – paddle as fast as possible directly at the wave, just before you hit the froth switch to surf stance and ‘bunny hop’ over the foam continuing to paddle to minimise drag back. Drop your back knee to stabilise using the paddle as a brace if necessary before standing back up and resuming the mission out back.
- Carrying board in wind – it really helps carrying the board tail first head to wind but if the wind is cross shore carry the board on the leeward side (downwind) and let the wind float the board effectively reducing its weight. Make sure you have a secure grip on the carry handle to avoid taking out dog walkers and other beach users.
- Setting up for the drop in – position your board parallel to the waves pointing in your preferred direction – nose pointing right to go natural or vice versa for goofy. With feet already in surf stance but positioned more towards the centre of the board paddle exclusively on right so the board turns left. If the beach is 12-o-clock you want to be aiming to drop in between 12 and 1.30. To avoid over rotation trim the board with the back foot effectively counteracting the row effect by weighting the same side you’re paddling on. This does take some practice but once dialled in you can take off really late and just need to move your back foot over the kick tail to drive the bottom turn….BOOM!
Loco inmate X
- Take no prisoners.
- Push your boundaries and scare yourself daily.
- Never back down.
What are your top stand up paddle boarding tips?