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Everything You Need To Know About Standup Paddle Boarding Before You Try It Out

Do you know what’s a full-body workout plus tons of fun in the water? Standup paddleboarding! Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a water sport in which boarders stand on boards that are floating on the water and propel themselves towards the shore by way of a paddle. 

Here’s what you need to know about Stand Up paddleboarding before you try it out. 

It’s A Full Workout

SUP has different variations. Each variation has its movement activities and how much you burn depends on factors like whether there are waves or not, technique, and overall fitness. But here’s an idea:

  • If you’re paddleboarding, with all the arm muscles you engage to move the paddle and the board you’ll burn an average of 330 to 460 calories an hour. 
  • If you’re SUP surfing, the more waves you ride the more muscle you’ll work out. This intense cardio session will burn up to 725 calories an hour.
  • SUP yoga works out both your mind and body. As you work on mindfulness you’re also engaging your core. So you can burn between 410 to 530 an hour.
  • Get your adrenaline rush and burn some calories while you’re at it. With SUP racing you’ll satisfy your competitive edge and have a cardio workout that’ll burn off 720 to 1130 calories in an hour. 

Pick The Right Gear

The right SUP and paddle will determine your safety and also your enjoyment of the sport. The right equipment depends on a number of things, such as the environment you’ll be paddling in and your skill level. 

As a beginner, it’s best to buy a wide board. This is because you haven’t yet learned balancing techniques and it’ll be easier for you to balance on a wide board. If you live in a place where there’s a vibrant SUP scene like Santa Barbara you don’t even have to buy a brand new board. SUP rentals in Santa Barbara will be a cheaper way to start out. Plus that way you can get the renter’s advice on the best board to pick.

You also need a paddle. The general rule is that the right paddle is 9 to 10 inches taller than your height. 

The Correct Paddling Technique 

Most beginners hold the paddle wrong. It’s one of the most common mistakes of paddling. Here is the correct technique:

  • Grip the non-blade end of your paddle as you stand up straight
  • Using both hands hold the paddle horizontally over your head, then rest the shaft on top of your head
  • The arm that’s gripping the shaft should create a 90-degree angle, making sure that the shaft is parallel to your shoulders
  • Grip the shaft with your other arm in a way that creates another 90-degree angle

Use A Leash

When you’re standup paddleboarding you have to make safety a priority by tethering yourself to your board with a leash. You might become tired, lost, or too far away from shore on a windy or stormy day. If you have a leash, it’ll keep you tied to your board until help arrives. 

You can pick a straight, coiled, ankle, or calf leash. Whichever one it is, it must be of very high quality so that it won’t break. It must also be easy to detach in case of emergencies.

You can also get a leash for your paddle to save yourself the trouble of having to swim to retrieve it every time it gets lost.

Enjoy The View

This means enjoying the view of the skyline in the water all around you. But more importantly, it means to look ahead and not down at your feet. 

By definition, standup paddleboarding requires you to maintain your balance while standing on a board in the water. You need to arrange your body into a good posture; with your back straight, legs slightly bent, shoulders back, and head up. Looking down at your feet will unstabilize you and ruin your balance. You’ll fall down. Since there’ll be other boarders around you as well, you could run into someone, injuring them and yourself.


Paddleboards are made of expensive material. Here’s how to clean your SUP board to keep it in good condition for as long as possible: 

  • Rinse your SUP board with fresh water including the fin boxes, slider nut, and screw, and deck pad.
  • Periodically, clean your board gently with water and a mild detergent to remove salt and stop bacteria and mildew from growing especially on your deck pad.
  • Wipe your board dry.
  • Store it in a dry place away from direct sunlight.

Originating in Hawaii, standup paddleboarding is an enjoyable water sport. With the right equipment and technique, it is one of the best water sports, because it combines workout and play.

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