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First Time Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

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I was always intrigued watching people stand up paddleboarding. Here are some of my thoughts after trying it out.

Stand up paddleboard or a SUP.

Stand up paddleboard or a SUP.

Gliding Across the Water

I've always wanted to try paddleboarding. Sitting at the beach and watching how much fun others seemed to be having while standing on their inflatable paddleboards; it intrigued me. However, the cost of the paddleboards kind of discouraged me a little from going down this road.

I did some research years ago, trying to find that happy medium of cost for this new outside adventure. Of course, Amazon has tons to select from and costs that are tolerable. There seem to be some huge differences in price from Amazon to some of the other companies that sell their brands only on their websites, and not on Amazon.

This new adventurous idea that I had probably around 2020 and then faded quickly.

Then the 2022 Henderson Beach, Florida, vacation came around. There were a few young people in and out of the beach with their new colorful inflatable paddleboards. I would watch them every day for about a week. I remember telling my wife that looks like fun and wouldn't mind giving it a try.

Well, she ordered me one online from iROCKER for Father's Day. I was very surprised with the gift.

Let's Do This

My new iROCKER Inflatable Paddle Board arrived.

My first step was to prepare myself. Never take anything for granted. Learn from those who have already experienced what I'm about to experience.

YouTube is your best source for educational videos. I watched many videos to try to prepare myself for this new adventure that I have been looking forward to. I feel like I learned a lot and was ready to hit the water.

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Here we go! First timers camping at Callaway beach.

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Inflating the Paddleboard

The first step was finding some good ground to roll out my new inflatable paddleboard. The best spot was on the beach for me. So, we rolled it out and unpacked everything.

See your instructions on unpacking and inflating. To be honest, I think I liked the manual pumping more than an electric pump. It did not take long to pump up to around 15 psi.

Steps to Get on the Paddleboard

  • Flip the board on its edge and carry the board by its handle and against your body to the water.
  • You want to walk into the water to a safe depth where the fins will not hit the bottom/ground of the water when placing the board in the water. This will prevent any potential damage to the fins.
  • Now, you can board the paddleboard one knee at a time. Place your first knee to the opposite side edge of the board with the grab handle in the center of your legs. Essentially, the grab handle of the board should align with your crotch.
  • Now place your second knee on the other side of the board edge. Basically, if you get on the board with your left knee first, then your right knee. You want to keep your legs about shoulder width apart for balance.
  • The paddle will be running perpendicular to the board with your knuckles laying against the board itself.
  • Once you feel balanced, bring the paddle into position by grabbing the top of the paddle with one hand, and grabbing towards the center of the paddle with the other hand, placing the paddle into the water directly along the edge of the paddleboard. To start moving forward, you want to keep the paddle close to the paddleboard and start padding.
  • You want to get the paddleboard moving forward when attempting to stand up.
  • Start with either your right leg or left. Move into a standing position with your one leg. For this article, I will start with your right leg into a standing position, then move your left leg into a standing position.
  • With both legs, shoulder length apart and center of the grab handle, keep your head up and looking straight ahead, while transitioning into a full standing position. You will probably wobble a little, but just keep your head straight and looking forward, with the paddle in the water paddling slowly.

How to Avoid Falling Off

On my first attempt, I was able to stand and start moving the board forward in the water. Where I think I had a problem (and ended up falling off!) was when I tried to turn the paddleboard. I feel like I may have turned too quickly, the paddleboard's nose dug in too deep into the water, and it threw me off balance.

The second time I fell was when I tried to lift one foot and move backward on the board. I should have hopped with both feet into position, or I should have got back down on my knees and moved from the kneeling position.

Steps to standing up

Steps to standing up

Safety Tips

  • Make sure you have the leash on so that when you fall, the paddleboard will still be in close proximity to you.
  • Make sure you are not alone while paddling. Either someone is with you, or you have let someone know where you are.
  • When you fall, try not to fall on the paddleboard itself. You want to fall away from the board into the water.
  • Wear a PFD (personal flotation device). Make sure it is appropriate for inflatable paddleboards.
  • Do not paddle at night.
  • Be cautious and aware of the wind.
Cruising off on my inflatable paddleboard

Cruising off on my inflatable paddleboard

© 2022 mlowell

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