Improving sup technique. Improving your stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) techniques can make the difference between a relaxed paddling session and a struggle against the current. Although SUP may look simple, it requires a lot of balance, strength and technique. In this article we dive deeper into the world of SUP and how you can improve your techniques.
Choose the right board
There are different types of SUP boards, each suitable for different conditions and skill levels.
- All-round Boards: These are the most versatile boards and are ideal for beginners. They are wider, longer and have a round nose, which makes them stable in calm waters.
- Touring Boards: These are designed for long distances on flat water. They are usually longer and narrower with a pointed nose for easy gliding through the water.
- Racing Boards: These are for the more experienced suppers. They are long, narrow and have a sharp nose to achieve maximum speed and efficiency.
- Surf SUPs: These boards are shorter, lighter and more manoeuvrable, designed to catch waves like a traditional surfboard.
Choose a board that suits your skill level and the water conditions in which you will paddle the most.
Refine your stance on your SUP
Proper posture is essential for balance and control. Your feet should be parallel, about hip-width apart, and your toes should point forward. Keep your knees slightly bent and your back straight. Imagine drawing a line from your head to your toes – that’s the attitude you want to maintain.
Improve your paddling technique
An efficient paddling technique saves your energy and helps you go faster and straighter. Make sure your paddle is always pointing forward. When paddling, push your top arm down while pulling your bottom arm towards you. Keep the paddle close to the board for the best stability.
Learn to turn and maneuver
Controlling rotational movements will make your trips much more enjoyable. The fastest way to turn is to use the back paddle technique: paddle backwards on one side of your board. For more control, try the sweep stroke: make a long arcing stroke from the nose of your board to the tail.
Train your body
SUP is a full body workout. Improving your strength, balance and endurance will significantly improve your performance. Core and leg exercises are especially helpful, as is cardio training.
Keep learning to further improve your SUP technique
As with any sport, the key to improving in SUP is consistency and a willingness to keep learning. Even the most experienced paddlers can continue to refine their technique and knowledge. Try out different types of boards and water conditions. Take part in SUP lessons or workshops to learn new skills and get feedback from experienced instructors.
In addition, the SUP community offers plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. Participate in local SUP events, races or group paddles. Connect with other suppers, both online and offline, to exchange tips, stories and experiences.
As SUP’ers we have the privilege to enjoy the beauty of nature. But it is also our responsibility to respect and protect the environment. Make sure you don’t litter, don’t disturb local wildlife and respect other water users.
SUP is a great sport that can improve your physical fitness, mental well-being and connection with nature. However, it also requires technique, strength and knowledge. Whether you are just starting out with SUP or want to improve your skills, remember that the most important thing is to enjoy the journey. With every paddle stroke you become stronger, more confident and closer to nature. So grab your paddle, get on your board and enjoy the adventure called SUP!