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Paddle Boarding Tips for Beginners

Paddle boarding has become increasingly popular over the last several years, and a stand-up paddle board rental is a great way to try your hand at this activity while visiting the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama and Perdido Key, Florida.

You’ve probably seen stand-up paddle boards (also called SUPs) on the water and have wondered what the hype was all about. Described as a blend of kayaking and surfing, it requires a rider to stand up on a long flat board and uses a paddle to navigate. Rather than riding the waves, you’re paddling through them! If you are new paddle boarding, OB Watersports has compiled ten tips to help you get started:

  1. Choose the right size stand-up paddle board rental. If after a few attempts you have a hard time gaining balance, you may need a larger or thicker board. The experienced team at OB Water Sports can help you find the SUP for you and give you pointers onsite.
  2. Start out on your knees and take a few strokes on each side to get the feel of the board.
  3. Once you stand, keep your knees slightly bent and keep your core centered. (Did we mention stand-up paddle boarding is a great workout for your core?)
  4. This is not a surfboard, keep your feet parallel and spread out, shoulder width apart.
  5. Don’t look at your feet! Look ahead to the horizon. Looking at your feet can hinder ability to your balance.
  6. Do not hold the paddle like a broom. Grip the paddle with one hand on top of the paddle and the other hand on the center of the shaft.
  7. Paddles float, so if you drop it or fall, don’t worry about it sinking.
  8. When you put your paddle in the water, make sure you bury it as far as possible.
  9. To go in a straight line, make sure you alternate strokes on both sides of the paddle board, otherwise you may find yourself going in circles.
  10. A reverse stroke is the best way to slow down and stop. Reach behind you with the paddle and bury it in the water near the tail of the board.

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start your SUP adventure! Paddle boarding is a must-try activity when visiting Orange Beach or Gulf Shores. Rentals are a great way to test the waters, so to speak! For more information on paddle boarding the Gulf Coast, contact OB Watersports or call 251-979-2527.

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