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SUP Balance tips for beginners- Stand Up Paddleboarding

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Hi, I’m Robert Stehlik with Blue Planet Surf and today I’m going to talk a little bit about balancing on the board. A lot of times one of the biggest challenges when you’re starting out is just staying on top of the board and balancing. I’m going to give you a few tips on how to make it easier for you to balance when you’re first starting out. So, probably the most important thing is to get the right gear. So you want to make sure you have a board and paddle that’s right for you. The more you weigh and the taller you are, the bigger the board should be, and the wider the board should be. The width is probably the most important thing for balancing. The wider the board, the easier it is to balance. This board is a 9’6″ by 30″ and obviously the smaller you go, the more tricky it is to balance on the board.

As you as you get better, you’ll be able to balance on much smaller boards than when you first start out. So let’s get started with some tips. It’s good to have a place where you can get on your board from a standing position, shallow water is good. If you have to do it from a dock, there’s different techniques for that, today I’m just going to show how to do it when you’re in standing in shallow water. First just get on your knees on the board. You always want to be right in the middle, where the handle is, that’s usually the center of balance. If you’re too far back, the tail will sink, if you are too far forward the tail will stick up out of the water, so you want to make sure you’re balanced properly on the board where the weight is right over the center of the board and the board flat in the water. So get comfortable in a kneeling position, if you are already struggling in a kneeling postion, you might want to try to get a wider board a more stable, bigger board if you are already struggling just kneeling it’s going to be really hard to get into the standing position.

So from your kneeling position, try to take a few strokes. You don’t have to hold the handle way up here, you can do hold the paddle shorter, take a few strokes to get the board moving, ideally you want to always start going into the wind first, and then put the paddle in front of you, put your feet where your knees where, and then stand up. Look forward and start paddling, this is usually the way I teach to get up. Another way, for people that have have really stiff knees, getting from that kneeling position to the standing position can be difficult, So I’ll show another way to stand up. If you’re on your knees and you have a hard time just getting from your knees to a standing position, another way that works for some people, is to put the paddle in front of you and then slowly get from the from that kneeling position to standing position and use the paddle to help you stand up.

I don’t know if that is that’s necessary easier but that works for some people. Ok, so remember to be right in the middle of the board so the board’s flat in the water, keep your knees slightly bent, look forward, don’t look down at the board, don’t be hunched over bent forward, and then start paddling and keep your paddle in the water. If you do start to lose your balance get low and put your paddle in the water for balance. The further you can get the battle out to the side, the more stability it’s going to give you. If you’re on a smaller board, the smaller the board is the harder it is going to balance, obviously, so the shorter the board is, the more important it is to be in the middle. This board is a 9’6″ x 30″, so it’s a relatively short board and as soon as I put some weight further back, you can see that I’m going to sink the tail and it’s going to be much less stable further back then further forward. Moving my feet around is tricky because if I unweigh one foot, the board will rock, so actually the best way to move around on the shorter board it’s a jump, small jumps like this, into the surf stance, and back forward.

By making these little jumps, you can unweigh both feet at the same time, without going in the drink right away. Moving your weight back to sink the tail makes it easier to turn the board. So, some things to remember when you’re starting out: slightly bend your knees, keep your upper body upright, look forward, keep the paddle in the water, get the board moving, stand right in the middle, keep your knees soft, and just let your body naturally do the balancing for you. All right, good luck and enjoy! The most important thing is to have fun! Thank you for watching & Aloha, Robert Stehlik .

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